California Water Drought
California Water Drought

Why is Newport Beach Still Using More Expensive Less Clean Water?

For over a decade, Mesa Water– who already provides about 9% of Newport’s water service– has been wanting to partner with Newport Beach to provide water services for the area.  Why?  Because one of their biggest costs to deliver water isn’t the water itself– it’s literally keeping the operation going to clean, pump, and service the water base station.  This means by delivering more water to more people, they can spread out the hard costs.  Let’s say it takes you $100/month to service your well.  You can send water to your neighbor for $50.  Or you can send it to 4 neighbors for $25/each.  As you can see, it lowers the cost for everyone, and the kicker is, MesaWater is cleaner water, to boot.  AND they’re willing to pay for our ongoing– and very aging– infrastructure costs.

Now this isn’t new news.  Literally every single city council person on the dais has been briefed on this desire by MesaWater.  They all know that partnering with MesaWater will deliver cleaner, cheaper water.  We’ve written about it several times.

This author wrote about it in the LA Times in May of 2015, here, in April of 2015, her, and in January of 2016, here

Another benefit?  It largely takes us off of state water supplies, allowing farmers to use that water– all while protecting us from statewide droughts (and their corresponding regulations!)

So what would be needed to physically connect this cleaner, sustainable, water supply which costs about half of what Newport charges its citizens for unsustainable, more contaminated water?  We would need to turn a ball valve on a pre-existing connection (designed for emergency water sharing).  Sure, there is a lot of paperwork that needs to be shuffled around before that– but that’s what our city council people are there to do.

So why won’t they do it?  Because, frankly, they are scared.  Irvine Ranch Water District– which is far more expensive than the Newport Muni Water– also wants to partner with Newport.  The problem is that their water isn’t even cleaner than the Muni supply, and it’s more expensive to boot.  But the rumor is that they have one billion (that’s billion with a B) dollars in their political account, and will use that to influence elections.  Therefore, our noble politicians have decided to indefinitely shelf the issue instead of doing the right thing, in fear that they won’t be able to secure themselves another elected position in the next election.

I encourage you to read our previous articles linked above for the full scoop.  If you would like to stay updated on this, simply sign up for our email list below, and share it with your friends!

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About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at