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March 15, 2018


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Well I remember going down to the end of the street with my Dad to sign up for an hours worth of water to irrigate our lawn. Going back a week later to learn that "our time" to block the ditch and divert the flow was at 2AM on a Thursday morning.
It's almost impossible to explain this to someone today.

My dad was a SRP Zanjero. In the 50s i swam the canals. Particulary after a long hot day in the lechuga and uva campos. And once a year i used my postion to gain early access to the canals to bag fish from Granite Reef to Skunk Creek when SRP drained the canals for cleaning.
And then there was my first day as a Freshman at Glendale High School that the White Russians kidnapped me and tossed me into the canal and laughed as they threw empty beer cans at me as i floated west. I got out on the North side near a gate an hotfooted it home. I didnt go back for my books as i noted they ran over them with their car. Today SRP dosent drain and clean the canals every year. They have an out of state company that moves fish to and from various locations in the canal?

Both SRP and APS contribute mightily to political candidates including candidates for the AZ Corp. Commission that regulates them. They are both major supporters of ALEC. Should it be legal for public utilities to contribute to the campaigns of those who regulate them? Why should they be allowed to use rate payer money to support any political candidates? Oh, I know! Money is speech and precluding them from doing so would be an infringement on their free speech since public utilities are people just like any other corporation.

Fascinating article, but some questions:

Who controls the purse or is Robert Mosses of SRP? The board I assume? If I understand the board is elected based on how much land you own, Wikipedia said 5 acres 5 votes. Does a renter in Tempe have a vote or input? If not than this sounds like a feudal system controlling the most precious commodity in Arizona.

Second, Jon will you ever reference or understand Javons principal? Efficiency does not mean decrease use of resources. As you point out the CAP has increased water consumption. More “renewable” energy will lower the cost of electricity and thus more of it will be used. Those damns and nuclear plants will still be online. Imagine convincing yahoos to close them so we can increase the cost of energy...the only true way to lower overall consumption.

SRP doesn't change much, because most of the people who have votes, which are indeed based on acreage, have a fraction of one vote, and either don't bother to use it, or are unaware that they have it.

So, the elections are controlled by the large land owners. And, as is common with many things in this great land of ours, most wealthy people are very happy with the status quo, and fear change.

As a result, the same people are elected to the board and the council, election after election, with very few changes.

As long as the larger land owners get their cheap water, most of them couldn't care less how their electricity is produced.

Now, if some day, the many small, fractional voters decided to vote, they could probably replace the more backward members of the board and council, with or without the large land owners.

But, that's kind of like saying, "if only the Hispanics would get out and vote."

Putting a leash on greed in Phoenix is like having a hippo dance "Swan Lake." In the bastion of unfettered Libertarian Capitalism that is Arizona, social responsibility is seen as akin to communism sentiment. You're "On Your Owna" in Arizona.

A fine piece. Thanks.

OT: A reckless, hawkish war cabinet at Trump’s unfettered command. War with Iran unless Trump blows up the Korean Peninsula first. A great president needs a war.

Wish we still enjoyed, some canal trees removed, in the '50's.

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