VC Star Water LTE

Where are the answers on water?

by Joyce Sihler

My family, and hundreds of thousands of Ventura County residents who get water from the Fox Canyon aquifer deserve to know if our water is safe.

The Ventura County Board of Supervisors voted twice this year on emergency ordinances based on claims that there is a current and immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare from potential contamination of our water. But in the more than four months since that first emergency vote, neither county supervisors nor the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency has done anything to find out beyond a reasonable doubt if our water is contaminated or actually safe.

How can the Board of Supervisors claim that water may be contaminated, but do nothing to find out if it actually is? And how can the Fox Canyon Groundwater Management Agency board do nothing while the county makes claims about their aquifer being contaminated? The Board of Supervisors needs to back up its claims of an emergency, and the Fox Canyon Board needs to either demand proof or verify for their customers these claims about water safety.

To make matters worse, the Fox Canyon board voted to add billions of gallons of fresh water costing millions to the aquifer after the emergency measure was passed by the supervisors. How could Fox Canyon’s board vote to add new fresh water to an aquifer that one of their members claims may be contaminated, specifically Steve Bennett, who is both a member of the Fox Canyon Board and the chairman of the county Board of Supervisors? This is nothing short of irresponsible stewardship of limited natural and public resources.

Both of these governing bodies are neglecting their responsibility to the communities they represent. They need to be held accountable to the public; they owe us answers.

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