The Moment of Truth for Greensboro's Officials
Greensboro grossly inflated its water needs, dropped its reservoirs every summer for visual effect and deliberately painted itself into a water-shortage corner to achieve the Randleman Dam.
The only way these deceitful managers and officials could get their dam project approved was to scare everyone from Wendover Ave. to Washington DC that Greensboro was running out of water. Their scam worked. By hook or crook and employing a dishonest propaganda campaign, the approval and construction of an unnecessary dam became a slam-dunk.
Here are some questions that Greensboro water customers, the Greensboro media, NC DENR and the US EPA should ask Greensboro’s managers and officials:
To the City Council
QUESTION: Given the past success of Greensboro's EPA Award-winning Water Conservation program and given the current drought, why is it that under your watch Greensboro has no Water Conservation (WC) program and no WC staff?
QUESTION: The Water Department grossly over-estimated Greensboro’s water needs every year for the past 13 years (see CHART). Given its deplorable record of predicting future water needs, why should you trust its current recommendation to connect to the Randleman Reservoir?
To Yvonne Johnson Mayor
QUESTION: The water produced during summertime peak demand is the most expensive water Greensboro manufactures. Yet all through the 90’s when you were on the City Council, Greensboro sold water for lawns well below cost. That meant all water customers including the poor were subsidizing lawn watering in affluent neighborhoods. Did you ever voice a complaint that Greensboro’s poor people were helping Greensboro's wealthy people water their lawns?
QUESTION: In 1996-97 Council provided millions of dollars for the Greensboro Water Department to expand the Townsend plant and add 10 mgd of output. Were you aware that this plant expansion had no other purpose other than to meet the high demand caused by lawn-watering?
QUESTION: In the late 90’s did the City Council view the unexpected success of Water Conservation and the unexpected decline in water use (sales) as serious threats to the approval process for the Randleman Dam?
QUESTION: Given the past success of Greensboro Water Conservation and given the current drought, why is it that under your watch as Mayor in 2008 Greensboro has no Water Conservation program and no Water Conservation staff?
To Carolyn Allen Former Mayor
QUESTION: You were fully aware that under a tiny Water Conservation program with a tiny budget, water demand began declining. You also knew that WC was releasing millions of gallons of "new water" for Greensboro at very low cost. Why did you not take any action as Mayor to expand the WC program? Did you ever discuss the unexpected success of WC in a closed door session of City Council?
QUESTION: You took credit for launching Greensboro’s Recycling Program during the same period of time Greensboro was supposedly running out of water. Did you ever think that requiring citizens to wash their cans, bottles, jars and milk jugs represented an enormous waste of Greensboro’s precious water? What were you thinking?
To Robbie Perkins Councilman
QUESTION: Did a successful Water Conservation program and declining water use become a perceived threat to the approval process for the Randleman Dam? Did the Council ever discuss declining water demand in a closed door session?
To Mitchell Johnson City Manager
QUESTION: Given the past success of Greensboro Water Conservation and given the current drought, why is it under your watch in 2008 there is no Water Conservation program and no Water Conservation staff? Is there a line-item in the Water Department's budget for WC like there was in the 90's?
To Ed Kitchen Former City Manager
QUESTION: In 1999 you personally approved a new City Video that mentioned Greensboro’s growing demand for water. Yet according to Water Department figures, water use declined between 1996 and 1999. In addition, I sent memos and news releases to you that water use was declining. Why did the new City Video claim water use was increasing when the Water Department’s own figures showed it was decreasing?
To Ray Shaw Former Water Director
QUESTION: You were the chief proponent of the Randleman Dam for decades. You forecasted that Greensboro would need 41 million gallons a day in 2007. However, only 33 million gallons a day was needed in 2007. You over-estimated by 8 million gallons----a day----every day----for a year! What caused your projections to be so far off every year and for the last 12 years?
QUESTION: Why is it that from his very first day on the job and for the next three years of your administration, Water Conservation Manager Mike Baron was never invited to any of your weekly Water Department staff meetings?
To Allan Williams Water Director
QUESTION: Given the enormous success of Greensboro Water Conservation and given the current drought, why in 2008 under your leadership is there no Water Conservation program and no Water Conservation staff? Is there a line-item in your budget for WC?
QUESTION: Is connecting to the Randleman Reservoir a wise solution for drought? Would the Randleman Reservoir be "full" during a drought if its regional partners were drawing water from it? Or would it be "low" ---like every other reservoir during a drought.
QUESTION: In the late 90’s while you were defending the Randleman Dam, did you "factor in" the departure of water-intensive industry and manufacturing when predicting Greensboro's future water needs?
QUESTION: Isn't it true that water use in Greensboro could never have risen to 40 mgd as projected because Buffalo Creek is already at capacity and it cannot assimilate any additional wastewater discharges?
QUESTION: Isn't it true that Buffalo Creek--the ankle-deep repository of Greensboro's treated wastewater is the number-one factor limiting increased water sales and City growth?
QUESTION: If Greensboro has no place to discharge any additional treated wastewater, why did Greensboro push for the Randleman Dam and Reservoir and forecast a 40 mgd demand? How and where would you have put the extra wastewater if Buffalo Creek is already maxed out?
Thank you for reading!