Case Study-Randleman Lake
I believe that Randleman Lake will become the perfect case study to demonstrate how utilities market water and neglect conservation. Will Randleman Lake be green?...or will it be a water-selling machine? I predict that Randleman Lake managed by the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority (PTRWA) will become a water-selling machine. Let me explain why I am painting PTRWA ungreen before it has sold its first gallon of Randleman water (Now targeted for 2011).
Concentrate on the toilet
Do you concentrate on the toilet? As Greensboro’s Water Conservation (WC) manager I won awards for concentrating on the toilet. The toilet ranks #1 on the list of the home's most poorly designed fixtures. 1 in 4 toilets leaks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Toilets are rarely maintained. Toilet leakage in Greensboro is about 2 million gallons a day. Therefore, the toilet is the WC manager's worst nightmare, but the toilet is the utility’s best water customer. Ka-ching $, ka-ching $ ka-ching $. Even if you take your entire family on a month-long vacation to Europe your leaking toilets keep right on purchasing Greensboro’s water. If a WC program radically reduces toilet leakage the way Greensboro’s WC program did in the 90's, water sales will suffer. In that scenario, the WC program can become the enemy of the water-selling utility that manages it. And that’s what happened in Greensboro. That explains why water directors (engineers) create and manage WC programs that do not succeed. That's their desire--no measurable results from their WC programs. They secretly expect their WC programs to not conserve water. If I had failed at reducing Greensboro's water demand I would have had job security at City Hall until retirement.
Utility directors would rather have their WC staff speak to fifth graders and print fancy brochures than do strategic water efficiency projects that are certain to reduce water sales.
Consequently most utilities offer watered-down water “conVersation” programs. If you join others at the lunch table at the annual WC conference (sponsored by the AWWA) you will hear frustrated WC managers and coordinators complaining that their bosses--water-selling engineers won't let them do anything to save water. That's why I have renamed the effort Water "ConVersation" ---because it is all talk.
Youth Leadership Greensboro
Yesterday morning I was the guest speaker at Youth Leadership Greensboro (YLG)--35 exceptional high school students who want to make a difference in this world. I began my presentation by asking YLG, “How many of you are for WC?” By a show of hands, everybody in the entire room was for WC. I was not surprised and neither are you. “Who could possibly be against WC?” I asked. Then I said, “Now watch closely.” I explained in detail why the City of Greensboro has historically been against WC and still is against WC. In fact, the Water Resources department that constantly claims Greensboro needs more water no longer operates a WC program. I explained to these high school leaders that Greensboro’s Utility is a water-selling enterprise that sells all the water it can for profit. All other Greensboro city departments run off the general fund but water is an enterprise fund that pays itself. That’s why many water departments often have the best vehicles, the best computers and the best office chairs. They are a monopoly with guaranteed sales at whatever price they set on their product. In fact, even when water sales decline, the utility can keep on expanding--as proven by Greensboro. Municipal water utilities that market water for profit virtually guaranty that water in the United States will be used inefficiently. Unless the world’s most altruistic person is directing the utility, it will never embrace WC as a best management practice and it is sure to be a water-seller and a water-promoter--not a water conserver. Whenever Greensboro’s Water Director Allan Williams says he’s all for water conservation he’s lying through his teeth. I worked under Williams and he knows nothing about WC nor is he interested in WC. Listen closely and you'll note the only time Greensboro ever uses the word conservation is during a drought when it doesn't have enough water to sell. Then Greensboro wants you to conserve—and quickly! But as soon as the drought is over you won't hear the word conservation again. Don’t listen to Director William’s WC rhetoric. Instead look at his WC budget. You won’t find one. Williams eliminated his WC program, he eliminated the WC staff and he deleted WC from his budget. And neither the Sierra Club or the Deep River Coalition or the Cape Fear River Assembly or NCDENR or the Carolina Journal or the Greensboro News & Record, or the Rhino Times or YES! WEEKLY who was invited yesterday and chose not to attend has called Williams out for disbanding Greensboro’s EPA award-winning nationally recognized WC program. Williams and Greensboro have gotten away with it all—so far. Unfortunately the majority of municipal WC programs in the US are supervised by water-selling and water works expanding engineers like Williams. They are foxes (water profiteers) guarding the hen houses (tiny muzzled water conservation programs existing inside water-selling agencies like Greensboro). I also explained to YLG the other big problem in Greensboro—that dishonest officials have lied all the way to the Randleman Dam and now they are covering up a 15-year decline in public water use to protect their own necks. The Randleman Dam Scam continues and every news story Greensboro releases is designed to hide the truth and insure that customers remain sold on Randleman Lake. Author Jerry Bledsoe condemns Greensboro New York Times best selling author Jerry Bledsoe has stated correctly that Greensboro is a city of liars;
“Greensboro has become the city of the lie. Greensboro leadership hungers for the lie, embraces the lie, lives by the lie, celebrates the lie, clings to the lie and won't let it go no matter the facts. Now Greensboro has reached the Orwellian stage where the lie is truth, and truth a lie. At this point, the lie prevails. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to change. Greensboro has an immense excess of governmental, business and community leaders eager to embrace lies but a clear paucity of those with the courage and character to stand for truth and integrity – and to hold the liars accountable.” —Jerry Bledsoe
At the post-termination press conference I held in 1999 I called for the resignations of Water Director Allan Williams and City Manager Ed Kitchen for lying about a water shortage. They were falsely claiming they were doing everything they could to conserve water, and they were lying about the need for the Randleman Dam.
Instead, the Dam Scamming City Council made them heros. It named the new Water Operations Center after Ed Kitchen because he sang the party line of lies exactly like he was expected to do. If the truth ever gets out about the dam scam conspiracy, Kitchen's name may be peeled off that building much like the way Saddam's constituents pulled down his statue. They were all participants in a fraud against the citizens of Greensboro. Remember, the same 1997 City Council that fed Greensboro PROJECT HOMESTEAD (corruption and conspiracy) fed Greensboro the Randleman Dam.
Youth Leadership Greensboro takes control of Randleman Lake
These YLG kids are pretty bright so I thought I would challenge them with a Randleman Lake assignment. You should look over this assignment too, because it may help you discover what’s wrong with selling municipal water for profit.
Randleman Lake is finished. It has been FULL for two years now but not a single gallon of water has been sold to its six customers. Disagreements among the six government members have delayed the construction of the water treatment plant, the storage tank and the pumping stations. The latest estimate for the lake to begin selling drinking water is 2011.
FACT: Greensboro repeatedly stated it had to have Randleman by 2000 or else Greensboro would be out of water. I was expected to make this claim on radio and TV but I knew it was a lie and I would not participate.--MB PTRWA FIRED
For the purpose of this assignment, the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority (PTRWA) has just been fired. Complete control of the lake and water treatment plant is now in the hands of Youth Leadership Greensboro (YLG). YLG now presides over what is essentially a monopoly controlling 20 billion gallons of lake water that it can treat and sell at whatever price YLG sets. The Assumption: Everyone is for water conservation. Who would dare to argue against water conservation? Surely YLG will be pro-water conservation, correct? Are you for water conservation? The Challenges: Under YLG management will Randleman Lake be green and conserve water? ….or will it become a water-selling machine like Greensboro’s utility and a majority of US utilities? How will YLG determine the price of the water it sells? In other words, how much profit will YLG take from the sale of its water? What will be done with the profit from water sales? Will YLG encourage its six customers to conserve water (reduce sales)? Will YLG allow water to escape over the dam and travel downstream to other communities? Or will it try and sell all it can? The Danger: Randleman Lake won’t be green. YLG will behave much like the majority of US water-selling utilities and maximize its profits. Like Greensboro, YLG will not allow any water over the dam because it represents lost sales. YLG will preach water conservation publicly but it won’t make any effort to lead its customers to conserve water—unless Randleman Lake is emptying during a drought.
The lack of Water Conservation is an American problem. How will YLG solve it? Show us with Randleman Lake.
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