California Water agencies warn of safety problems from blackouts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Water agencies warn of safety problems from blackouts Filed: 03/27/2001

SACRAMENTO (AP) -- If water agencies aren't protected from rolling electricity blackouts, water might not be available for drinking and fighting fires, says a water agency group.

The Association of California Water Agencies is challenging a proposed state Public Utilities Commission ruling that would allow power to be cut off to water utilities. A decision that could come as early as Tuesday.

The PUC issued a draft decision March 16 proposing that water districts not be included as "essential facilities" exempt from power outages.

The association said Monday that many water utilities have backup generators, but said those systems were designed for use during disasters like fires, floods or earthquakes, not as alternative power sources.

If water treatment facilities were disrupted by a two-hour blackout, it could take two days to restore safe drinking water after flushing potentially contaminated water through the system, ACWA said.

Cutting off power to water agencies could also hurt fire-fighting efforts, the association warned.

It represents 438 local agencies that together provide about 90 percent of the state's water.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 27, 2001


If true, this is a perfect example of the "Domino Effect" (or in Y2K- speak, the "Cascading Effects" that were so terribly dreaded in 1999. In this case, since it is preventable by political action, this particular cascading effect is "Iatrogenic", in the language of the Navy War College Y2K Study Report. See hyperlink:

-- Robert Riggs (, March 28, 2001.

From the above link provided by Mr. Riggs

If Y2K proves to be substantial and long-lasting, it will reveal itself in the Unfolding Phase, which in the Networks sector would lead to the dynamic of Rationing, meaning anything from rolling brownouts/blackouts in some utilities, to possible restrictions on access to mass transit or thoroughfares, to even the distribution of basic foodstuffs by authorities.  The key point is that either non-market mechanisms will arise by government fiat and/or market prices will rise high enough to cause de facto rationing by wealth of items typically viewed as basic.

. . .

Assuming a significant Unfolding of the Y2K Event, the next dynamic of note is the Iatrogenic Zone, or what we like to call, "average people doing stupid things under duress"--something we're all familiar with.

-- spider (, March 28, 2001.

I'm glad we have our own well!

-- Sally Strackbein (, March 28, 2001.

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