Your article, “Earth moves, water stops” [Aug. 26 edition], notes that Malibu has 47 water storage tanks which hold about 11 million gallons. You also report that it would cost an estimated $50 million to increase the city’s storage capacity to a three-day level — about 33 million gallons.
Malibuites are reminded that the Rindge Dam reservoir was designed to hold 186 million gallons, or 574 acre feet. There are now 10 million gallons in the aquifer behind the dam. Removal of only half the sediment behind the dam would create a reservoir of 90 million gallons. Doing this, installing a small water treatment plant and pipeline down the canyon would allow tie-in to the existing system if and when future breaks occur in the 30-inch pipe artery sustaining all of Malibu.
The cost of this reactivation, pipeline and emergency water treatment plant would likely be less than $50 million. Even if it cost a bit more, it would be a prudent action to sustain life and property in all of Malibu when the next break occurs caused by earthquake or land movements. Periodic conflagrations historically cause millions of dollars of property damage and sometimes loss of life. A major fire sweeping Malibu when the 30-inch main is broken would produce losses never before experienced in Malibu.
Water is nature’s gold in arid Southern California. Malibu should reassert its historic rights to the waters of Malibu Creek.
Ronald L. Rindge