Cost-sharing must be equitable

By From page A8 | October 25, 2012

Because of the extraordinary expense of surface water, the city’s decision on its future water system will have a great impact on our community for decades to come.

Recently, the Water Advisory Committee voted to recommend that the city proceed with the Woodland-Davis project, provided that Woodland pay for 60 percent of the project and half of the Davis-Woodland treated water pipeline.

Woodland will receive 18 million gallons per day and Davis 12 million gallons per day from the project. Woodland should pay 60 percent of the project costs since Woodland will receive 60 percent of the water. The current proposal is that Davis will pay almost half the cost of the Woodland-Davis project, which will mean that Davis will pay 37 percent more per million gallons of water than will Woodland.

Unless the City Council negotiates a proportional cost arrangement for Davis, I will not be able to support the Woodland-Davis project. Davis faces a $100 million expense for a new wastewater treatment plant in addition to the cost of surface water, and cannot afford to subsidize Woodland’s water. While Woodland is out of compliance with federal selenium standards and immediately needs surface water, Davis does not.

Davis has the choice of surface water from the Woodland-Davis project or West Sacramento. The West Sacramento option is less expensive than the Woodland-Davis project, but not that much less if Woodland pays a 60 percent share and half of the Woodland-Davis pipeline. The opportunity for local control and the greater certainty associated with the Woodland-Davis project make it the more desirable option if Woodland pays 60 percent of the project costs.

If Woodland will not pay its fair share so that Davis and Woodland each pay the same amount for water, Davis citizens should reject the Woodland-Davis project and obtain surface water from West Sacramento or continue to rely upon well water.

Bill Kopper


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