Many reasons to reject W. Sac

By From page A6 | February 06, 2013

As chair of the Davis Water Advisory Committee, I need to correct the glaring omissions that are being presented by the “No on Measure I” campaign. The original offer from West Sacramento was for 20 years only. Because Davis clearly deemed this unacceptable as too short a time frame, West Sacramento came back with a counter offer of “permanent rights,” but only under the following conditions (taken from Oct. 18, 2012 staff report):

* Local customers provided water pay the full cost for accessing plant capacity and in return receive a permanent source of water;

* Local customers pay monthly for their share of the operational cost, which includes a set-aside for the future replacement of the water treatment plant;

* Davis would need to contribute toward the cost of increasing the intake structure in the future. This cost would be in addition to the initial cost; and

* The cost for Davis to purchase permanent capacity is approximately $19.4 million for 12 million gallons of water per day.

The staff report also points out:

* West Sacramento’s counter-offer does not result in any cost savings.

* While West Sacramento’s offer treats Davis similarly to any customer and provides a permanent source of supply, it eliminates Davis’ ability to negotiate a rate and removes any ability to control rate impacts and increases.

* The Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency would be required to petition to change the authorized points of water diversion and prepare a supplemental EIR.

* It is reasonable to assume it would take at least three to four years from the agency’s receipt of instructions to proceed with the change petitions and supplemental EIR. This time frame does not include the time that would be necessary for any legal challenges.

* New issues could be raised during the preparation of the EIR supplement or by protests to the change petitions. There could be significant environmental issues associated with the new pipeline that would have to be constructed from West Sacramento across the Yolo Bypass (wildlife refuge) to Davis.

After seeing this staff report, the Water Advisory Committee voted strongly in favor (8-2) of the Woodland-Davis surface water project.

Elaine Roberts Musser

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