Mudslinging dirties clean water

By From page A10 | February 22, 2013

Measure I is a good old-fashioned showcase of local politicking: The yard signs are up, the booths abut one another at the Farmers Market and so much mud is flying back and forth that the “clean water” promised by the measure seems to have gotten a bit murky.

Each side has plainly done its research and crafted compelling arguments; every tit gets a tat and all jibs their jab. So for those of us who aren’t water experts, former members of the City Council or fierce watchdogs of the Davis political machine, how can we distill the arguments to know what’s right? I advocate looking at the larger picture.

If Davis is the vanguard of sustainability it reputes itself to be, Measure I should pass by a wide margin. The hundreds of miles of bike paths, the recycling bins on every corner and the numerous hybrid charging stations were surely not the cheapest options for the city of Davis. But they were made a priority nonetheless and few would argue that such features make Davis a worse place to be. Rather, they’re why many of us choose to live here. A measure that guarantees a more stable water supply well into the future is a switch toward sustainability worth supporting, even if our water bills may rise in the coming months.

The flagging ethos of the contra contentions fails to rebut this yearning for a more environmentally responsible water supply. If we want to stick to our progressive, sustainable principles, then enough moaning about lackluster lawns and please no more anecdotal alibis of “decades of health” from drinking Davis dinge-water. It’s 2013, not 1950. If we want to be responsible (which we do), then we’ll ration our use and if we want be evidence-based in our approach (which we do), we’ll pass the measure now and begin, finally, to look forward.

I’ll let you sort out the purported costs and pesky chemicals being debated in the crossfire, but on its surface, the vote is a clear one: a yes on Measure I is what Davis deserves.

Reid Haflich

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