The debate over Measure I focuses on two issues — necessity and cost. It seems obvious to me that complete reliance on groundwater is unsustainable. Aquifers have limited size and recharge only slowly. All around the state, the nation and the world, aquifers are being depleted. Groundwater should be treated as a savings account, something we draw down as slowly as possible and save for emergencies.
In addition, aquifers in agricultural areas typically suffer from pollution. Over the years, our wells have had to go deeper and deeper to avoid this pollution. Obtaining surface water from the Sacramento River is essential to maintain a secure and high-quality supply of water.
Certainly, the proposed water project is expensive. Large infrastructure projects always are expensive. We are the beneficiaries of past investments in such projects as schools, roads, bridges, sewer systems, etc., all of which seemed expensive at first but provided valuable services at reasonable cost for many years.
The Water Advisory Committee found that the proposed project is the least expensive of the acceptable alternatives, all things considered. If we delay, it will only become more expensive. I urge a yes vote on Measure I.