As a currently politically grumpy fiscal conservative, I dislike sending another penny to my over-spending government at any level. However, municipal infrastructure development and maintenance are key public service responsibilities. Without adequate planning and investment in our road, bridge, sewer, water and garbage infrastructure, we cannot support a vibrant economy and lifestyle.
Unfortunately, we have developed a terrible can-kicking habit — putting off our necessary contribution to these things at our future peril. Now is the time to pull up our bootstraps, accept responsibility, and do the right thing.
If this view does not resonate with you, then just do the math.
The math includes some tremendous homeowner expense and environmental impacts resulting from the high mineral content of our well water. Water softeners are very expensive. Salt pellets are expensive and add to Davis’ effluent discharge that hurts delta wildlife. Bottled water is expensive. Replacing water heaters, dishwashers, plumbing and fixtures destroyed by excessive mineral scale buildup is very, very expensive. The industrial-strength chemicals used to combat mineral scale are expensive and also harm the environment.
We don’t know when our groundwater supply will fail us and require expensive emergency re-supply measures. Finally, we don’t know when and how much we might be fined for failing to comply with clean water regulations.
Unlike recent fee and tax increases to preserve the status quo, the proposed new surface waterworks system is value-add. It will provide direct benefits of a consistent supply of better tasting, environmentally safer water that lowers long-term home maintenance and appliance replacement costs. Building this new natural river water supply and delivery system pays it forward to a future where our children will not have to deal with greater challenges and costs to ensure a sustainable, high-quality water source.
Vote yes on Measure I because there is a positive return on investment, and because it is the right and prudent thing to do.