Water letter doesn’t add up

By From page B4 | December 19, 2013

I recently received an important letter from the city of Davis saying I use “1,097 gallons of water a day” and that the “average household uses 385 gpd.” The report was based on the “average one-person home, on a similar-sized property, in Davis.” An efficient household uses 162 gpd.

First, my very important letter was addressed “Occupant.” It went on to inform me that I used 21,350 more gallons than the other “average one person” used. The reporting period was Aug. 16-Sept. 4. Interesting. Them fighting words!

Maybe it is the old newspaper editor in me, but I do not believe everything I read.

First, we have a 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom two-story house with a home office on a 13,000-plus-square-foot lot. It’s about a third of an acre. When we built the house the city and PG&E said “plant trees.” I did. I have 24 redwoods, 21 birch trees and five Japanese maples. I have six fence-line neighbors as well as 120 feet bordering Anderson Road.

Four of those neighbors have pools and three do not water much. The city does not water enough along Anderson to keep its plants alive. The city’s three large sycamore trees have burrowed 30 feet into my yard for water.

I called the city’s finance office and was told that the “one person, etc.” resided in a one- or two-bedroom dwelling on a 2,000-square-foot lot.” I asked, “like a condo or townhouse?” “Yes.” “How did the city decide that only one person lives in our house?” She didn’t know. I could put six-plus of those lots on my lot.

I water my trees! In months when I do not have to turn on the drip system, we use 6 to 9 ccf for the two-month bill. Several years ago I called the city arborist, who simply said I should cut down my trees. I suggested he leave.

Karen Froyland

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