Thursday, April 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Costly, unfair and hasty

Every community deserves clean, reliable, affordable water that is paid for equitably. Unfortunately, the project proposed by Measure I fails to deliver that.

It’s too expensive. By 2018, single-family water bills (18 ccf) may reach $137/month, more than triple current rates, giving Davis among the most expensive water statewide. Annual utility bills will likely cost homeowners more than $2,500 per year, unduly burdening families, adversely affecting the local economy, making it more difficult to pay for our schools and parks, and ultimately even threatening our tree canopy.

It’s unfair. Davis will pay 30 percent more per gallon of water than Woodland pays. The Davis Water Advisory Committee did not endorse the project with this inequitable cost-sharing agreement. Why subsidize Woodland’s outsized development plans?

It was rushed incomplete to the ballot. Measure I doesn’t give project specifics, costs or rates. The Proposition 218 process is inadequate since it excludes renters. All voters deserve to vote on a project with all details, costs, and rates fully specified.

No water supply or regulatory emergency exists. Surface water is not necessary to meet discharge requirements, it will not lower costs of wastewater treatment, and we will not lose our water rights. Modest improvements in groundwater management should keep Davis compliant for years to come with safe, clean, affordable water.

We cannot rely on the same vested interests who claimed we needed to spend almost $100 million more than necessary on a wastewater plant, and that we needed 50 percent more surface water than they now admit necessary.

There is a better way forward. The responsible, most cost-effective solution is a regional partnership with West Sacramento and Woodland, or West Sacramento alone (costing far less). We have time to implement a more efficient approach. Let’s seize that opportunity.

Please join us in voting No.

Sue Greenwald, former mayor, city of Davis; Mark Siegler, president, Davis Citizens for Fair Water Policy; Michael P. Bartolic, member, Davis Water Advisory Committee; Michael J. Harrington, co-chair 2011 water referendum, 2000-04 City Council member; Pamela S. Nieberg, co-chair, 2011 water referendum

Special to The Enterprise

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