Tuesday, July 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis has adequate water resources

By
From page A6 | February 28, 2013 |

By Ali Ghorbanzadeh

My professional life has been devoted to improving the state’s water supply and water quality. I received a Ph.D. in groundwater hydraulics from UC Davis, and I have worked for the state Department of Water Resources for more than three decades in the area of water supply and water quality. There are important issues concerning the pending Measure I vote that require clarification.

Davis has always complied with the federal Environmental Protection Agency standards. The city has never violated water quality standards. Davis water has been safe for drinking and public use. Although it is high in calcium and magnesium, these minerals primarily cause a build-up of residues when the water is exposed to air, such as on shower heads, faucets and sometimes in water heaters. These minerals have no adverse health effects for humans.

In fact, I and my family of five have been drinking Davis water for decades. Whenever we have a choice between tap water and bottled water, we choose the tap. This is because we trust that the EPA standards governing tap water will produce safer water than water that is exposed to degenerating plastic while being kept in storage. Our family also has managed quite well without a water softener.

The proponents of the Woodland-Davis surface water project argue that it is necessary because, over time, the deep aquifer will be depleted or it will become degraded. No one knows when or if this will occur, and there are many indications that we will have time to explore a more cost-effective project and slowly build a fund from future development and our existing ratepayers to pay for the project.

The Brown and Caldwell Engineers Phase II Deep Aquifer Study of July 2005 that was commissioned by the city acknowledged that: “Because the average water levels in deep wells do not appear to be decreasing over time, recharge is in approximate equilibrium with extractions from the deep aquifer.

“The positive conclusions in this study have been the high apparent sustainable yield of the E-lower sand sequence and the existence of good producing deposits throughout the deep aquifer, even in East Davis. The fact that water levels in deep and intermediate wells rebound seasonally indicates that recharge is currently adequate to offset pumping.”

Rob Beggs of Brown Caldwell Engineers, who was invited by staff to address the Water Advisory Committee, said they studied a sample of the city’s deep wells. He said the wells seemed healthy and were replenishing, that he saw no sustainability problems “at current levels of usage” and that the deep aquifer appeared to be well-isolated from contamination.

The good news is that, because conservation continues to increase and the city is planning to re-pipe its municipal irrigation from the intermediate aquifer, we should be able to remain at or below current levels of use.

Graham Fogg, one of the leading proponents of the surface water projects, wrote in October 2011 that in Davis, “the groundwater levels appear to be recovering more or less fully every year following the dry season, indicating it is not yet in overdraft with respect to water quantity.” He further stated, “The changes in groundwater quality will not be sudden, but will likely continue on a decades to centuries time scale.”

No one knows how much water is available in the deep aquifer. However, we do know that the demand for water will increase with population growth and growth on the UC Davis campus. We need to plan over time for this need. There are two immediate steps that we can take:

* The city should further implement the water-saving practices that the public has adopted since water meters were first installed. The city needs to provide financial incentives for low-water-use landscaping, low-water-use home fixtures and low-water-use monthly bills. The city needs to prepare peak control programs, such as alternate watering days. The city, just like the public, needs to monitor and report its bi-monthly water use for its total operations.

* The city should implement a water reuse plan for irrigation purposes. The city should further use intermediate wells for park, school district and greenbelt irrigation. These measures will drastically reduce the amount of fully treated water used within the city and the amount of effluent to be treated.

I support enhancing our water quality and water supply with surface water. With the growth of the city, these measures eventually will be necessary. However, we need to collect the money over a period of time. New developments need to pay toward a water treatment project. Some rates should be collected over a period of time from existing ratepayers to pay for the water treatment plant in the future. The huge proposed rate increases at this time could place many of the Davis ratepayers in grave financial stress.

— Ali Ghorbanzadeh is an engineer who lives in El Macero.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Somewhere, over the rainbow

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1

     
    More homes for sale in Davis, at higher prices

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Girls sleep safely at Myanmar school, thanks to generous Davisites

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis teen succumbs to head injuries

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

    Police seek suspect in Woodland robbery spree

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Poppenga files to run for Davis school board

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Federal appeals court deals blow to health law

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Driver dies in rural crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Appeals panel upholds race in admissions for UT Austin

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A3

     
    Parents’ Night Out planned Friday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Saylor welcomes visitors at ‘office hours’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Summer produce, yummy treats featured at Sutter market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

     
    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explore the night sky at Tuleyome Astronomy Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Tickets on sale now for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A5

    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Korean teenagers welcome us with open arms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Time to support people with disabilities

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Shame on the Palestinians

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

     
    Kimble left a swimming legacy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Any treasures at The Cannery?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

     
    Questions about city revenue

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

    John Cole cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    Son-in-law has them worried

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Not up for full-time caregiving

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Yolo Post 77 looks to avenge last year’s outcome

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Thompson shines as Republic falls

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    River Cats overpower Chihuahuas

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Area sports briefs: Heintz returns to UCD

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    MLB roundup: Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Winters Fourth Friday Feast celebrates cycling

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Lincoln Highway rolls into Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Acme Theatre to present ‘The Rememberer’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Video highlights walking The Camino

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    ‘Grease’ is the show at WOH

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7