Wednesday, July 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Let our legacy be clean water

By
From page A8 | February 12, 2013 |

By Lois Wolk

The city of Davis’ water policies have been extraordinarily consistent for several generations. Supported by all City Councils and city managers, the policies have been to:

* Protect the drinking water supply;
* Reduce our reliance on groundwater through diversifying the supply and conservation; and
* Recognize our role as a discharger of wastewater into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by improving our environmental efforts related to water.

This water policy reflects who we are — a medium-sized city, 100 percent dependent on groundwater, surrounded by agriculture, on the northern edge of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta.

Consistent with this policy, past councils have metered all water connections, including highly controversial retrofitting all existing homes and businesses. Councils have raised rates to deal both with sewage treatment and the increased pumping and treatment of the groundwater. Councils have encouraged conservation through rebates for higher water use efficiency. Councils have reduced pollutants into the groundwater from landscaping and other uses into the sewer systems. Councils have spent 20 years in a successful effort to secure surface water rights from the Sacramento River to mix with deteriorating ground water.

These actions, particularly when they were accompanied by rate increases over time, were not easy; some were very controversial.

Here is what we know in 2013.

We know the quality of our water, 100 percent groundwater from wells, is deteriorating. Most people don’t drink it. We have learned that the delta is dying due to the pollutants from all of us, cities and agriculture together. We know our infrastructure — the pipes, wells and water mains — is crumbling. We know that we have to treat all wells now for pollutants, a clear change since 1990.

We know we have dug deeper wells, and the deeper we go, the less certain we can be about quality and quantity over time or how or when deep wells actually recharge. We know that the only alternative to diversifying our groundwater with surface water would be refusing to uphold the federal Clean Water Act and other state and federal laws and worse, continuing to mine the groundwater still further.

We have lived off of the groundwater, sewage treatment plant, pipes, mains and wells of the past generations. It’s time to reinvest in our public water system.

We are not alone. The cities around us — Vacaville, Sacramento, Fairfield, Stockton and many more — already have acted and raised rates and built or expanded plants. Our rates, once adjusted, will be in the average of these communities, some of which are much less able to afford rate increases than we are. And we are fortunate to have a partner in Woodland, a city our size that is 100 percent groundwater-dependent, surrounded by farmland, emptying into the delta.

This City Council has been unique in its efforts to address the water issues, and confront the difficult choices. It has done so in a consensus fashion, open to all. The council and the capable Water Advisory Committee have reviewed the complexity of water policy, and suggested a fair path to us. It is the right path. It is the smart path. And it is the best path.

The public investment is what we must make, all of us, to keep this community a desirable one. No less than schools, parks and safety, clean water and sewage treatment are part of what we elect the City Council to do and expect local government to do. We also expect our city government to be good stewards of our region, of the delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Western Hemisphere.

We owe it to future generations to give them what we know is a necessary legacy — clean and reliable water. Our promise must be that their Davis will not be less than ours has been.

Please vote yes on Measure I.

— Lois Wolk represents Davis in the California Senate and has been a member of the California Assembly, the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and the Davis City Council.

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

.

News

 
Second Mellon grant supports Mondavi events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
One hundred years at the State Fair for local shorthorn cow herd

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Police arrest suspect in robbery spree

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Madhavi Sunder joins Davis school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Grandparents support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

Exchange program seeks host families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quaff a beer and watch the bats

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

They’re pickier than she is

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
U.S. is complicit in attack

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Extinguish extremism for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
With profound gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Someday, there will be peace

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants outlast Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats nip dogs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A’s fall in extra innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

.

Features

Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Arts

Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

 
Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6