Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: A Davis dilemma: conservation vs. cheap water

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | July 18, 2014 |

GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT … generally, in times of shortage for a particular commodity, the price of that commodity rises, sometimes dramatically … however, in the wild and wonderful world of Davis water rates, just the opposite is true … at least for the next few months …

Indeed, even as the governor has called for a 20 percent statewide reduction in our water use, and the state Water Board is threatening water wasters with a $500 fine, and we remain in the throes of a drought of biblical proportions, water rates in Davis have plunged … at least temporarily … yes, thanks to the passage of Measure P last month, Davisites will now pay just $1.50 per ccf, with the rate rising to $1.90 per ccf when the household uses more than 18 ccf per month …

In today’s bone-dry climate, those are bargain-basement, fire-sale rates that will not come around again in anyone’s lifetime … even Noah would be happy floating his ark at those rates … in other words, the local cardiologist is warning us all to cut down our consumption of red meat just as the meat market has lowered the price of prime cut ribeye steaks to 59 cents a pound …

Will Davisites really be able to conserve during the long hot summer with water rates at $1.50 per ccf or will they wait until Nov. 1 when the rates are likely to nearly double? … human nature being what it is, I’m betting on the latter …

SPEAKING OF RATES … by 2019, when water rates reach a whopping five bucks per ccf, Davis is likely to look more like a town in the Mojave Desert than a once-green town that cherished its beautiful lawns and mature trees … there is justifiable concern that those rates will drive some folks out of business, or at least out of town … safe to say, had the Davis City Council had the courage to put those specific rates on the ballot along with the surface water project in March of 2013, both the rates and the project would have failed …

EVEN MORE RATE CONCERNS … unfortunately, Proposition 218 forbids giving low-income households a break on their water bills, but it doesn’t prevent the city of Davis from devising other ways to help those who may have trouble paying for the water they use … the city already has a modest plan in place to the tune of $10 a month in aid to those requesting it, but it would be easy to include a place on our water bills to voluntarily add a few dollars to a fund to specifically address this problem … I’m sure many of the citizens in this fine town would be happy to contribute …

WE DOTH PROTESTETH ENOUGH … true, the city still has to go through a cumbersome Proposition 218 protest procedure before it can force any new rate structure on the town, but a cease-fire has been declared by all sides in the Water War and any protest movement will quickly fizzle and die … with approximately 8,000 formal protests necessary to overturn the new rates, this town won’t generate even 5 percent of that … the water project and the sky-high rates that come with it are both here to stay … water your plants at your own risk … or at least when no one’s looking …

A SOLUTION IS AT HAND … later this summer I plan to tow a backhoe to the Oregon side of the Columbia River, then dig a trench along Interstate 5 to bring all that fresh water directly to my parched front lawn … I will be more than happy to share the water with anyone willing to kick in for gas money …

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

Comments

comments

.

News

A pot o’ gold for Rainbow City revival

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marsh trial guilt phase enters home stretch

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
New water rates take effect in November

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
Three women stuck in Putah Creek while paddleboarding

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

Bob Dunning: News about our modest college town

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

 
Crews battle wildfire’s explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Weakened Odile heads toward U.S.; tourists evacuated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Senior Center to host jewelry sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

Time to go get help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics