Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bob Dunning: Is $100 worth filling out this survey?

BobDunning2W

By
From page A2 | May 02, 2013 | 1 Comment

No, it’s not Powerball, but the city we all love is offering a chance to win serious money to anyone willing to fill out the intensive and extensive “City of Davis 2013 Residential Water Use Survey” that arrived in most of our mailboxes one day last month. Unfortunately,

I didn’t get around to reading it until yesterday, so maybe the contest is already over and I’m no longer eligible to win the top prize.
The survey, which runs to four full pages and involves several dozen detailed questions, is costing the city in excess of $100,000 – or about the cost of your average East Davis starter home with indoor plumbing.

Although it is a seemingly mindless multiple-choice survey, some of the questions have as many as 10 possible answers, which is why the city is offering the chance at big money so people don’t get bogged down halfway through and give up the ghost.

If you have most of a Sunday afternoon to fill this thing out, have at it, but if you don’t, not to worry. It just means I’ll have a better chance to take home the bacon.

OK, enough talk about money. Here’s the deal. If you respond to the survey — again, I don’t know if the deadline has passed — you’ll be “entered into a drawing for $100,” or about what your monthly water bill will look like in a couple of years.

“Complete and return this paper survey in the provided envelope,” the city advises, “or better yet, respond online and we’ll double your chances of drawing the $100.”

I think I’d rather have one chance at $200 than two chances at $100, but either way this seems incredibly unfair to those citizens who are technologically challenged and still do all their corresponding using paper, pen, envelope and a 46-cent stamp.

“If you’re short on time, please answer just the first four questions,” the city adds, without revealing whether or not filling out just the first four questions will still qualify you for the big cash prize.

No matter, because as a civic-minded individual who could use a 100-item shopping spree at the Dollar Tree, I plan to fill out every question available in triplicate.

But first, the city promises on a stack of Bibles that “All information you provide will be confidential.”

Unless Mr. Goofy Gadfly files a freedom of information lawsuit and demands all correspondence between you and the city of Davis. Then you’re toast.

“Do you water your yard?” the city wants to know. The choices are simple: “1. Yes, year-round; 2. Yes, but not in winter; 3. No, I don’t have a yard; 4. No, I don’t water my yard; 5. Yes, unpredictably.”

I think No. 5 fits me best. Sometimes you’ll catch me in the back yard at 3 in the morning, watering everything by hand. I especially like to water the yard in the middle of a thunderstorm. I find it’s best to keep the lawn guessing.

“In summer, approximately how many gallons of water per day would you guess your household uses?”

Now wait a minute, you’re the ones who hired that guy who rides around on his bicycle reading my water meter every other month with his magic wand. Why don’t you ask him? He certainly knows much more about my daily water usage than I do.

“To what extent do you agree or disagree that the City of Davis makes it easy for you to save money on your water bill?”

You’re kidding, right? Are you truly not aware that the City Council just unanimously instituted a water rate so complicated that even Bill Gates’ attorney can’t figure it out?

“Do you agree or disagree with the following statements — I’m interested in spending less on my water bills.”

Um, well, actually I’m interested in spending more on my water bills to help the city pay off that massive $113 million water project.

“How many toilets do you have in your home?”

Working toilets or just toilets?

“Of these toilets, how many use 1.6 gallons of water per flush (gpf) or less?”

Now you’re getting personal. My gpf is an intensely private matter between me, my God and my parish priest. The city has no business sticking its nose into my toilet.

“How do you water your yard: 1. Timer-based irrigation controller; 2. Manual sprinkler system; 3. Overhead sprinklers; 4. Hand-held hose; 5. Weather-based irrigation controller; 6. Drip irrigation; 7. Underground irrigation.”

Actually, I do all my outdoor watering with my neighbor’s garden hose when he’s out of town or on vacation. I find it’s much, much cheaper than using my own hose.

But if I win the $100, I do plan to take him along with me to the Dollar Tree and let him pick out something really nice for his family.

— Reach Bob Dunning at bdunning@davisenterprise.net

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

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

.

News

Going green at church, school, everywhere

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

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 4 Comments

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

In search of great ideas

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

 
Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20