Friday, November 28, 2014

Bob Dunning: Water, water everywhere, at what cost?


From page A2 | July 01, 2014 |

IN SEARCH OF A RATE … although we heard for months that the world would end and we’d likely owe Woodland $50 million if Measure P passed and our water rates were rolled back to pre-May 2013 levels, the city of Davis is still standing … no, we haven’t defaulted on the water project and we haven’t yet had to convince UC Davis to sell the Mondavi Center and ship the profits to Woodland …

Suddenly, in fact, we learned that if we institute new and improved rates by October, the world as we know it will not end after all … tonight may be the night we finally get a rate structure … then again, the council seems completely fractured now that the dreaded CBFR has been buried under six feet of concrete … additionally, no one knows for sure which way council newcomer Robb Davis is leaning on the Great Rate Debate …

Stay tuned, and don’t plant that cactus garden just yet … things are about to get very interesting …

WORDS FROM THE WISE … my friend John writes to inform me that “Our illustrious leaders are on a nationwide search for water rates.” … you have that right, John … “It seems to me that a simple solution would be to drive 12 miles north and talk to the uneducated masses in Woodland and find out about their new water rates.” … I’ve proposed the same thing myself, my friend … “I may be wrong, but I haven’t heard any yelling and screaming from the people to the north about their water rates.” …

True, true, but when Woodland passed its new rates and sent out the required Prop. 218 “protest” notices, most Woodlanders thought it was a summons for jury duty and just ignored it …

MAD AS HELL … my friend Sue, who was a strong supporter of Measure P, writes to say that “after picking the worst rate structure and having it repealed by initiative,” the council is “on the verge of picking the second worst rate structure.” … well, we shall see what we shall see … Sue adds that the council is “obsessing that we are losing $100,000 a month in water rate revenue. So what? Aren’t they the same guys who, without blinking an eye, voted to authorize ‘borrowing’ $600,000 from our wastewater fund for a pie-in-the-sky municipal utility ‘study’ that could never be repaid?” … pretty much the same bunch, indeed, although a new player will be coming into the game tonight …

TEARS FOR TIERS … while the city has in the past employed a “tiered” structure to punish those households who exceed certain usage limits each month, there is a misconception that without tiers so-called “high” water users will not be paying more for water than the rest of us … nothing could be further from the truth … let’s say water costs $5 per ccf without tiers … a low-use household that consumes two ccf per month will pay $10 … a high-use household that consumes 30 ccf per month will pay $150 … the high-use household is paying 15 times as much as the low-use household for a month’s worth of water … which is as it should be, given that the one is using 15 times more water than the other … it appears the City Council is wary of tiers, but we’ll know a lot more about that when the water wars resume tonight …

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE … yes, it’s official, you can now water your lawn without fear you’ll be paying six times as much for summer use as winter use … it’s also true you will no longer be required to pay for your summer 2014 water use each and every month until December of 2015 … it’s all dead and gone, never to see the light of day again …

DEBUNKING THE MYTH … without any research at all, officialdom in this town assumes that all “low” water users are poor folks living on a fixed income, and all “high” water users are rich folks watering the gutter day and night just because they can … the truth of the matter is that most “low” use households have only one or two residents without regard for income, and most “high” use households have seven or eight or nine residents — counting Grandma and Aunt Mary — as they try to deal with the high cost of housing in Davis … tiers punish “high” users without regard for household size or income level … hopefully our current council is progressive enough to give such rates a decent burial …

— Reach Bob Dunning at





Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Looking for the gift of life

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Horse owners needed for online survey

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Locals come through for families in need

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Travel the world at Logos Books

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Dormant-season pruning tips offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Shakespeare folio discovered in France

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Students come together for sustainability

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Workshop will answer financial aid questions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9



Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

By Our View | From Page: A6

Many thanks for a great benefit

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

It all started at the bookstore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

What can we do to help?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

What if we really need it?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Seahawks shut down San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery





‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11



Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery



John Walter Neves Jr.

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B3

Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: A10