Tuesday, January 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Water rate consultant will determine impact of UCD’s participation in surface water project

By
From page A1 | July 24, 2014 |

With UC Davis’ announcement last week that it would join the Woodland-Davis surface water project, Davis’ water rates are once again up in the air.

The city’s water rate consultant, Bartle Wells, will determine the potential impact of the university’s contribution in time for a planned public hearing at the Davis City Council’s Sept. 16 meeting.

UCD will contribute $20 million to the project in return for 6 percent of the total water. An estimated 30 million gallons per day will be siphoned from the Sacramento River, treated and piped to Woodland, Davis and UC Davis.

The university’s share will be 1.8 million gallons per day, all coming from Davis’ allocation of 12 million gallons per day. Woodland will receive the other 18 million gallons per day.

UCD’s financial contribution is expected to reduce Davis’ costs by $11 million and Woodland’s by $1.2 million.

Herb Niederberger, general manager of utilities, development and operations for the city of Davis, warned that the university’s decision to join the water project would not necessarily lower Davis’ proposed water rates.

“When you take 11 million dollars and start stretching it, it might represent a dime less in your water bill,” Niederberger said. “It may or may not represent itself in a tangible rate decrease.”

The city will move forward with the planned Proposition 218 process for the water rates approved earlier this month by the Davis City Council. Those rates are composed of 13 percent for fixed charges and 87 percent for variable, gallon-by-gallon costs.

The new rates were necessitated by the passage of Measure P on June 3, an initiative that threw out Davis’ controversial consumption-based fixed rate structure.

Davis property owners will receive Prop. 218 pamphlets in the mail in early August, detailing the proposed rate structure. Those who object can send in their votes of protest; those who agree do not need to do anything. The results will be announced at the Sept. 16 meeting.

The university’s participation in the project will leave the city 1.8 million gallons per day short of the 12 million mgd that the Davis Water Advisory Committee recommended in 2012. However, the university’s demand peaks during the school year, when the city’s water needs typically fall. Summer is the peak usage time for Davis residents.

“We probably wouldn’t need it right away,” Niederberger said of the university’s share of the water.

The city has three opportunities to make up the potential water shortage:

* Switch park irrigation systems to non-potable water, which would ease demand on city drinking wells. This option already has been considered for three parks, but Niederberger said more could become involved;

* Increase aquifer storage and recovery — during winters, the city would pump surface water underground to increase deep water well reserves. The city has five deep wells, and has drilled but not equipped a sixth, Well 34; and

* Ask tenants of the proposed Davis innovation center, wherever it is built, to rely on purified wastewater instead of well or surface water. This is the least likely option, Niederberger said.

Additionally, the city could focus on expanding conservation efforts, reducing or removing entirely a need for the water used by the university. The city has not yet fully explored the financial costs of any of the mitigation options.

Construction already has begun on the water treatment plant in Woodland, and pipelines to Davis and the university will be installed next year. The project should provide surface water to all parties by September 2016.

After the Sept. 16 hearing, the water rates will be read again at the council’s Sept. 30 meeting, Niederberger said. If the council adopts the rates, they will take effect on Nov. 1.

— Reach Elizabeth Case at ecase@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow her on Twitter at @elizabeth_case

Comments

comments

Elizabeth Case

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Crash leads to DUI, hit-run arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Senate Dems block GOP effort to wind down pipeline debate

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    New-home sales jump 11.6% in December

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Blizzard howls its way into Boston

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    A winemaker’s downfall

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Wife’s attitude costs her friends

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    It’s foggy? Turn on your headlights

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Damage done to democracy

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: Can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Arts

    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

     
    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Death notice: Lorraine Bernice DeGraff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7