As Davis residents anxiously await the ballots for the Measure I special election scheduled for March 5th, we should carefully consider both the good and bad features of the Woodland/Davis Water Surface Project. Early projections have Measure I passing handily with voters. It’s human nature and common sense to want the best water money can buy. Proponents of Measure I, certainly feel this project is necessary and cost-effective, whereas the opponents would suggest the proposal is unfair and too costly.
The $113 million project, which will pump treated water from the Sacramento River to Davis and Woodland to largely replace each city’s reliance on deteriorating well water supplies, needs a majority endorsement from the voting public in order for the measure to pass.
Let’s look at some of the valid concerns from the opposition or the Citizens for Clean, Reliable and Affordable Water. The cost will be astronomical. It’s estimated that single-family water bills will triple within 5 years, real numbers are not known, that number could increase. Not only is everything else in Davis costly, but our water bills will be among the most expensive water rates statewide. Might this create an environment where only the privileged or well to do can reside in our small town.
The question of fairness also has to be examined with Davis rate payers paying 30% more per gallon than our Woodland partners. Is this equitable and fair? Why was this discrepancy agreed upon in the first place? Why should my bill be more than my Woodland neighbors that gets water from the same source that Davis does?
Many would argue that our current water supply with the deep aquifer wells has improved our water quality in terms of hardness and we currently meet all projected water quality standards. Have citizens of Woodland and Davis, who will ultimately decide the fate of Measure I been given any less expensive alternatives for consideration? When this proposal is voted on and ultimately passes, there’s no turning back. We have to accept the good and the bad that surely comes with our vote.
Early polling has Measure I passing with well over 70% in agreement with the Surface Water Project. Even with the overwhelming support, there are still many concerns that each community should have. In order for the city to move ahead with the project, the city must pass higher water rates it needs in order to finance the capital infrastructure cost. Proposition 218 notices ( a state requirement) will be sent to property owners next week that will inform them of the rate increases. If more than half of the 16,000 property owners in Davis file a written protest, the increased rates are thrown out.
Accompanying each mail in ballot will be arguments and rebuttals for and against Measure I. Even though most minds are made up by now, everyone should weigh the consequences and look at both the pros and cons of this proposal before submitting their ballot. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.