What Is the Purpose of the WAC?

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water-rate-iconBy Matt Williams

The first question about meeting number 4 of the Water Advisory Committee has to be, “What were the Neilsen Ratings?”  Thanks to the key decision from the last WAC meeting. There actually was a broadcast to watch.

Did you watch?  If you didn’t, will you use the City of Davis website to watch the archived video of the meeting?  Hopefully, the answer to at least one of those two questions is “Yes.”  If you do watch, the following Agenda (available at http://cityofdavis.org/meetings/water-advisory/Water_Advisory_Committee_Agenda_02-09-12.pdf) will be useful:

1.                Call to Order and Roll Call

2.                Approval of Agenda

3.                Approval of Minutes from January 26, 2012 WAC meeting

4.                Public Comment (The public may comment at this time on any item not on the agenda.)

5.                (60 min) Scope of Work for Rate Study (Dianna Jensen from City Staff)

6.                (60 min) Wastewater Regulatory Requirements and the Surface Water Connection – a Discussion of Wastewater Effluent Water Quality Objectives (Michael Lindquist and Stan Gryczko from City staff)

7.                (10 min) Special Meetings, Length of Meetings, and Functions of the Committee as stated in the Council Resolution

8.                (20 min) Long Range Calendar

9.                Adjourn Meeting

The most important, and most actively discussed item of the meeting was Item 7 where the WAC tried to bring some clarity to what the boundaries are for its activities, votes and recommendations to Council.  As noted in the Staff Report for this item:

“At the January 26th meeting of the Water Advisory Committee members voiced concerns about the amount of material being disseminated, and the short amount of time this committee has to process the information. Discussion included: extending the length of the meeting; adding workshop meetings on specific topics requiring more detail; and skipping the presentation portion of the items and going straight to questions. There was also discussion about the need for clarification of the committee’s charge.

With respect to clarifying the charge of the committee, the Staff Report for Item 7 included the following purpose and functions as outlined in the resolution passed by City Council when it created the WAC on December 20th.

PURPOSE

The Water Advisory Committee is to advise the City Council on the City’s water rates, water conservation assumptions and programs, and related water matters as directed by the City Council.

FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMITTEE The Water Advisory Committee shall have the responsibilities as provided in this section and such other duties as the Council may, from time to time, decide:

a. To recommend annual adjustments to the City’s water rates after careful review of the facts and key information pertaining to the City’s water system and infrastructure as required in the rate setting process.

b. To consider costs associated with providing water service that include, but are not limited to: operations and maintenance, repair and replacement, large capital projects, debt service payments and reserve requirements, water fund reserves, customer water demand forecasts and water conservation assumptions, water conservation programs, financing options, utility billing issues, customer notification, and regulatory compliance.

c. To consider both short and long term factors and consequences when recommending annual adjustments to the City’s water rates.

d. To advise Council about the trade-offs of one year versus multi-year water rate policy.

e. To consider the water rates and rate structures of other communities as warranted for providing sound recommendations to the Council.

f. To review information pertaining to the Davis-Woodland Water Supply Project as it pertains to accomplishing the Committee’s mission, or as requested by the Council.

It will come as no surprise to anyone who follows Davis political matters, there were highly divergent opinions about just how broad a mandate Council had given the WAC.  “The Water Advisory Committee is to advise the City Council on the City’s water rates, water conservation assumptions and programs, and related water matters as directed by the City Council.” means something very different if the all the words after the word “rates” are modifiers of the expression “water rates,” and something very different if all those words are co equals with the expression “water rates.”

You wouldn’t be reading The Vanguard if you don’t have an opinion about why Council created the WAC.  Where do you stand on the following questions?

  • Do you believe that the WAC’s Purpose is reviewing rates and only rates?  Or do you believe Council wanted (wants) the WAC to revisit the WDCWA’s decision to pursue a Surface Water Project rather than another alternative?
  • Do you believe that the WAC’s Purpose is reviewing rates and only rates?  Or do you believe Council wanted (wants) the WAC to revisit the WDCWA’s decision to choose the DBO (Design Build Operate) method for constructing all the JPA facilities rather than another alternative?
  • Do you believe that the WAC should make up its own mind about the above questions, or should a Council Checkpoint regarding the proposed questions be performed?

Those are the questions the WAC ultimately answered before adjourning.  The discussion was lively, but in the end the WAC voted almost unanimously that 1) a Council Checkpoint should be completed as part of the next Council meeting on February 21st, so that the WAC can have Council’s response from the Checkpoint at the next WAC meeting on February 23rd, 2) report to Council that the WAC believes that the answer to the first and second questions above are that the WAC is not just about reviewing rates, and will make a recommendation to Council about whether the Surface Water Project or some other alternative is the best direction for Davis, and 3) report to Council that the WAC believes that the answer to the third and fourth questions above are that the WAC is not just about reviewing rates, and will make a recommendation to Council about whether DBO or some other project bidding/management alternative is the best direction for Davis.

Bottom-line, the WAC made a clear statement that simply looking at rates would be a disservice to the citizens of Davis and to the members of City Council.  It will be interesting to see if Council confirms that statement on Tuesday.

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About The Author

Matt Williams has been a resident of Davis/El Macero since 1998. Matt is a past member of the City's Utilities Commission, as well as a former Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), former member of the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC), former member of the Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF), as well as Treasurer of Davis Community Network (DCN). He is a past Treasurer of the Senior Citizens of Davis, and past member of the Finance Committee of the Davis Art Center, the Editorial Board of the Davis Vanguard, Yolo County's South Davis General Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, the Davis School District's 7-11 Committee for Nugget Fields, the Yolo County Health Council and the City of Davis Water Advisory Committee and Natural Resources Commission. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University and his MBA is from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He spent over 30 years planning, developing, delivering and leading bottom-line focused strategies in the management of healthcare practice, healthcare finance, and healthcare technology, as well municipal finance.

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52 thoughts on “What Is the Purpose of the WAC?”

  1. SODA

    Are the meetings replayed on channel 16 as the CC and PC mtgs are?
    I was giving a presentation myself last night and couldn’t watch.
    I predict the CC discussion will be lively on the question from WAC too.
    Although I agree with a wide scope, it will be more challenging and tax the lay folks and ?? take much longer?

  2. Matt Williams

    SODA, I don’t know the answer to that question; however, I do know that the meetings are archived on the City website on the Streaming Video page. The link to that page is [url]http://cityofdavis.org/media/[/url].

    Right now there are links for the audio for the 1/12 and 1/26 meetings. Later today the link to the video for last night’s meeting should be added as well. So you can watch right on your computer.

    To can also get to the Streaming Video page by opening [url]http://www.cityofdavis.org/[/url] and then scrolling down to the Quick Links section in the bottom center of the screen and clicking on the Streaming Video link.

  3. SODA

    Thx Matt. I have an iPad and tried to get streaming CC Tuesday night when I was out of town. Could not. Real player did not work for me. Anyone know how this an be done on iPad. I appreciate a solution for future!

  4. E Roberts Musser

    Water Advisory Committee meetings are televised on City of Davis Gov’t Channel 16 (cable) and AT&T U-Verse CH. 99 (select “Davis Community Channels” and then select the City Gov’t Channel). They will be replayed at the following schedule: Sunday at 4 pm and Monday at 7 pm.

  5. Michael Harrington

    Matt, nice article today. Is the WAC charged with studying the need for a surface water plant in the first instance?

    We are preparing a city initiative that will set up a process for independent review of the ground water well system, among other things. The initiative will not take a position on the surface water project.

    It’ll be a “good government” thing, and hopefully not partisan. I think the public will like it and overwhelmingly approve on the November ballot.

    We are probably going to require the City to set up a permanent Public Utilities Commission, but not sure if separately elected, or appointed like the Planning Commission.

    I do have substantial issues with the WAC having two voting members that clearly have substantial financial conflicts of interest: West, and Boeshkin. How’d they get on there? These two are obvious; I have not had time to look at the others.

  6. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Is the WAC charged with studying the need for a surface water plant in the first instance? [/quote]

    Why don’t you try tuning in and listening. You might learn something…

  7. Michael Harrington

    ERM: I looked at Matt’s excellent article, and that is not listed or even discussed.

    The person I mentioned is running the banner at at the end of this page: Steve Boschken. (Sorry, I mispelled while rushing.)

    Boschken has land just outside the Davis bordres that needs this surface water plant to provide the water supply that will satisfy state law for any kind of upzoning for urban development.

    ERM: look at the water usage map for the plant.

  8. hpierce

    [quote]There is no one named “Boeshkin” on the WAC[/quote]Uncharacteristically petty, Elaine… you know he meant Steve….. I think he (Steve) will serve well, given his mandatory reporting of possible economic conflicts. From mty experience, he is a very minor player in local development projects.

  9. Michael Harrington

    hpierce: Steve is a minor player? He is the King Pin for the hundreds of acres just west and north of Sutter Hospital, aka Northwest Quadrant. Go check out the land maps. His land is probably by far the most valuable per square foot of anything within 5 miles of Davis.

    Steve: dispute me if you want. I’ll post the maps and ownerships. I think you should recuse yourself from the WAC, and attend as a member of the public. You can get your oar in the water that way, without the controvery, for your needed surface water plant.

    ERM: What about West?

  10. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]ERM: I looked at Matt’s excellent article, and that is not listed or even discussed. [/quote]

    The answer to your question is right in Matt’s article:
    [quote]2) report to Council that the WAC believes that the answer to the first and second questions above are that the WAC is not just about reviewing rates, and will make a recommendation to Council about whether the Surface Water Project or some other alternative is the best direction for Davis[/quote]

  11. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Boschken has land just outside the Davis bordres that needs this surface water plant to provide the water supply that will satisfy state law for any kind of upzoning for urban development. [/quote]

    I refer to you hpierce’s comment:
    [quote]I think he (Steve) will serve well, given his mandatory reporting of possible economic conflicts. [/quote]
    Mr. Boschkin filled out a conflict of interest form just like everyone else on the WAC.

  12. Michael Harrington

    Everyone: by my comments, I am just pointing out the conflicts, as a form of good government. It’s not personal. The CC and staff should have not allowed these two, and maybe more, on the WAC.

    Speaking of staff: City Engineer Jensen is staffing the WAC, yet she was part and parcel of the planning and rate debacle that set up the CC and new City Manager for the circus that occurred on Sept 6th. WHy is she staffing the WAC? She and all of the water staff that set up Sept 6th should not be associated with the WAC.

    Also, she is the one who set up the hugely expensive well # 32 in South Davis, when in fact the chromium filtration was not needed. Just change the location of the bottom of the bottom so it draws water from another rock strata that does not have the undesired minerals. Her incorrect well analysis is the main justification for shutting down many of the current wells.

    Why is she briefing the WAC?

  13. Don Shor

    Michael, you don’t have the slightest qualifications for discussing geology or hydrology. If you are repeating something someone else told you, please cite your source.

    [i]Her incorrect well analysis is the main justification for shutting down many of the current wells. [/i]
    That is complete, total, unadulterated nonsense.

  14. Don Shor

    Chromium statement from the city’s web site: [url]http://cityofdavis.org/pw/water/Chromium.cfm[/url]

    Boron warning from the city web site:[url]http://cityofdavis.org/pw/water/boron.cfm[/url]. Pregnant women are advised not to drink the water.
    Note that boron is higher in the deeper well, overall, than in the intermediate wells.

  15. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”I do have substantial issues with the WAC having two voting members that clearly have substantial financial conflicts of interest: West, and Boeshkin. How’d they get on there? These two are obvious; I have not had time to look at the others.”[/i]

    Mike, sometimes I wish you would take a moment to do a little due diligence before you post. On the City’s WAC page [url]http://cityofdavis.org/meetings/agenda.cfm?c=40[/url] there is a link for Water Advisory Committee Member Biographies. If you click on that link you get all the WAC member biographies. Can you please tell me what it is about Jim West’s background that you object to? I don’t see any conflict of interest there at all. Am I missing something?

    [i]G. James “Jim” West

    I have been a resident of Davis for almost 40 years. My wife Katherine, a former Yolo County Social Worker, and I live in a passive solar home that we designed and had built. After 25 years as the Bureau of Reclamation’s Regional Archeologist, I retired and currently am a partner in Farris, West & Schulz as a consulting archeologist/palynologist. While with the Bureau of Reclamation I was involved with numerous water resource issues in California, Oregon, and Nevada. With Katherine I am a supporter of a number of social programs for the elderly and the handicapped. We also have an interest in and support local, regional, national and world-wide groups that are involved with environmental and land-use issues.[/i]

  16. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”Matt, nice article today. Is the WAC charged with studying the need for a surface water plant in the first instance? “[/i]

    Michael, perhaps I was too economical in my words. My own [u]personal opinion[/u] is that the WAC will clearly have to study the need in order to “report to Council that the WAC believes that the answer to the first and second questions above are that the WAC is not just about reviewing rates, and will make a recommendation to Council about whether the Surface Water Project or some other alternative is the best direction for Davis.”

  17. Herman

    When is the City Council going to make a final decision about whether its initiative on the November ballot will be binding or advisory? If not in the very near future, why not? Is the CC fudging and procrastinating on this for several reasons one could guess at?

  18. Don Shor

    Michael probably assumed that Jim West was part of West Yost Associates, the local engineering firm. West Yost is Bruce West and Jim Yost. A perfectly understandable error on Michael’s part.

  19. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”ERM: I looked at Matt’s excellent article, and that is not listed or even discussed.

    The person I mentioned is running the banner at at the end of this page: Steve Boschken. (Sorry, I mispelled while rushing.)

    Boschken has land just outside the Davis borders that needs this surface water plant to provide the water supply that will satisfy state law for any kind of upzoning for urban development.

    ERM: look at the water usage map for the plant.”[/i]

    Michael, as was forcefully pointed out by Rich Rifkin in comments about Measure J last week, virtually all the land in the Northwest Quadrant has its own independent sources of water from the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, so your statement that Mr. Boschken’s land “needs this surface water plant to provide the water supply that will satisfy state law for any kind of upzoning for urban development” is patently false. You should retract it.

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”hpierce: Steve is a minor player? He is the King Pin for the hundreds of acres just west and north of Sutter Hospital, aka Northwest Quadrant. Go check out the land maps. His land is probably by far the most valuable per square foot of anything within 5 miles of Davis.”[/i]

    Again Michael, a little due diligence on your part is in order. As a member of the Housing Element Steering Committee your memory should tell you Mr. Boschken’s land is 27 acres of a 211.9 acre parcel labeled H5 in the HESC documentation and available in Agenda Packet for the Steering Committee on August 23, 2007. The aggregation of those 212 acres by Staff in the HESC process was done by Staff for ease of HESC consideration. To the best of my knowledge the five parcels in that aggregation of convenience are separtately owned by the five distinct owners Lin – Boschken – Elliott – Schaal – Smith.

    Further, those 212 acres are only a part of the Northwest Quadrant. Al Smith’s heirs own 319.5 acres west of Stonegate, Yackzan and partners own 610.3 acres north of Covell and Parlin owns another 207.8 acres north of Covell just west of Sutter Davis Hospital. Some quick math says that Mr. Boschken’s 27 acres is only 2% of the 1,349.5 acres in the Northwest Quadrant. Only in the Occupy Movement is 2% invested with King Pin status.

  20. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Everyone: by my comments, I am just pointing out the conflicts, as a form of good government. It’s not personal. The CC and staff should have not allowed these two, and maybe more, on the WAC. [/quote]

    “Should have not allowed”? It is not YOUR choice to make… “pointing out conflicts as a form of good gov’t”? It would be nice if you would get your facts straight first before maligning people by name…

  21. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Speaking of staff: City Engineer Jensen is staffing the WAC, yet she was part and parcel of the planning and rate debacle that set up the CC and new City Manager for the circus that occurred on Sept 6th. WHy is she staffing the WAC? She and all of the water staff that set up Sept 6th should not be associated with the WAC. [/quote]

    The WAC sets its own agenda. Dianna Jensen has worked very well with us/is very diligent…

  22. Michael Harrington

    Jim v. Bruce West …. ooops! Sorry about that one. No relation, I suppose?

    ERM: You always think I am wrong. When are you going to admit you blew it with swallowing the fraudulent water rates?

    ERM: also, you and your friends (see some above) trashed me for claiming that the surface plant would suck more than $500 million from Woodland and Davis. I had at least two CC members trash me (but not by name) for the same reason. Well, guess what? The real number, by public documents, now approaches, if not excveeds, $600 million. Let me give all of you my home address for the apology cards ….

    Finally, as to the Well # 32 and Jensen, you shall see … I am not wrong.

    Anyone catch in yesterday’s DACHA thread how housing staff Danielle manipulated the 2006 audit? (See Luke’s post)

    Do you wonder why we are going to require a fresh, independent audit of the city’s well system?

    Cheers to all!

    Michael

  23. Don Shor

    [i]Finally, as to the Well # 32 and Jensen, you shall see … I am not wrong.
    [/i]
    Michael: no more unsubstantiated accusations against city staff, please. If you have proof, post it. If not, I am going to start removing those posts. Consider this your last warning.

  24. Michael Harrington

    Matt: Your analysis of the NW Quad: You do have stuff at your fingertips. Problem is, you dont fit the map with the politics/planning practicalities, and my comments above do that. I would not expect you to have the same information I have about it. I’m not publically analyzing it further; Steve can contact me directly if he disagrees with me. rest assured that Steve’s land out there makes him the King Pin of NW Quad Development. His land owning friends out there know what I am writing about; if they disagree, they have my email, or phone, or can post here.

    So far as the need for the surface water plant goes, why would anyone allow these big new parcels to dip down into the aquifers that our staffers and water gang consultants say is terrible, depleted, shrinking, going bad? You cannot have it both ways.

  25. Michael Harrington

    Yep, you can say you heard it here first: the exterior developers, including the Conagra owners, have a little dilemma: they really want that surface water plant, but they have to say that the well system is failing to make the case for the new plant. But to get in these new developments on the borders, they have to have water. They know they have the well water, like Matt said about the NW Quad, but if they say it, then they destroy the stated need for the surface plant. If they agree with staff that the wells are failing, then they place all of their bets on what has become a very suspicious and dubious project that may never see a yard of concrete poured. Dilemmas, dilemmas …

    Either way, the voters can stop their projects.

  26. Don Shor

    [i]why would anyone allow these big new parcels to dip down into the aquifers[/i]

    What makes you think that is what they would do? And, of course, they can’t possibly be developed without a vote of the public anyway.

  27. Michael Harrington

    Don wrote: “Finally, as to the Well # 32 and Jensen, you shall see … I am not wrong.

    “Michael: no more unsubstantiated accusations against city staff, please. If you have proof, post it. If not, I am going to start removing those posts. Consider this your last warning.”

    Don and David: I think the DV needs to recuse Don from his moderator status for the water articles. His frenetic posts in support of the project are well known, as well as his attempts to trash all of the referendum supporters and our efforts. Don: you are not objective on this one.

    I am entitled to my opinions here, like everyone else. If Jensen disagrees with me about the lack of technical need for the millions she spent on Well # 32, then she has my email or phone. Her technical friends can post, etc. etc.

    Her spirited advocacy for the surface water project is well known; I went to one of Mr. deBra’s staff led dog and pony shows last summer, and Jensen was the one who was right there at his side, making the pitch. She is not some disinterested staff member, and she should be conflicted off that WAC.

    She is part of the team that has falsely concluded that the well system must be replaced by the surface water plant, and should not be associated with further analysis going forward.

    SHe was part of the team that was recommending United Water and Vioale Water to us.

    I could go on and on …

    Don: recuse yourself.

    David: please take him off the water columns.

  28. Sue Greenwald

    [quote]Boron warning … Pregnant women are advised not to drink the water. Note that boron is higher in the deeper wells, overall, than in the intermediate wells.—[b]Don Shor[/b][/quote]Don, there are no drinking water regulations for boron for a very good reason. The vast majority of boron that we ingest comes from fruits and vegetables. Switching from well water to the planned mix of well water and surface water would decrease our daily intake of boron by a miniscule fraction.

    I am far more worried about the stuff coming out of the infamous Colusa drain right above our planned surface water intake than about the boron in the well water. If you know any water professionals, ask them what they think of water quality at the Colusa drain. Water from this site is not considered to be optimal.

    Too much of anything is bad for you. Ingesting too much water can and does kill people. [b]Again, the vast majority of our daily boron intake comes from fruits and vegetables[/b].

  29. Don Shor

    Sue, the boron warning is from the City of Davis web site:

    “Three of the Davis wells have concentrations of Boron that [b]exceed the notification level of 1000 parts per billion (ppb)[/b]. These concentrations are 1200 ppb (Well 15); 1100 ppb (Well 22); and 1000 ppb (Well 27).

    Groundwater that contains Boron is derived from the leaching of rocks and soils that contain borate or borosilicate minerals. Boron is not a regulated contaminant but [b]is considered a contaminant of concern.[/b] The high concentration of Boron in the Davis groundwater may have a detrimental impact on Boron sensitive plants. [b]The babies of some pregnant women who drink water containing Boron is excess of the notification level, 1000 parts per billion (ppb), may have an increased risk of developmental effects[/b], based on studies in laboratory animals.

    For more information contact the Davis Public Works Department at 530-757-5686 or visit our website at http://www.cityofdavis.org.”

  30. Sue Greenwald

    Don, the vast majority of boron that we ingest comes from fruits and vegetables. This is an irrational scare tactic. If we focused on river water, we would find far more dangerous things to worry about.

  31. Don Shor

    It is not a scare tactic, and it is not irrational. I am reporting the health warning that the city is required to post about the boron content of the water. It is there verbatim. Why is the city required to post a warning, if there is no validity? There are not, to my knowledge, any “far more dangerous things” in the river water. Is boron a serious health risk to the average person? No. But the notification level exists for a reason, and the specific precautions exist for a reason.

  32. Sue Greenwald

    Don, none of us have any idea how many warnings will be popping up on the river water, especially on river water from below the Colusa drain.

    River water is obviously more exposed and more contaminated and it is infinitely more expensive to treat because of that. Groundwater has merely been receiving far more scrutiny than river water in the last few years.

    The overwhelming percentage of boron that we ingest comes from fruits and vegetables. If some bureaucrat or regulator decides to issue vague warnings about boron in drinking water, for the sake of consistency they should post huge red warning signs over the fruit and vegetable bins at the supermarket. In fact, there is so much boron in fruits and vegetables that the supermarkets should make customers sign a release form at the check-out counter before they purchase the fruits and veggies.

  33. Don Shor

    For those who are interested in this topic, here is an overview of boron: [url]http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/boron.pdf[/url]
    The point has often been made that both groundwater and surface water are safe. Sue has often said (paraphrasing) that she considers the surface water riskier than the groundwater. We have a specific notice on the groundwater. I am unaware of any for surface water. Perhaps someone could see if such warnings have been issued for Sacramento or West Sacramento surface water.
    More to the point: boron is one of several constituents of our groundwater that are of concern regarding regulatory action. Boron, selenium, salinity, chromium, arsenic, etc. For each that is higher in the intermediate wells (e.g., selenium), there is one that is higher in the deeper wells (e.g., boron). It isn’t a matter of whether they will be regulated, it is a matter of when. And the surface water contains none of those constituents at levels that will ever be subject to regulations.

  34. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”Matt: Your analysis of the NW Quad: You do have stuff at your fingertips. Problem is, you don’t fit the map with the politics/planning practicalities, and my comments above do that.”[/i]

    Interesting comment Mike. Lets drill down into it a bit. Steve’s property is has no road frontage on either Covell or Road 99. The southern boundary of his property is over a quarter of a mile north of Covell. The west boundary is a quarter mile east of Road 99 with all of Dr. Elliot’s residential property in between. The eastern boundary is half a mile west of the CA 113 frontage road at the Water Tank. The northern boundary is over a mile south of Road 29. Bottom-line the parcel is the only land locked parcel in the whole Northwest Quadrant. All the other NW Quadrant parcels have frontage on the major arterial roads that traverse the Quadrant. What exactly are the planning/political practicalities you are referencing? They appear to be mythical to me.

    [i]”Rest assured that Steve’s land out there makes him the King Pin of NW Quad Development.”[/i]

    See above.

  35. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”So far as the need for the surface water plant goes, why would anyone allow these big new parcels to dip down into the aquifers that our staffers and water gang consultants say is terrible, depleted, shrinking, going bad? You cannot have it both ways.”[/i]

    Mike, the answer to that question is very easy. If the water is being sourced onsite for the big parcels, then the wastewater will also be handled onsite for those parcels in septic systems. As you know, septic systems do not discharge an effluent stream into California waterways. Therefore, the end-to-end governmental regulations they will be subject to are completely different from the ones the Davis and Woodland Wastewater Treatment Plants are subject to.

    You knew the answer to that question before you asked it. Were you being purposely obtuse when you asked the question?

  36. Matt Williams

    Sue Greenwald said . . .

    [i]”Don, none of us have any idea how many warnings will be popping up on the river water, especially on river water from below the Colusa drain.”[/i]

    [b]Sue, you are 100% WRONG in your statement above.[/b] We know EXACTLY how many warnings will be popping up on the river water. The reason for that is very simple. Currently, both the City of Sacramento and the City of West Sacramento draw water out of the river every minute of every day and closely monitor the condition of that water in order to comply with California and Federal regulations.

    Your statement above was irresponsible.

  37. Sue Greenwald

    [quote][b]@Matt Williams[/b][/quote]No Matt, I don’t agree. We have no idea what new regulations will come along for river water, or how expensive they will be to comply with.

  38. David M. Greenwald

    Sue: I have to side with Matt on this one. Your original statement implied that we did not know the contents and quality of the river water, your secondary statement shifts the debate from the contents and quality of the river water to uncertainty of future regulations.

  39. Mark West

    Matt: “Sue and Mike both have become very adept at shifting the debate.”

    The idea of a debate is to listen and respond to another point of view. Neither Michael or Sue seem interested in hearing anything other than their own voice. As I told my nephew the other night, you will learn far more with your ears and eyes than you will with your mouth.

  40. Adam Smith

    Sue,

    Perhaps the reason most folks get most of their boron from fruits and vegetables is because they don’t have to drink water with high concentrations of boron as we have in Davis.

    I did a quick look up of boron content of foods, and the amount of that food that would be required to reach maximum daily limit. Sue is correct that fruits and vegetables are the largest contributors of boron, but an adult would have to eat, each and every day, more than 15 lbs of bananas each day, or more than 22 lbs of apples, or more than 2 lbs of 2 lbs of dried fruits or nuts to reach the maximum daily intake. For those interested in facts about boron content and daily intake levels, check out this link[url]http://www.greenfacts.org/en/boron/toolboxes/2.htm[/url]

    I haven’t been able to find a reference which supports Sue’s statement that humans ingest most of the boron they take in from fruits and vegetables. But, perhaps the reason most folks get most of their boron from fruits and vegetables is because they don’t have to drink water with high concentrations of boron as we have in Davis.

    Let’s stop with the irrational and unsupported statement against the water project. It really does impugn your integrity, and forces everyone to doubt your credibility on a range of subjects.

  41. Matt Williams

    Adam Smith said . . .

    [i]”Let’s stop with the irrational and unsupported statement against the water project. It really does impugn your integrity, and forces everyone to doubt your credibility on a range of subjects.”[/i]

    The above words are of great concern to me, especially since I actively supported Sue in the last election. Sue has, over the past decade and more, built up a reputation as a tireless researcher of issues and champion of positions that her fellow Council members did not readily support, but that in the end proved to be positions that the majority of Davis voters did support.

    If what Adam has said above proves to be true, will Davis’ memory of Sue be of the pre-Water Sue, or only of the Water Sue making a last stand?

  42. eastdavis

    With respect to constituents of concern in the Colusa Drain (which is upstream of the proposed surface water intake for Woodland/Davis), check the latest impaired water body list for the State of California. This list of impaired water bodies does include the Colusa Basin Drain for numerous pesticides, E. coli, low dissolved oxygen, mercury, and unknown toxicity. See: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/…2010.shtml

    If you are interested in the quality of surface water in the Sacramento River in the vicinity of the proposed Woodland/Davis SWP intake, there is a very comprehensive reference titled, Sacramento River Watershed Sanitary Survey, 2010 Update. You can access it on the city of West Sacramento website, I just can’t paste the URL because it is truncated in Google. This is the third update. There’s one in 2006 and another in 2001. Each update focuses on certain constituents

  43. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Mike Harrington: Jim v. Bruce West …. ooops! Sorry about that one. No relation, I suppose?

    ERM: You always think I am wrong.[/quote]

    When you make baseless personal attacks against total innocents, I have a problem with that. It is one thing to disagree with the surface water project – I’m okay with that and respect dissenting opinions. I’m not okay with slinging mud without any basis, in the hopes that something will eventually stick… not nice and of little value… and frankly all it does is hurt your credibility…

  44. E Roberts Musser

    In regard to boron, from the WAC staff report:
    [quote]EC and Boron: Regional Board staff has indicated their intention, as identified in language in the 2007 permit, to provide final limitations for EC and Boron in the upcoming 2012 renewal of the City’s NPDES permit. The City has no final limitations for these constituents in the current permit. It is likely that the City will provide justification to the Regional Board to include an in-permit compliance schedule for these constituents provided findings can be made that the City is working towards a viable solution to meet these limitations – such as moving to a water source lower in these constituents. Under the State Water Board’s compliance schedule policy, the maximum in-permit compliance schedule that the Regional Board has the discretion to adopt for these constituents is ten years.[/quote]

  45. Don Shor

    [i]such as moving to a water source lower in these constituents.[/i]

    Unfortunately, the city is moving toward a water source that is [i]higher[/i] in boron.

  46. Don Shor

    Here’s the link to the document eastdavis referred to.
    [url]http://davismerchants.org/water/SacRiverwaterupdate.pdf[/url]
    These truncated pdf documents can’t be linked, so I end up downloading them and saving them to my own server. Key findings begin on about page 20.

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