Drought Emergency Declared, What It Might Mean For Davis

doughtThe Associated Press reports that on Thursday, federal officials declared portions of California, in addition to 10 other states, natural disaster areas due to drought.  Yolo County is one of 27 California counties included in the natural disaster area designation.

As part of that declaration, Yolo is eligible to receive up to $500,000 in emergency aid for farmers and other businesses impacted by the drought.

The news gets worse, as today, federal scientists predicted that the dry weather in California is expected to continue at least another three months, which would take us into April and out of the wet season.

“There will be a few precipitation events, but we’re looking at drier-than-normal conditions in February, March and April,” said Matthew Rosencrans, a meteorologist with the agency, which is based in College Park, Md. “Right now we are saying the odds do not indicate a Miracle March, which is not a good thing.”

On Friday, Governor Brown will declare a drought emergency, which will facilitate the transfer of water between regions in the state and raise awareness for conservation.

According to one report, California falls into the fourth of five drought categories, “extreme drought.”

The Vanguard yesterday received a question from a local resident, “With the drought now in full swing I am aware of no government indication that we should start REALLY conserving water.  What are the government plans if we continue this drought well into the summer.  Lakes and reservoirs at well below acceptable levels, should not we start enforcing water reduction now instead of waiting and hoping for rain.”

According to Dianna Jensen, the City’s Principal Engineer, staff is working on a report to council for the January 28, 2014, meeting.  She said, “The report will include what our current water conservation goals are, how we are impacted by the lack of rain, and what additional conservation efforts we might recommend. “

In the short term, the city of Davis is probably in better position than most other communities, with its lack of reliance on surface water and ample intermediate and deep water well reserves.

The city last year voted to join with the city of Woodland in constructing a surface water project.  The project is underway despite ongoing litigation about the water rates and a potential initiative.

Proponents of the project expressed concern about the ability of the city to meet future water discharge requirements with high concentrations of minerals in the drinking water ending up in the city’s outflow.

They also expressed concern about the aging infrastructure for the wells that may require an influx of millions to upgrade as well as the declining quality of several deep wells that have caused the wells to fail or have otherwise forced the city to take them off line.

One of the issues of interest is the need for conservation, while at the same time the need to meet the fixed costs of the surface water project.

Water consultants for Bartle Wells told the Davis City Council that the water rate calculations carried with it a 25% conservation assumption, but if the drought forces additional conservation efforts, the city may be forced to increase the water rates, which would trigger another Prop 218.

Hopefully, the city staff will be able to address these and other concerning scenarios, given the increasing severity of the drought.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. growth issue

    “In the short term, the city of Davis is probably in better position than most other communities, with its lack of reliance on surface water and ample intermediate and deep water well reserves.”

    Gotta love those wells. If we’re now in a drought cycle might the DWR push back it’s compliance dates? That might be a smart thing to do.

  2. Davis Progressive

    it’s also probably the end of the anti-water movement. after all, how can you oppose surface water now? we need a broader portfolio to get through the drought. but you’re right, the wells may in fact end up saving davis.

    1. B. Nice

      The wells are a great back-up and ones we will need to rely on in times of drought, as the amount of surface water we will have access to will be highly regulated as such times.

      1. John Baldry

        The question that I’m not clear on is whether the same water use cutbacks that apply to surface water supplies also apply to groundwater supplies. It seems logical that they would because the groundwater supplies and the surface water supplies ultimately come from the same source.

        1. hpierce

          Not really. A cutback of well water entities of water use, for those who discharge to the rivers, will decrease the amounts available downstream. Somewhat a surprise that the head of UC doesn’t get this.

          Water that replenishes the aquifers doesn’t make it to the rivers. Duh.

          Perhaps, in the spirit of shared sacrifice, we should increase pumping of our aquifers, built a new direct pipeline to the Sacramento River, to minimize the effects to those who live in the ‘desert’…. LA, SD, etc.

          1. John Baldry

            Mr. Pierce, I’ve read your post at least seven times and I still don’t understand it. Was it tongue in cheek?

          2. hpierce

            Water the city ‘consumes’, not counting evapo-transpiration, is treated, and flows eventually to the Sacramento River. If the city’s consumption is reduced, so is our transfer of groundwater to surface water. Simple concept.

            We could have the citizens of Davis reduce our consumption by 20%, pump the same water that we currently do, and flow that water into our storm drain system (without ET losses), which would then go to the Sacramento Riverto help those downstream, particularly those in SoCal, who currently rely heavily on NoCal water. I do not advocate this.

            Our conservation may be needed to protect our aquifers, but unless that is the case, our reduction of use is at best, an empty gesture.

    2. growth issue

      “it’s also probably the end of the anti-water movement. after all, how can you oppose surface water now?”

      I don’t see it that way at all, if anything this gives the anti-water project people a shot in the arm as it shows that the river can’t be counted on every year. Here we are relying once again on our ample supply of well water.

      1. B. Nice

        “Here we are relying once again on our ample supply of well water.”

        From what I understand, this is not an accurate assessment of our water situation, especially in the long run, even if the wells were being adequately recharged, which I assume in a drought year like this they are not.

        They way I see it wells should be used as a saving’s account, while surface should be used as salary. When salary is coming in, (surface water), we allow are savings account (our wells), to build up, so we have a healthy water reserve in place for the times when our access to surface water is restricted.

        It’s not a perfect analogy, because while there is water in these wells, it’s becoming increasingly contaminated and unsuitable for potable use.

        I find it a little ironic that some of the people who complain the most about the increased cost of water are the same ones that balk at conservation efforts. If we had practiced better water conservation we might not have needed this expensive surface water project. I will sleep better at night though when this project is complete knowing that we are no longer completely reliant on a single source for our drinking water.

      2. John Baldry

        I don’t see it that way at all, if anything this gives the anti-water project people a shot in the arm as it shows that the river can’t be counted on every year. Here we are relying once again on our ample supply of well water.

        The source of groundwater and the source of surface water are one and the same, the mountains. If the surface water supply has become less than ample, then isn’t it fair to say that the groundwater supply has become equally less than ample?

        1. Don Shor

          The mountains are not the source of our groundwater, particularly on any short time scale with respect to the deep wells. There is not a direct correlation between current intermediate-depth aquifer water supplies and the current rainfall. And there is not any clear correlation between rainfall in the current decades and the water supply in the deep aquifer. The recharge mechanism of the deep wells is not actually well understood.

          1. B. Nice

            “The recharge mechanism of the deep wells is not actually well understood.”

            Which is part of the reason I’m nervous about relying on them.

          2. B. Nice

            Which will be limited in drought years, during which time we will be relying on these aquifers. I want to make sure there is some left for the next drought. if we use it all during this drought, and it’s slow to recharge what will we use during the next drought, when our access to surface water will be limited. (Sorry I little disjointed, but to tired to edit).

          3. Don Shor

            We have already begun to shift our pumping away from the shallower aquifers, and will be using them considerably less most years than we have for the last few decades. So they will have more time and ability to recharge. Essentially the intermediate aquifers will be our insurance against future droughts. We won’t ‘use it all’ ever, and it will recharge more than it has in the past due to our shift to deeper aquifers and surface water.

          4. John Baldry

            All water starts high and ends up progressively lower and lower and lower. That is because of another of Mother Nature’s realities, the Law of Gravity.

            Man defies the Law of Gravity by pumping water from lower elevations up to higher elevations.

            The water that is in the Yolo County groundwater aquifer starts its underground journey in various points in the Coast Range. The consensus is somewhere around Clear Lake. i beliee the Coast range qualifies as mountains, and Clearlake is a montane lake.

          5. Don Shor

            It’s not a single aquifer. Some of it does, some of it doesn’t. You’re being pretty facile about all of this. We have plenty of ground water. There will be wet years again, just as there will be droughts again. We are not at risk of overdrafting our groundwater in Yolo County or in the subaquifer that Davis and Woodland use, in part because we have shifted to the deeper aquifers for more of our water and in part because we have a long-term plan to bring in surface water. When we bring in surface water, the shallower aquifers will probably start to recharge faster than they are being used, because urban uses will have been reduced overall. Our groundwater budget is prudent and allows for drought years, even severe drought years. We don’t need to cut back our water use any more than Davis residents are already doing. We don’t need to implement severe water restrictions. That is the main advantage of our well-planned mix of water from diverse groundwater and surface sources.

          6. John Baldry

            That is a very local argument. The Governor’s policy declaration has no local specificity to it.

          7. B. Nice

            “We don’t need to implement severe water restrictions.”

            I don’t know about severe. But I don’t think it’s prudent to give people the impression we have nothing to worry about in Davis.

  3. David Greenwald

    As expected, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency…

    From his press release:

    Governor Brown Declares Drought State of Emergency

    Calls for Conservation Statewide, Directs State to Manage Water for Drought

    SAN FRANCISCO – With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.

    “We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”

    In the State of Emergency declaration, Governor Brown directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The Governor also directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign (details at saveourh2o.org).

    In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions.

    State water officials say that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack’s statewide water content at about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year.

    The Governor’s drought State of Emergency follows a series of actions the administration has taken to ensure that California is prepared for record dry conditions. In May 2013, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to direct state water officials to expedite the review and processing of voluntary transfers of water and water rights. In December, the Governor formed a Drought Task Force to review expected water allocations, California’s preparedness for water scarcity and whether conditions merit a drought declaration. Earlier this week, the Governor toured the Central Valley and spoke with growers and others impacted by California’s record dry conditions.

  4. David Greenwald

    Assemblymember Mariko Yamada (D-Davis) responded to the Governor’s Drought Declaration issued today:

    “Today’s official drought declaration confirms what we’ve known intuitively for some time—that our precious water resources are dangerously low. Conservation, emergency relief, and flexibility in managing our existing supply are necessary during the current water crisis.”

  5. B. Nice

    “In the short term, the city of Davis is probably in better position than most other communities, with its lack of reliance on surface water and ample intermediate and deep water well reserves.’

    While this is true, I worry to will give people in Davis a false sense that the drought conditions, and water saving strategies should not apply to them.

    These wells need to be recharged at some point, so while it may feel like we have a large cushion, it will eventually be depleted if the drought continues over many years.

    That water in the wells should be treated as the precious resource that it is, and I strongly encourage Davis residents to treat it as such, even if it mean the have to look at your neighbors brown lawn.

  6. David Greenwald

    Senator Lois Wolk: “The Governor’s declaration highlights the importance of conservation, regardless of the time of year. The drought is only a reminder that water is a precious resource that should be conserved every day of the year, no matter the season. Conserving water makes as much sense in the middle of January as in the middle of July. Fortunately, the local water agencies in my district have planned well and have sufficient supplies to endure the drought, so long as the public participates as careful users of this precious resource.”

  7. Dave Hart

    There are those who will point to restrictions on taking surface water from the Sacramento River during a drought as a reason not to proceed with the water project. They will point out how foolish Davis and Woodland are to build a surface diversion project because during a severe drought we may not be able to pump any water at all because of our position as a junior water rights holder. As I have said all along, this is all the more reason for proceeding with the project so that we can begin the process of recharging the aquifers instead of constantly depleting them when the rain and snow do occur. I only wish we had been diverting surface water for the last few years so that we could enter this latest drought period in better condition. Groundwater doesn’t just materialize on it own. It is rain or snow-fed.

    1. John Baldry

      Groundwater doesn’t just materialize on it own. It is rain or snow-fed.

      Like Ms. Millet, I completely agree. it is not unreasonable to expect that the Governor will amend his restrictions to clearly state that they apply to groundwater withdrawals as well as surface water withdrawals.

  8. Don Shor

    There is no reason for Davis residents to increase their conservation efforts. I think the staff is likely to show that the water rate increase, and the attendant discussion of future increases, has already led to significant water use reductions. The benefit of having multiple wells drawing from both intermediate and deeper aquifers, and the move toward surface water, is that our water district is well situated to get through one or two years of low rainfall, or even more than that (as with 1988-92). The down side, of course, is that the water is poor quality.

    Severe conservation measures adversely affect several types of businesses. Landscape contractors, landscape gardeners, and garden centers on the other side of the Valley are going to suffer extreme financial hardship this year due to the Stage 2 (and 3, and…) water restrictions that are being imposed. Those are necessary because those water districts have limited water sources and don’t have any choice. We aren’t short of water here. We can go multiple years with low rainfall without adverse impact on our water supply. I urge the city to recommend continued prudent water use, and to avoid emotional or irrational reactions to water supply problems elsewhere.

    Likewise, residents of Fairfield and Vacaville and other cities in Solano County would likely have few restrictions on water use because Lake Berryessa provides a multi-year buffer against low rainfall years. Berryessa is at something like 80% of capacity. Again, the impact of the multi-year drought in 1988-92 was that Berryessa dropped to lower levels than usual, but still retained ample water for the cities and farms that rely on it.

    Every water district is different. Folsom is in a world of hurt. Willits only has a 100-day water supply right now. This points up the importance of having multiple sources of water to deal with different issues — low rainfall, water quality standards, possibly overdrafting groundwater. Davis and Woodland will be well positioned for future water problems once the surface water comes in. And because it is coming in, and the water quality standards have not yet taken effect, we can continue to pump from both the intermediate and deep aquifers.

    1. B. Nice

      “The benefit of having multiple wells drawing from both intermediate and deeper aquifers, and the move toward surface water, is that our water district is well situated to get through one or two years of low rainfall, or even more than that (as with 1988-92). The down side, of course, is that the water is poor quality.”

      What about more the 2+ years now. If this turns out to be a long lasting drought how long can the wells support us without adequate recharge, and once they are dry, how long will it take recharge them?

      ” I urge the city to recommend continued prudent water use, and to avoid emotional or irrational reactions to water supply problems elsewhere.”

      I urge the city to share accurate information regarding that factually represent the situation. Avoiding doing so in an attempt not tto scare people may be counter productive as it could result in Davis residents thinking there is no need for them to actively decrease their water consumption.

      “Every water district is different. Folsom is in a world of hurt. Willits only has a 100-day water supply right now.”

      Conservation efforts now may keep us from being in this situation 2 years from now.

      1. Don Shor

        We have been through droughts of 4+ years. We have evidence of what happens to the intermediate-depth aquifers when that happens. But we also have added capacity with the deeper wells, which draw from a totally different water source.

        Davis residents are already decreasing their water consumption.

        There is no reason to believe we couldn’t use ground water for 2 – 3 years or more with minimal effect on the different aquifers we are drawing from.

        1. growth issue

          Thanks Mr. Shor for your fact based assessment of our well situation. As you stated we’ve already been through 4+ year droughts in the past and the aquifers held up nicely. I would hope that when the city makes any recomendations on water use that they listen to people who actually know what they’re talking about and not to the alarmists who usually deal in false scare tactics.

    2. hpierce

      Slightly disagree with you, Don. At the end of the day (water year) we are ALL dependent on rainfall (except those who have a desalination plant on the ocean). Yet, we are not AS dependent as those who rely on surface water alone. he City’s plan, as a mix, I strongly support.

      1. Don Shor

        Here’s an interesting fact. The water from the deep aquifers doesn’t show presence of the radioactive isotopes that are found in water that has recharged since surface testing of atomic bombs, which was in the 1950’s. Shallower ground water does show that isotope. So we know that the water we are pumping from the deep wells is decades old AT LEAST. When i first moved here, it was actually thought to be prehistoric water. So to put it simply: yes, it once fell as rain. But it was long ago. The lag time of recharge from the surface to the deep wells is measured in spans longer than our lifetimes.

        1. hpierce

          You are correct, based on my review of previous studies, that the deep aquifer is likely to be “old” water. Yet, it has not been “fully” studied. That is a concern related to sustainability, which is why, as I understand it, that the City pursued surface water as as ‘insurance’.

        2. B. Nice

          “The lag time of recharge from the surface to the deep wells is measured in spans longer than our lifetimes.”

          This is what freaks me out. Once we use this water will take a lifetime to recharge?

          1. Don Shor

            If we overuse it for a long time, possibly. That is why I strongly advocated for the surface water project. But we won’t overuse it in one season or even a few. I supported the surface water project, in part, because of the longterm trajectory of our pumping, and the fact that we have limits to what we can pump from the deep wells due to agreement with UCD (which has prior rights to the water from the deep aquifer). It is NOT a concern over a few years. It is a concern over many years. But we will have wet years again, and we will — rather soon now — get a large portion of our water from the river instead.

          2. hpierce

            We don’t know. What do you expect your lifetime to be? Based on the studies to date, have at least 50+ years, IF we don’t increase the withdrawal.

  9. David Greenwald

    Congressman Garamendi and a number of his colleagues issues the following statement:

    “Governor Brown did the right thing in declaring a drought emergency today. The state is desperate for relief from these drought conditions, and the Governor’s prompt action helps. We can’t think of a clearer reason why the state and nation must invest in water recycling, conservation, and storage. These investments can create millions of gallons of new water for the state while creating good jobs. We urge the Governor to focus on creating new water through recycling, conservation, and storage in order to protect the state, family farms and businesses, and local municipalities that depend on a reliable water supply for their communities.”

  10. John Baldry

    These investments can create millions of gallons of new water for the state.

    With this statement, Mr. Congressman Garamendi invests powers in Governor Brown that even he would say he does not have. Only Mother Nature can create new water. Governor Brown can take steps to steward Mother Nature’s product, but he can not create it.

      1. John Baldry

        Just exactly how do those storage facilities bond two hydrogen atoms together to one oxygen atom to create a water molecule? Facilities like the ones you describe steward the already created water. They do not create any new water.

        1. Don Shor

          No, we have plenty of history that tells us what kind of drought conditions we can expect. I’ve lived here since the early 1970’s and I can post information about the rainfall cycles of our region if you like. I can also show you what has happened to our groundwater supplies around drought cycles. I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to say here.

          As to Mr. Baldry’s comments, it is obvious that storage and distribution of water is what matters to keep water flowing through our taps and into our farms, gardens, and homes.

          1. John Baldry

            Mr. Shor, what is obvious and what was said are two different things. Our Congressman should know that it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature. I suspect our Governor knows that to be the case too.

          2. Matt Williams

            I sense you are dancing on the head of a pin with your argument. Don has focused on the important realities of water with his comments. You have focused on semantics. Realities trump semantics in my book.

          3. Don Shor

            Mr. Baldry, I ask you how it is that you have water from your tap in August when no water is falling from the sky. By storage and distribution. California’s water system is a remarkable feat of engineering, and we would all die of thirst and our crops would wither every summer without it

          4. Don Shor

            Here is a sample chart that shows what has happened to Yolo County groundwater between 1970 and 2000, a period that included an historically severe drought in 1976-7 and a four-year period of very low rainfall in the late 1980’s. Note the periods in between, and what happened to our wells. Add to that the fact that we now have a significant percentage of our water coming from deeper wells that draw from an aquifer whose water is decades, possibly centuries, old, and that we will be augmenting our water supply with Sacramento River water in the future. So you can project readily what will happen to our local shallower wells.

          5. John Baldry

            Mr. Shor, it would be much more revealing if you provided us the graph with a second line that shows the availability of surface water during that same period. I suspect that you will find that the two lines describe the same pattern. When surface water is down, then groundwater follows suit.

          6. Don Shor

            Availability of surface water from where? Indian Valley? To whom? City of Davis? Woodland? Farmers in Yolo County?
            Moreover, the deep wells, which now provide something like 50% of our water, do not correlate in any way with surface water availability. I assume you know that.

          7. John Baldry

            Any one of the major surface water supplies would do. Sacramento River at Bryte Bend. Feather River at one of its takeout points. American River at Folsom. Any and all of them will do for the purposes of comparison.

          8. Don Shor

            None of them have any effect on the deep aquifer. For that matter, none of them have any effect on our shallower wells either. Do you know where our water comes from?

          9. John Baldry

            Worrying specifically about our water is far to narrow a thought process. The sources of all our water are miles and miles, hundreds of miles even from the point where we extract them. The rivers are representative of the surface water component of the Northern California water system. Your graph was represented by you to be representative of the groundwater component of that same system.

          10. Don Shor

            So basically the answer is No, you don’t know where our water comes from. And the graph represented what happened to Yolo County groundwater. Which is recharged by water sources other than any you have mentioned so far. It’s not “the same system.” That is not how hydrology works. Your argument, which appears to be merely ideological rather than based on any form of science, should not form the basis for policy actions. Water conservation measures should be tailored to the actual resources and needs of each of the 300+ water districts in the state, depending on their conditions.

          11. John Baldry

            The problem with that approach Mr. Shor is that the Governor’s action is not specific to Yolo County. It applies to the whole state.

            You say that the graph you put up earlier is specific to Yolo County groundwater supplies. I suspect that the graphs of other local groundwater supplies would look remarkably similar to it. The reason is that the weather patterns that have brought us this drought do not vary from County to County. they are affecting all water supplies throughout Northern California in virtually identical ways.

            Therefore a policy decision by the Governor that affects the demand we are allowed to place on those water supplies arguably should apply to all the supplies, not just some of the supplies.

          12. Don Shor

            Implementing a policy which would drastically curtail my income had better have a solid basis. So no: it arguably should NOT apply to all the supplies if all the state water districts are not in adverse situations. When Stage 3 and greater water restrictions are implemented, nurseries and landscapers lose 30 – 70% of our income. So please understand that what you are advocating, which would be pointless, unnecessary, and counterproductive, is also an existential threat to me.

          13. Rich Rifkin

            JB: “When surface water is down, then groundwater follows suit.”

            That is false.

            And it is false in both directions. We could be having a very wet year, with full reservoirs and flooding creeks and rivers, and discover that our wells have run dry.

            It takes decades (even centuries) of rain, coming in wet and dry years, to fill an aquifer. If you draw too much out of it, in short order you will have a dry well. If you draw less than the recharge rate, or equal to it, you won’t have a problem.

            Of course, it’s not necessarily clear how fast it is recharging; so it’s sometimes hard to know if you are drawing too much out. Subsidence, I would think, is a good sign that you are. But subsidence may prove the point with regard to shallow aquifers, and may have no tie at all to a deep aquifer.

          14. John Baldry

            What you are laying out in your argument Mr. Rifkin is really only an issue of timing. In addition we aren’t talking about an aquifer filling situation. We are talking about an aquifer recharging situation. So if the amount of water that is being provided by Mother nature to recharge the aquifer is being severely constrained, shouldn’t we respond to that situation and constrain the amount we take out of the aquifer?

            We are facing a situation in the City General Fund Budget right now where the amount of money that we are taking out exceeds the amount of money we are putting in by more than $5 million a year. In that situation we need to respond to the lower level of monetary inputs by cutting back on the amount of money that we are spending.

            That would seem to be the prudent behavior pattern we should follow now while Mother Nature is restricting the amount of water that is being put into the aquifer.

          15. hpierce

            Not sure I understand. Are you saying we should spend less money, as a policy, to obtain water, to make more water? How does that create di-hydrogen oxide (which can be a ‘toxic’ substance)?

          16. John Baldry

            When you have less money coming into a fiscal budget, in order to keep that budget balanced you need to withdraw less money.

            When you have less water coming into an aquifer, in order to keep that aquifer from being depleted you need to withdraw less water.

          17. Don Shor

            We don’t need to withdraw less water because the longterm supply is in good shape. Minor year to year variations in rainfall, even extreme ones, don’t change that fact.

          18. John Baldry

            That is a timing argument like Mr. Rifkin’s. it assumes that water in California is like a Blood Sweat and Tears song, “What goes up, must come down.”

          19. John Baldry

            Mr. Issue, don’t you know that my signature song is “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”? I never quit, regardless of whether I am ahead or behind.

  11. Mr. Toad

    Since we aren’t using our surface water rights yet. Can we sell the water or do we not own the rights yet? I bet we could get a good price for that water this year.

        1. Rich Rifkin

          One thing I recall from the discussions two years ago is that, once our rights to the Sacramento River water were granted, we could wait for many years to start exercising those rights without losing them. This was a question because Sue Greenwald suggested that Davis should put off the surface water project until after the wastewater treatment plant was fully paid for. Others thought that, if we waited that long, we would lose our surface water rights. But according to some expert I talked with–I don’t remember who it was–our rights would still hold.

          Of course, that is all immaterial now. We are not going to delay the project as Sue wanted.

          So if reading a paragraph explaining something which happened two years ago and no longer has any importance makes you PO’d because I wasted your time, my bad.

        1. B. Nice

          My concerns about drought conditions extend past the state of our water supply in Davis. As they effect things like, as Don mentioned, people’s jobs, plus farmers ability to grow the food we eat, and habit for endangered wildlife (just to name a few).

          Statement like “we having nothing to worry” about concern me because I think we should always be “worried” about our water supply, and always be looking for ways to preserve and protect it.

          As I said above if we had practiced better water conservation in the past, instead of thinking, “we have nothing to worry about” this new expensive water project may not have been necessary.

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