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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

City works to improve drinking water quality

Woodland and Davis will join forces on a water project that seeks to provide clean, reliable water to the two communities, including UC Davis.

The plan will improve the quality of the drinking water supply and wastewater effluents by replacing groundwater with high quality surface water.

Furthermore, pumping water from the Sacramento River into Davis and Woodland residences will provide dependable present and future water supplies.

Groundwater currently serves as the source of drinking water for Davis citizens.

A meeting between Davis and Woodland taking place in July estimated that the project will cost $325,000 over the next five to seven years.

Earlier this month the two cities formed an agency to focus on surface water distribution between Davis and Woodland. Both cities will apply for grants and federal funding through the Joint Powers Agreement, and will eventually give the water project a formal name.

Boardmembers decided to allocate a total of $1,042,000 to the project.

In addition, members examined alternatives to the project through an evaluation of groundwater uses, limitations and the impact the timing of these improvements would have.

Since both cities have aging water systems, the longer they take to implement this new project, the greater the risk of keeping water supplies available, said Davis Utilities Manager Jacques DeBra.

“It’s a race against time,” DeBra said.

Dick Donnelly, deputy director of public works in Woodland, said that the two communities have been working for a long time toward having a water project.

The timing is an important consideration, since waiting can result in additional costs due to inflation, loss of funding opportunities and loss of ability to purchase water over the summer.

Additionally, a future plan may fail to be in accordance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits, resulting in potential fines or litigation.

“This is the culmination of many years of effort,” said Donnelly. “It’s satisfying and exciting. It’s the birth of a new government agency.”


ELENI STEPHANIDES can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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