Mayor Joe Krovoza and The Aggie (see editorial 9/29/11) are urging students to support The Davis-Woodland Water project estimated cost $325 million, plus $89 million for water rights. I urge students not to support the present project and to sign a petition that would put this proposal to a vote of the whole Davis electorate next year.
Yes, ultimately, Davis will need to address its water quantity and quality issues via a surface water project. But this is not the project we need or the time for it. There is no evidence that Davis is about to run out of water in the near future and, according to the city’s own data, the quality of Davis water quality falls comfortably within state and federally mandated standards. The Aggie editorial cites a city engineer as saying that hexavalent chromium may fail to meet safety standards in two years. No such specific category exists in the latest official Davis quality water report, but with respect to the Total Chromium the limit is 50 per mcls, and the weighted average for Davis is 14.5 and for UCD water 9.5.
Most importantly, this project will be the most expensive infrastructural project in Davis’s history, and yet Mayor Krovoza and a majority of the council are opposed to allowing the city to vote on it!!!
The project could, by some estimates, triple to quintuple Davis water rates in the future. Inevitably landlords will pass on their increased costs meaning that the average Davis household will likely pay more than $2,000 annually for water in a few years. The mayor states that this project will only cost students an extra $1.50 a month in rent. This is preposterous, and yet again reveals the fuzzy math of the mayor and his staff that has already been exposed in at least a couple of articles in the Davis Enterprise. It is safe to say that the rent increases will be in the tens of dollars.
There are alternatives and the city and its students need to embrace them at a time when their costs and fees are skyrocketing. Please sign (by the Oct. 23 deadline) the petition to put the measure to all voters. You may do so at the Saturday Farmers Market, the Davis Food Co-op at weekends, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retired history professor, San Jose State University