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What is our water worth?

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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:00 am

The city of Lodi buys 6,000 acre-feet of river water a year at a cost of $200 per acre-foot — $1.2 million a year. Never mind the cost associated with building and operating the new water treatment plant — sheesh.

According to the area fall 2012 AG water report, the AG ground water rate is $4.80 per acre-foot. The AG surface water rate is $22 per acre-foot. The domestic rate is a flat $40.50 for the entire year for rural residents.

I realize agriculture is a driver of our economy, and the cost of AG products would be astronomical if AG had to pay city rates for water. Still, it should be understood that AG and unlimited pumping of groundwater by residents outside the city limits is responsible for 95 percent of the massive overdraft of our groundwater.

That said, I believe our city leaders misled us when they claimed we needed the massive water treatment project in order to minimize groundwater overdraft. I believe the cost of this project will exceed $200 million over the next 40 years — needlessly.

Please tell me where I am wrong.

Roy Bitz

Lodi

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