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What is our water worth?

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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:10 am, Sat Oct 13, 2012.

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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2 comments:

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:36 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Not totally related, but has anyone else received a "comparative water usage" statement from COL?

    I received one in the mail on Thursday that purports that my metered water usage for May-September was nearly 50,000 gallons per month!

    I could fill more than 2 1/2 swimming pools each month with that quantity of water.

    Needless to say, it jacks up my water bill by more than 3 times the flat rate and will lead to the COL jacking up my waste water charge when they begin the program that has been kept on the down-low for a long time.

     
  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:56 am on Sat, Oct 13, 2012.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Mr. Bitz, the truth seems to be that this water treatment plant now has become merely another source for "clean" drinking water supply for Lodi citizens. All 6,000acre-feet of it. The original purpose of this expensive, unneeded project was to provide the water resources for Reynolds Ranch, the two Gateway housing projects and the upcoming superWalmart center, to be paid for solely by the developers involved in these and other projects within the city of Lodi. For some reason, you'd have to ask the three councilmen who were the aye voters for this project, why all of a sudden it became a matter of approving bond funding in the amount of $45,000,000, while the engineers' estimate of $32,000,000 was let out for bid to OverAA for a little over $23,000,000. Why was almost two times the amount of the bond money appropriated for this project and why did the taxpayers get stuck with the tab instead of the developers when it was originally for those development projects and to be paid for by them? It looks to me that a large amount of this bond money for the water treatment plant was misappropriated for other projects such as water meters, public works projects, handicap curb, street and alley work and who knows what else. The important thing right now is to demand a full accounting of the amount of funds that have been used for the treatment plant and what is remaining from the original $45,000,000 bond funding. With the plant expected to be operational within the next two months, the public works department should have figures to release for public information to justify the costs of the plant and where, how andd to whom any of that plant or bond funding was dispersed. This should create some very newsworthy articles for the News-Sentinel should they bother to follow the money.

     

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