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Mr. Pilkington's letter is dangerously misleading

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Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 10:00 pm

A June 29 letter asks people within the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District to oppose sending water to the city of Stockton. The letter by NSJWCD Board member Bryan Pilkington is dangerously misleading.

NSJWCD is committed to the restoration and preservation of our groundwater basin. Our two principal tools are providing irrigation water from the Mokelumne River to farmers so they may pump less, and developing recharge basins where river water can seep in the ground.

However, we must repair old pipelines, extend new ones and lease locations for recharge basins. This is why we are charging farms, industries and residents a fee for pumping water from the ground. With enough time and money, we will develop a system that will utilize our entire water allocation from the Mokelumne River.

Our allocation is only granted in wet years. In some of these years, even after fulfilling the needs of all those within reach of district facilities, additional water is still available.

In 2007, the NSJWCD Board petitioned the state to enable us to share this extra water with our neighboring water districts to the south, rather than allow it to escape down the Mokelumne and flow out to sea, or be pumped from the Delta and sent to Southern California.

The board wants permission to share water with our neighbors in the Stockton East and Central San Joaquin water districts. When farmers there pump from the ground, they pump from the same aquifer we do. Sharing water with them is to everyone's advantage.

And the nice part is, we can deliver our surplus water to these neighbors via existing channels and creeks. Despite what Director Pilkington implies, the NSJWCD would not spend tax dollars to develop infrastructure to benefit an entity outside our boundaries.

Director Pilkington opposes this plan and has rallied 55 people to file protests with the state. His action consumes district resources responding to this issue.

Director Pilkington favors allowing the unusable water to be lost in the ocean or sent to Los Angeles. The folks there will be pleased by his efforts.

Tom Hoffman


North San Joaquin Water Conservation District

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • posted at 3:07 pm on Mon, Jul 6, 2009.


    Mr. Pilkington,In your letter you say we would pay 100% of the water tax and receive 8,000 acre feet of water, but Stockton would pay no tax and receive 12,000 acre feet of water. While this may be a factual statement, the rest of the story is: Stockton would purchase the 12,000 acre feet of water from the district.In my view, money is money no matter if it is in the form of a tax or a purchase price. It seems to me that selling the water to Stockton to recover the cost of production plus a fair margin, would help Stockton meet their water needs and help keep taxes low.No?

  • posted at 10:48 am on Mon, Jul 6, 2009.


    Water issues are difficult and complex, my dear aunt who was a member of a state water commission said that all wars in Kalifornia will be fought over water rights. I know both Pilkington and Hoffman. I dont completely understand the details of this issue. I will defer to Tom Hoffman.

  • posted at 5:44 am on Sun, Jul 5, 2009.


    Would Stockton pay for 12,000 acre feet of water they would receive? If so, would the price per acre foot be equal to or greater than the amount paid by tax payers? It is my understanding that Pardee Dam will be expanded so more run-off water can be captured, stored and delivered as needed. If this happens nsjwd's 20,000 afa could become available even in dry years. Rght?

  • posted at 12:57 pm on Sat, Jul 4, 2009.


    Mr. Hoffman, Please Tell, "The Rest of The Story" Mr. Steffani, the Manager of the Water District testified on June 21, 2007 at the California State Water Board meeting that the Water District only receives water 3 out of every 10 years. Mr. Hoffman wants to Tax All Citizens for water, every year, for a Ten Year Period. The facts are clear, that the Water District receives water for only 3 out of every 10 year period. When the Water District receives water, Mr. Hoffman plans to sell 60% of all the Mokelumne River Water (12,000 acre feet) to the City of Stockton. The people of Lodi will only receive 40% of the Mokelumne River Water and the City of Stockton will receive 60% of the Water. Facts always tell the truth, we pay 100% of the Water Tax and Stockton pays No Taxes and receives 60% of the Mokelumne River Water. Mr. Hoffman needs to tell, "The Rest of The Story"!http://www.waterrights.ca.gov/Hearings/docs/no_sjwcd/notice_extension041607.pdf

  • posted at 1:54 am on Sat, Jul 4, 2009.


    Excellent letter--- excellent strategy to use local water rights effeciently. It seems to me this makes so much more sense than the mayor's proposal to build a water treatment plant and continue the city's WID water purchase.Right?


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