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Morada needs its ground water, and does not want to be annexed

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Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:41 am, Thu May 24, 2012.

Morada, a small farming community of around 5,000 in the unincorporated area of San Joaquin County, is bounded on the north by Bear Creek, south by Calaveras River, west by Highway 99 and east by Alpine Road. We are dependent on wells for our water — ag wells, domestic and community wells and septic systems for waste disposal.

Just west of Morada, across Highway 99, is a city of Stockton municipal well field. These large "muni" wells pump groundwater into the COS water grid, which is largely dependent on groundwater for its overall need. This COS pumping causes a "draw-down" on Morada's groundwater level, which equates to users having to deepen or develop new wells and/or lower pumps, making power to pull up the deeper water more expensive. This COS water policy threatens Morada's water supply and our wallets.

COS' Delta Water Supply Project is touted as the city's answer to its groundwater dependency, and after $30 million in cost over-runs, is finally ready to go online with its first of three phases. But the bankrupt COS faces a high rate of foreclosures, vacant properties, unemployment and personal bankruptcies, all of which lend to the profuse bleeding of the city's lifeblood — growth.

Recently, a majority of North Morada residents (aka CSA46) rejected a (Proposition 218 process) "water tax" increase the county says it needs for maintenance and repairs on its aging infrastructure. Residents ask: Why are these benefit districts broke? Shouldn't moneys have been set aside in "earmarked" accounts for upkeep and improvements? Did these funds wind up in the county's General Fund? And doesn't the county owe CSA46 a new community well for the "Willows?"

Morada has long been the target of city annexation and has resisted all attempts, but it's rumored that the county would like to dump this problem. Because the bankrupt COS and its DWSP is floundering under the weight of cost over-runs, the need for new connections and fees, the poor economy, and funding for the remaining two phases of the DWSP questionable, the COS will again offer Morada city services at a sizable cost but with "easy financing." After all, Morada sits atop the best groundwater in the county and, of course, annexation accompanies city services.

William Van Amber Fields


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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Steve Schmidt posted at 3:21 pm on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2672

    While Morada may be surrounded by farms, it seems like a stretch to call it a "farming community".

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 11:50 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Obviously, the audience Ms Bobin is referring to is the uneducated bigots and religious zealots around every corner she sees and perceives that Mr Fields perceives in Lodi...

    Lodi News would not be the same with out Ms Bobin and her negativism.

  • Bob Silvano posted at 6:11 pm on Fri, May 25, 2012.

    Bob Silvano Posts: 145

    Many years ago I attended a meeting requested by the City of Stockton, held at Davis Elementary, whose purpose was to offer Morada residents the opportunity to join the expansion of the COS northern sewer intercept system. There were two very good reasons for this request. First, the inclusion of Morada would help the City of Stockton finance the project, but second, and primarily, it would provide Morada with a viable alternative to it's constantly failing septic systems, at a reasonable price. It is a proven fact that, due to exisiting soil conditions, septic systems in the Morada area fail at a rate of, and excuse me if my memory fails me but I'm fairly sure I'm correct in this recolletion, approximately 80 percent. This means that almost all of Morada residents septic systems will fail during their time of ownership, and require replacement. The cost of connecting to the expanded City of Stockton system, which by the way did NOT require annexation into COS, was minimal, only requiring the residents of Morada to pay for an upgrade in line size of approximately 2 inches. The offer could not have been better for the residents of Morada, but it was unanimously turned down. I understand the reluctance of any resident to now become tied with the COS. I cannot, however, understand why anyone would knowingly pass their problems on to future generations when they had the opportunity to resolve them on a permanent basis and failed to take advantage of the chance.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:41 pm on Fri, May 25, 2012.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Adams: I've recently discovered that WVAF writes according to the audience he perceives he will garner.

    I read a recent letter of his that appeared in The Record. Although it had to do with the interaction between religion and politics, it was in no way close to the loopy ones he writes for the LNS audience. He actually made sense.

    For those who have not read about WVAF in the LNS or The Record, he has been quite an activist for Morada issues and has been, I believe, on at least one local board.

  • Mike Adams posted at 12:18 pm on Fri, May 25, 2012.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1560

    Just for those who think I object to anything WVAF writes, I found this letter very informative and well paced. It cited the problem, provided some history, and made predictions based on that information.

    I am in total agreement with WVAF, those of us who live "in the country" have to be ever vigilant about our water. Unlike cities who have multiple sources of water, we must rely on one or two wells for water. There is nothing to prevent some large municipality from over drawing the water table. EBMUD proposed a plane several years ago to pull out surface and ground water. They promised to inject water back into the water table below. There was no way to verify how much they were sucking out and how much they were supposed to be putting back.

    Watch these guys. They are looking out only for their own interests.


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