Water wholesaler board weighs California WaterFix involvement

Board to vote whether to give nod of support on March 16

A recent Zone 7 Water Agency study showed the area water wholesaler will be dependent on importing water to the region for the foreseeable future and emphasized the need for a renovated water delivery system.

The Zone 7 Water Agency's Water Supply Evaluation study, which is updated every five years, showed 80% of the agency's water supply is obtained through infrastructure that stretches from the Sierras, through the Delta and to the Tri-Valley. However, that water is sent through "aging, vulnerable, non-ecofriendly facilities in the Delta."

Agency staff are eyeing a statewide water infrastructure project called the California WaterFix, which would create large underground pipes to transport water from the Sierra snowpack to municipalities involved with the State Water Project.

At the agency's last board meeting Feb. 17, board members debated whether the agency should get behind the California WaterFix. A resolution will go to a board vote at the next public meeting in March, and while an affirmative vote wouldn't put the agency on the hook for any more money yet, it would symbolize that Zone 7 is in favor of the project.

"You haven't put your money yet," Zone 7 general manager Jill Duerig told board members at the Feb. 17 meeting. "But you're taking a stance."

Zone 7 staff said California WaterFix environmental documents and initial design were $240 million total, and Zone 7 paid about $2.4 million of that. Construction for the project is expected to cost $15 billion over a decade, paid by multiple agencies.

A separate vote would go before the board before the agency agreed to pay for additional costs associated with the project.

Board member Dick Quigley said new infrastructure promised by the California WaterFix would improve the agency's water. Currently, water received by the State Water Project flows through above-ground canals at points, which dirties the water more along the way.

Board members will decide whether to give their symbolic OK to the project at the next board meeting March 16, and some board members emphasized they wanted to hear what the public thought before they voted.

"I think the public buy-in is going to be critical," said board member Angela Ramirez Holmes.

The Zone 7 Water Agency board will meet at 7 p.m. March 16 at agency offices, 100 North Canyons Parkway in Livermore.

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Like this comment
Posted by Charlie Brown
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 2, 2016 at 9:31 am

Might as well throw in a raise for the Board Members.

Like this comment
Posted by nanci
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Mar 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

This is an excellent way to go. Much better than the alternative of drinking recycled toilet water and toilet cleaner. I bet we're currently loosing 30%+ of potential drinking water by evaporation and pipe leaks before it gets to Zone 7.

2 people like this
Posted by Outside Our Hands
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 2, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Not sure, but I think we are married to the state and will pay whatever they demand regardless of whether or not we support their project. They control the water, we overbuilt (a lot) for what our local groundwater can support. So, we will pay the state government if we want their water.

My guess is that these cost estimates are low by at least a factor of 3 (remember the $2B bay bridge replacement that came in over $6B?).

If our part of this project's cost is similar to that for the EIR (1%), then our part for their $15B*3 project would be about $450M. How much would that add to your water bill?

I wonder how unbiased and realistic cost estimates compare for desalinization vs. this project.

I have mixed feelings about "toilet-to-tap", but it might work as "toilet-to-landscape".

I wish there were an unbiased source of information on the risks of using "purple" water on landscaping, or even "toilet-to-tap". There must be some hazard or they would not suggest wearing rubber gloves when working with "purple" water.

I have no similar information regarding "toilet-to-tap" beyond the knowledge that it is being done.

Like this comment
Posted by gary chandler
a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 3, 2016 at 8:32 am

Toilet to landscape still carries concerns. The land application of sewage is contributing to the greatest health epidemic in history. It's contaminating our food and water supplies. It's killing millions of people, wildlife and livestock around the world now. It's killing entire ecosystems. Web Link Bioterrorism laws are being ignored to enable this ecological disaster. Safer alternatives exist. Solutions begin with the truth.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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