Potable water is a valuable resource. Cities and states have many regulations on its storage and the quality of tap water in your home. Both St. Helena and Napa are proposing hikes in the water rates in the future. As part of the municipal infrastructure these storage and distribution systems need to be maintained periodically at increased costs. Installation this year can cost possibly 10 times more in 20 years. This is why councils responsible for serving a community with sufficient volume and quality should be able to put funds away in an escrow account to be used strictly for maintenance.

Some percentage of the billed water should be added in order to have the funds when needed. The population of cities needs to be considered when designing storage capacities such as Bell Canyon and Lake Hennessey.

It would seem practical to even consider the rainfall in these areas when approving further construction. New construction can be billed in the permit procedure but after the distribution is included in the overall water program. Supply in sufficient volume should incorporate reservoirs, tanks and pumps related to the population and housing.

During a drought people will use less water but the supply system continues to cost dollars. Contracts from state facilities such as Lake Shasta and the North Bay aqueducts have limitations during a drought. That is why cites can create storage areas based on rainfall and population locally. Long-term experience needs to be recognized by the citizens with their understanding that the dollars income may be theirs. Councils need to plan diligently and recognize the impact of increased population and housing.

David Garden Sr.

St. Helena

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