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Walt Ranch water use worries neighbor

Walt Ranch water use worries neighbor

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My wife and I live on Waters Road, approximately a half mile south of the proposed Walt Ranch development. I have been reading and talking to people regarding the vineyards that are planned plus I attended the Halls' own informational meeting on Nov. 6 to find out more, but my time was committed elsewhere during the Planning Commission session on Nov. 12.

The amount of water this new development will require is the most worrisome to us. We have lived here since 1979 and back then our well put out less than 3 gpm. Now 35 years later, we are doing OK water-wise even during the drought years. It's true that two nearby vineyards have not affected our flow, but I don't know enough about geology to be sure that pumping 60 million or so additional gallons routinely won't somehow make a difference even given our distance from Walt Ranch. I am not convinced of what the Hall's hydrogeology report states about the huge amount of water under their property. I also don't believe the idea that "rainfall will replenish the ground water and compensate for any storage pond evaporation," because of complete uncertainty even among climate experts as to what kind of rainfall year(s) is (are) ahead. The El NiƱo year predictions are changing every week it seems.

Even though Hall's property is zoned for several types of activity, which they have every right to pursue, the destruction of wildlife habitat seems cruel to the species that call the area home. We enjoy the birds, deer, foxes and more. Loss of so many trees (and the construction of the vineyard blocks) can't be anything positive for all these critters.

I hope Mr. David Morrison (planning director) and the Planning Commission in general reject this proposal because of the scope and uncertainty of present and future water supplies.

Brian T. Bender

Napa

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