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Palo Alto grants water to East Palo Alto

Original post made on May 8, 2018

East Palo Alto received a much-needed infusion of water on Monday night after the Palo Alto City Council voted to transfer -- at no cost -- some of its water shares to its parched neighbor.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 9:47 AM

Comments (92)

25 people like this
Posted by StanfordWest1321
a resident of Stanford
on May 8, 2018 at 10:32 am

StanfordWest1321 is a registered user.

Bravo Palo Alto, This is not a matter of money, it's a matter of helping a once Fallen City Rise for the first-time. Never to take for granted what is actually free. Great Job, best article I have read in a long time, this shows your compassion as a City and the City workers on both sides of the bridge commend you.

Bravo!


29 people like this
Posted by Annette Isaacson
a resident of Midtown
on May 8, 2018 at 10:57 am

I'm glad the City Council voted to approve the water share transfer to EPA. When the water rights were divided long ago, EPA was not incorporated. They will now be able to build some much needed affordable housing, and it will not hurt Palo Alto at all. It's a win-win situation.


37 people like this
Posted by AAA
a resident of The Greenhouse
on May 8, 2018 at 11:31 am

To StanfordWest1321

Are you midding ???

First: its not free.... it cost money (to clean, to deliver water, to pay salaries etc)
Second: look at projected development in EPA... example 2020 Bay Rd.... Please remind to all of us- how many extra ppl will be there?

Why PA needs to pay for EPA business???
Do you think there is some kind of mutual interest betveen PA ppl with power and EPA ?


20 people like this
Posted by Bob Wenzlau
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 8, 2018 at 11:50 am

This is a tremendous, practical and symbolic agreement. The ability for Palo Alto to engage with communities in need - both locally and internationally - is why I choose to call Palo Alto my home. Just yesterday a surplus fire truck left for Oaxaca Mexico laden with surplus gear, but also over 200 "stamps" children made representing the charity between our two communities. I think we tend to give "smart" with an eye to gifts that have high value to the recipient yet may have lower direct monetary value to the City. Both the agreement with East Palo Alto and also our acts with our sister cities represent this. I appreciate those community members who took the lead on this, the city staff who worked it, and of course the Council for adopting it. Additionally I do respect the concerns of financial responsibility that Council member Tanaka lifts up, and as a minority or dissenting vote the value for fiscal responsibility is not lost. I only wish for a second vote where this gift could of been expressed with unanimous consent.


19 people like this
Posted by Heyward Robinson
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 8, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thank you to the PA City Council members who voted for this (and to the past members and staff who laid the groundwork for last nights vote). This water is relatively inexpensive. Hetch Hechy is a gravity feed system, so very little energy is needed to deliver California's best water straight from the Sierra snowpack to your tap. Its also a resource owned and managed by the City of San Francisco that we are very fortunate to share in. BAWSCA gave EPA a fraction of the allocation other city's received, and this action helps rectify this injustice just a bit. This is a small amount of water for PA but a huge amount for EPA. Much needed economic development and housing will now be able to move forward. Thanks everyone.

Heyward Robinson
former Mayor, Menlo Park


57 people like this
Posted by Sunk Costs
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on May 8, 2018 at 12:07 pm

While waiting to talk on Airplane noise I got to hear this gem.

What staff and most of Council didn’t understand is the concept of sunk costs. Although Mountain View has higher sunk costs because of minimum buys, Palo Alto water rights are still worth $2.5M even if there aren’t sunk costs because of no minimum buys. A financially literate staff and Council would have understood that sunk cost should be ignored for decisions going forward, hence the name sunk costs.

Of course, this is too hard of a concept for our leaders to comprehend so the City just gave away an incredibly valuable resource while jacking up taxes and rates on residents.

There needs to be an infusion of brainpower on Council.


42 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 8, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Annette is a registered user.

I've no issue with the sharing of water with our neighbor. But I also think we should not dismiss the points made by Tanaka who is trying his best to be prudent about City finances. It is reasonable to ask the questions he asked - particularly the one about increasing user rates. What is the justification for the increase if we have more water than we use?

I suspect water issues are poorly understood and that some in the know and in control are taking advantage of that fact. Prediction: the problems experienced by EPA will be repeated. In this and other western states, water = gold.


9 people like this
Posted by lms
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2018 at 1:22 pm

EVERYONE: I heard (and recall reading somewhere years ago) that the Palo Alto Municipal Airport sits on a lease of land that was, at one time, East Palo Alto. I heard that the real estate is Palo Alto's based on a perpetual lease. It seems to me that sharing the water allocation should, if that assertion is so, reasonable, reasonable, rational and justified and fair.


57 people like this
Posted by Herb
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Developers in EPA helped to pay for the $5M Mountain View water rights buy. How come developers who stand to make millions from these Palo Alto water rights pay nothing?


37 people like this
Posted by Patrick Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 8, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Patrick Burt is a registered user.

The rates charged by the SFPUC to Palo Alto and all of their wholesale customers (including east Palo Alto) are fixed annually. The primary driver for our rate increases is the fixed cost of maintaining the infrastructure, not the cost of the water itself. In the case of our wholesale supply from the SFPUC, all of their customers are in the midst very large rate increase spread over a decade that is for the massive rebuild of their century old system.
What the Council approved last night was a transfer to EPA of a small portion of our unused "allocation". Because of the way allocations were set for various cities over 30 years ago, Palo Alto was allocated 17 million gallons per day (mgdp) while we are only using around 10 mgpd and only 8 mgpd during the drought. Despite our population growth, our water usage has declined by 40% over the last 20 years and we are projected to continue to decline, even with more population. When the allocations were established, East Palo Alto had just incorporated and had little political voice. Consequently, they were allocated only 2 mgpd despite having almost half our population.
Asking thoughtful questions about our fiscal issues is a responsibility of the Council. Making uniformed, false and inflammatory claims and then repeatedly refusing to acknowledge facts when presented them by our staff is not responsible. Tanaka advocated that far less affluent East Palo Alto would actually subsidize our rates so that they would pay more than us per gallon of the same water. Sitting on a big surplus allocation when EPA badly needed just a fraction of it is just plain mean spirited and not what we should do for neighbors in need.


6 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 8, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Pat Burt: thank you for your informative post.


39 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 8, 2018 at 2:16 pm

Patrick Burt's comment above reveals the shocking degree of financial illiteracy on the Council. He notes (correctly) that the fixed costs of Hetch Hetchy and the ongoing costs of upgrading old infrastructure are the primary determinants of the cost of our water - and are responsible for the seemingly yearly increases on our water rates. He also notes from this (again correctly) that this cost is large and will be spread out over many years. (I.e., we'll be facing the kinds of rate increases we are seeing for the foreseeable future) Amazingly, he concludes from this that we in Palo Alto should bear the entire financial hit of these increased fixed costs even though some of the water to which these fixed costs apply would be going to EPA. Wouldn't a more equitable solution to have East Palo Alto bear a proportionate fraction of these "large" fixed costs? It costs nothing to send Palo Alto water to East Palo Alto only if you consider all the fixed costs are attributable only to the water we keep with none applied to the water we send to EPA. This is crazy.

Nobody with any sense does accounting like this. Our council does.


25 people like this
Posted by Patrick Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 8, 2018 at 2:35 pm

Patrick Burt is a registered user.

To clarify, East Palo Alto will incur their full proportionate share of the fixed costs for the water allocation transfer. Those costs are charged per gallon of water used, not based on our allocation of how many gallons we or East Palo alto is permitted to use. Transferring a portion of our unused allocation does not increase our water bills by a single cent, nor does it increase EPA's cost per gallon. It does increase the proportion of the fixed costs paid by EPA water users, but only because they will use a higher proportion of the total water supplied by SFPUC, not their rate per gallon. Put differently, the fixed costs are proportionately baked into each gallon of water used.


8 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 8, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Curious to know the water rate in EPA compared to PA.


5 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Patrick Burt, thanks for your informed comments. We need more of that on the cc. Might we convince you to run for some of the new vacant seats?


18 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on May 8, 2018 at 4:25 pm

In fact there are two tranches of fixed costs: those which San Francisco PUC pays directly (basically about getting water from Hetch Hetchy to here), and those which Palo Alto pays directly (our own infrastructure which moves the water around Palo Alto).

SFPUC allocates their fixed costs into their per-gallon wholesale water rates, which Palo Alto Utilities pays to SFPUC as part of each gallon we buy from them. The more total gallons of water they sell to all cities, the lower SFPUC’s per-gallon allocation of their fixed costs.

So while Palo Alto doesn’t pay for water we don’t buy from SFPUC, our per-gallon rates are actually reduced slightly if SFPUC sells more water to other cities; because SFPUC’s fixed costs are then amortized over a larger number of gallons. So as Adrian Fine observed last night, Palo Alto’s wholesale water rates should theoretically decline slightly if EPA buys water from SFPUC, because EPA will then be picking up a very small portion of SFPUC's fixed costs.

Palo Alto’s own fixed costs aren’t affected whether EPA buys water from SFPUC or not, because they’re, well, fixed. And water SFPUC sells to EPA would never really go through Palo Alto’s infrastructure.

So the net-net is that, per councilmember Fine’s observation, this deal with EPA should actually decrease Palo Alto’s water costs slightly. Of course EPA’s 500k gallons are a fraction of SFPUC’s total water sales, so the impact would be quite small.

The argument made last night, that Palo Alto could make money by exacting a toll on EPA to be legally allowed to buy water from San Francisco, is likely accurate. However all the principle and community implications of such a business practice on our part are exactly as former mayor Burt describes above, and as I briefly commented on last evening. But such matters are in the domain of personal values, not mathematics.

Finally, the suggestion that Palo Alto’s toll alone could amount to several million dollars, when EPA will still have to pay San Francisco for the actual water itself, and when they could also pump groundwater from wells if necessary, seems ambitious.


26 people like this
Posted by tax and donate
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2018 at 4:31 pm

some cities suffer from a tax and spend culture, we have it even worse, we have a tax and donate culture. we need less of these kinds of politicians like pat. mtv is just as economically vibrant as pa so it doesn't make sense that developers pay for their water but not ours. pat should run for epa cc since he cares about that city more than pa


22 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm

Pat Burt is a registered user.

As the city staff explained last night, there are basic differences between the conditions of Mountain View’s transfer of water allocation compared to Palo Alto’s.
First, the payment to MV was to only partially offset the expense MV would incur resulting from the transfer. Palo Alto does not incur any expense from the transfer.
Second, my understanding is that the MV transfer was earmarked for certain EPA commercial development projects that were contingent on additional water and that, consequently, the developers covered the cost of the transfer.
The smaller allocation that Palo Alto transferred is for non earmarked uses including housing, a school and to avoid ongoing additional groundwater pumping that Palo Alto fears would negatively effect the aquifer that we share with EPA.


17 people like this
Posted by Thad
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2018 at 6:44 pm

The greed of some of the commenters is incredibly sad. Exploiting someone just because you can is wrong.

I applaud you Pat Burt. I hope some minds are changed that there is more to this life than profit over all else.


37 people like this
Posted by tax and donate
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 8, 2018 at 7:16 pm

if we weren't running a budget deficit while dramatically raising taxes and utility rates than donating might be okay. i'm 78 years old and live on a fixed income and these tax and rate increases hurt me. i can barely afford to live here as it is. i expect pa to take care of pa residents first.

who's the greedy one here: pa residents or developers that stand to make millions from our free water.


6 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on May 8, 2018 at 7:40 pm

I was so proud of our City Council members last night who expressed their opinion that we should certainly share what we aren't using and what costs us nothing. We are very fortunate to be in a position to help our neighbors in EPA! Doing so also helps protect the ground water. Thank you City Council.


7 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 8, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Unfortunately we still have a 6.5 million gallons per day surplus to permanently give away before we can start saying no to developers here on our side of the creek.


12 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Does anyone know how often the utility department is audited and the date of the most recent audit?


5 people like this
Posted by DTN Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on May 8, 2018 at 9:00 pm

DTN Paul is a registered user.

I love that our city did this. Fairness sometimes transcends short term gain.


6 people like this
Posted by The fair tax
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2018 at 9:35 pm

This water transfer doesn't go far enough to fix Palo Alto's rampant racism. Palo Alto property owners should be taxed 1% of their current property value a year to fund East Palo Alto. Only then could this make up for some of the wrongs Palo Alto has inflicted on EPA. Palo Alto residents have been unfairly enriched on the back of workers in EPA for centuries.

Mayor Pat Burt and Vice Mayor Filseth please join me by endorsing this initiative. We appreciate your leadership.


44 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 8, 2018 at 9:48 pm

The local government business model explained in 15 seconds:

1. Get control of assets built and paid for by the tax payer and give those assets away to real-estate developers in exchange for campaign funds or to politicians in exchange for endorsements (usually for pennies on the dollar).

2. There is no no #2 (its a very simple business model).


It is important to understand East Palo Alto doesn't need the water so its resident can drink, bath, and flush their toilets. East Palo Alto politicians need the water so they can continue to participate in the business model. The water wasn't a gift to the people of East Palo Alto. The water was just another giveaway to local real-estate developers operating in East Palo Alto.

Developers will use the gift to convert affordable low-rent and/or low-priced properties to un-affordable high-rent and high-priced properties.

Business as usual. Politicians virtue signal. Developers profit. Residents get cheated and priced out.


18 people like this
Posted by Marrol
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2018 at 11:53 pm

One question. How did EPA get into this water shortage position to begin with? Abrica talks about EPA inheriting deficiencies when they incorporated. That was a long time ago. What, nobody saw this coming over there? We need to look at the accountability on their end, and determine if they merit this generous offer. [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by T
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 7:24 am

As an EPA resident, I find it incredibly thoughtful to share something as valuable as water and to do so in a way that is dignified. Kudos to the PA CC and to the residents that supported this measure.


3 people like this
Posted by EPA resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 8:17 am

To respond the question above about water costs, we lived in Palo Alto and paid about $35/month for water. We moved to a similar sized house in EPA and pay $110/month because our water isn’t metered and it’s a fixed price.


12 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 8:43 am

EPA Resident,

Do businesses operating in EPA also pay $110/month for water that isn't metered?


2 people like this
Posted by stephen levy
a resident of University South
on May 9, 2018 at 9:02 am

stephen levy is a registered user.

Thanks to the council for this vote to support our neighbors.

Thanks to Council member Tanaka for continuing to raise fiscal issues though in this case I supported the free transfer.


36 people like this
Posted by Sobrato influence?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 9:22 am

Ahem nailed it. EPA developer, Sobrato, shelled out millions to pay for the mountain view water rights but nothing for Palo Alto. I bet if you start looking at the campaign forms from Pat Burt or Eric Filseth you would probably find that billionaire developer Sobrato gave to their campaigns. Sobrato owns the the Fry's site and probably used that as leverage to get out of paying for Palo Alto water rights. [Portion removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Patrick Burt
a resident of Community Center
on May 9, 2018 at 9:52 am

Patrick Burt is a registered user.

I have not run for office for almost 6 years and never received any donation from Sobrato. I don't think they owned the Fry's site when I last ran and I didn't even know that they have a project in EPA.
Eric Filseth has certainly not been a favorite of commercial developers and I highly doubt that he has received any Sobrato campaign contributions.
My support for this action is based on my belief that it is the fair and right thing to do. I'm sorry that the poster above can't accept that those would be my motivations.


2 people like this
Posted by Thanks Palo Alto!!!!
a resident of Woodland Ave. area (East Palo Alto)
on May 9, 2018 at 9:58 am

Thank you to all of the EPA folks for coming out to speak at last Monday's PA council meeting. We had an amazing showing. I think we made up at least half of the very large Council chambers!

Thanks also to all the Palo Alto folks (Pat, Eric, etc.) who help organize EPA residents to be at the meeting. Your support is much appreciated.

@The fair tax has a great suggestion about the property tax. I can support a 1 percent property tax for PA. However, I think to really make this equitable, PA and EPA should pool the two school districts budgets including parent donations and then split the funds evenly between the two schools districts. Let's get a petition going to do both the property tax and joint school funding proposal going.

A big thanks to Palo Alto for being very generous!


22 people like this
Posted by midtown
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2018 at 10:19 am

Nice to know that EPA residents support raising PA property taxes to give the money to EPA. Just surprised that they only want a 1% raise - why not 10% or 20%? I am sure no amount of my paycheck is enough for your children. after all its free to you.


23 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 10:52 am

I think we should build a giant solar energy plant that generates twice the amount of electricity that Palo Alto uses. We only use half the electricity we generate so the other half can be given to East Palo Alto for "free" because, after all, once we have covered the fixed costs of building the plant, the cost of generating electricity from it is zero.

Nevermind that Palo Alto tax and electric rate payers would be paying off the capital cost of the solar plant for years.....it's only fair to share our surplus with our less fortunate neighbors. They should also be able to attract a good number of business customers with the promise of "free" electricity courtesy of their generous Palo Alto neighbors.

I'm sure we can think of lots of other free stuff we can give to EPA if we think out of the box!


10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 9, 2018 at 11:08 am

EPA is in the county of San Mateo and is benefiting from the proximity to FB. I know people who are investing in houses and upgrading them for quick transit to the FB Headquarters. There is also a large hotel and business park at 101 and University that is in the San Mateo County lines and contribute to the EPA economy - as well as a big box store on the east side of 101. It sounds to me that the people who need the water are not the actual homeowners but the growing business economy in that area. Also - comments about the school system are further misleading ideas about the people who are supposedly in charge of these functions. The school system needs to be folded into the Menlo Park / San Mateo budget because that is where they are located - their tax base is San Mateo County. Fiscal responsibility is city, county, state, federal sourced. We are receiving no tax benefit from San Mateo County.
Bottom line question is why isn't San Mateo County negotiationg with the water people to provide more water and update the allocations based on year 2018 requirements. More mismanagement by the city who is riding in any direction.


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of University South
on May 9, 2018 at 11:14 am

@Mary
Nice try, except that, as Eric Filseth explained above, EPA is paying their full pro rata share of the capital costs and their share will actually go up slightly with this transfer.
After your ad hominal accusations of CC financial illiteracy were refuted above, you have taken another shot with a false analogy by try to sell your categorical syllogism as if it was valid reasoning.
This water transfer looks like a win-win to me. We in Palo Alto benefit from the well being of East Palo Alto. Narrow, shortsighted greed does not help either party.


3 people like this
Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on May 9, 2018 at 11:31 am

I truly think we might all be overthinking this a bit.

It’s important that it doesn’t cost Palo Alto anything. Beyond that, my mental model is: would you lend your neighbor your lawnmower, if you weren’t using it? Some might not, and that’s their business, but I think most of us would. And I figure our neighbor would do the same for us. (Assuming neither of us made our living as a lawnmower-leasing company.)

You can read more into this - the historical and other elements, the notion that it might support development, etc. There’s weight to all of it. But for me, it’s just really been the lawnmower argument.


21 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 11:44 am

There is no such thing as "free" water. At some point somebody paid for the capital costs of transporting water to Palo Alto - even before the recent charges for upgrades to the water system. That these costs are sunk costs does not mean they are not costs. There are numerous ways to account for these costs...ignoring them is not one to which serious stewards of the city should subscribe.

The bigger issue is that whatever accounting one uses, Palo Alto has a valuable asset in the form of its unused water allocation. At a time when the City is talking about adding taxes and is increasing utility rates, and when there is serious discussion of a coming budget crisis due to pension costs, it is hardly "selfish" to suggest that the city and its residents should not be giving away assets for free. It's up to East Palo Alto politicians to look after its residents. Does it really have to be said that Palo Alto politicians should be looking after its residents?!

It is risible to think that we're engaged in some sort of post colonial reparations when we are transferring our water for free as some of the comments seem to suggest. This water will not benefit any poor residents of EPA. As some have pointed out, it will be controlled by EPA politicians who will use it to reward politically connected developers.

As for the argument that development in EPA will benefit Palo Alto: we have just engaged in a big discussion over office space development in Palo Alto. One of the arguments that led to a cap on such development is that new office space only attracts more traffic and burdens our overstressed infrastructure. Does anyone really think that by moving this space to EPA we'll be spared the negative side effects of rampant development?

Feel-good politics rarely is good for the constituents of the politicians passing such measures. Is giving CC members a chance to show their virtue and generosity really worth the costs when you add them up?


24 people like this
Posted by There is no thinking
a resident of Evergreen Park
on May 9, 2018 at 11:55 am

Eric, your lawnmower analogy is wrong. We didn't LEND the lawnmower, we GAVE the lawnmower for FREE, FOREVER. The only right part of the analogy is that the lawnmower like our water rights have value and the city gave away this valuable asset while increasing utility rates like crazy. This makes no sense.

The problem isn't that there is over thinking, but that there is no thinking on City Council.

You are smarter than this, at least I hope so. So are Pat and you getting a consulting gig, or loan from Sobrato?


20 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Eric Filseth says that we're overthinking this issue. But his post shows that the Council is seriously underthinking here.

The notion that transferring this water to another jurisdiction "doesn't cost anything" is simply bad economics. Giving away something of value for free
"costs" whatever the City could gain by selling it. The value of this water in the local market was established by Mt. View's sale of it to EPA last year. So the city forgoes the revenue it could have received by charging for the water. You may think that we should subsidize EPA and its development - that's a valid political argument. But don't try to elide the issue by falsely claiming that the transfer is "free" and "costless". It's not.

Filseth's "lawnmower argument" fails on its own terms. Filseth says we should loan our lawnmower to our neighbor if neither of us is in the lawnmowing business. The problem is that Palo Alto IS in the water selling business. Maybe Filseth doesn't care about the rising water bills we're all paying to the city, but the rest of us do. And paying these bills to subsidize EPA developers only adds insult to injury. If the CC had received the proper compensation for the water its giving away, perhaps some of the water rate increases could have been avoided....but that would mean Filseth would have been looking after the interests of his constituents - not someone else's. Is that too much to ask?

Instead of rushing to congratulate one another on their generosity, perhaps the CC Members should have spent a little time overthinking this matter before acting


28 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Water rights have value; it's an asset; the fact that the water right does not cost the city of Palo Alto anything is irrelevant. The city council & city manager are hunting for more money in the form of more taxes, while they are giving away assets. Sure doesn't make much sense to me.

Did you all know that East Palo Alto has a budget surplus for the fiscal year ending in 2017? like a $14+ million surplus. see article Web Link

Really the City Council members have this outdated perception of East Palo Alto that is somewhat patronizing.

And pretty much some of the water rights will be used by developers to make a profit in developing real estate that will be sold or leased for market rates.

And does anyone remember that we had a drought in the recent past, and how our water rates were raised? and how does creating more demand for water by selling unused water rights help in the next drought?

So Palo Alto is giving away an asset worth many hundreds or millions of dollars to a city which has tens of millions of dollars of surplus, so that real estate developers can make a profit - is this an accurate summary?


13 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on May 9, 2018 at 1:22 pm

> Does anyone know how often the utility department is audited and
> the date of the most recent audit?

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a full performance audit of the Utility. Financial audits are performed yearly on the City's finances. To what extent these audits focus on the Utility is not clear.


9 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on May 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm

Several years ago I contacted the San Mateo LAFCO (Local Agency Formation Commission) about what it would take for EPA to return to being an unincorporated place in San Mateo County.

The LAFCO representative didn’t say it was impossible, but suggested that the State encouraged “local control” as much as possible. Unfortunately, small municipalities (EPA is about 2.6 sq. miles) do not have the physical size to attract the necessary mix of commercial entities to provide a tax base, nor the pool of residents to ultimately emerge as competent community leaders.

EPA is undergoing “gentrification”, which will, in time, provide a greater tax base than it has now. It’s been at least five years now since $1M+ homes have been on the market in that town. In time, its tax base will grow.

With Facebook’s expansions, EPA should be lobbying for financial help from this behemoth, giving it even more financial viability.

EPA will always be in need of help; returning unincorporated San Mateo status would be in everyone’s best interest.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 2:42 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on May 9, 2018 at 2:48 pm

At this point both Pat Burt and I have walked through the economics (Pat more succinctly than me), as has City staff. If people still disagree, I think it must remain one of those “agree to disagree” things.

As for the lawnmower, there is no reason you can’t ask your neighbor to pay for its use. While I think a minority of us would do that, it’s clearly a legitimate view.


3 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on May 9, 2018 at 2:50 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Ebony
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 3:06 pm

[Post removed.]


14 people like this
Posted by I’ll trade you
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 9, 2018 at 3:45 pm

[Portion removed.]

I expect Palo Alto officials to represent the interests of Palo Alto residents/taxpayers. I am not seeing this.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm

This is the least PA can do for EPA. Lamont's comments were right on.

[Portion removed.]


12 people like this
Posted by Dan
a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2018 at 4:38 pm

If we donate ALL of our excess water rights to some worthy cause (maybe give them to the endangered delta smelt) would that put a moratorium on further development in Palo Alto ? might be worth it...
Obviously water rights have immense value and will become more and more valuable + controversial over time as we continue to over-subscribe the reliable water supply and face normal drought cycles with less and less margin for error. Perhaps folks have forgotten the discussions about "senior" water rights and who gets water and who doesn't during the last very recent drought.


15 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 5:56 pm

"As for the lawnmower, there is no reason you can’t ask your neighbor to pay for its use. While I think a minority of us would do that, it’s clearly a legitimate view."

By "minority of us", Filseth clearly means a minority of the City Council thinks we should get something of value when transferring assets to neighboring cities who are running a budget surplus. Judging by the comments here, a majority of Mr. Filseth's constituents feel otherwise.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2018 at 6:19 pm

[Post removed.]


34 people like this
Posted by We are here, we are here
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 9, 2018 at 7:28 pm

I'm still steaming that I had to let my garden including my little patch of grass and my new espalliered trees die because of the "drought" while both places allowed developers to go gangbusters on densifying and bringing in more people. Why did I have to let my garden die if Palo Alto had so much water? And there was no curb on developers? I'm sure one day of the water I saw going down the storm drains while developers put up oversized hotels near me would have kept my garden alive for a year if I'd been allowed.

I can't afford to rehabilitate my garden and backyard that are now weeds, and am not healthy enough to do it myself. My garden had been a source of joy, peace, and healthy food, and I was told I had to sacrifice, yet development went apace. Why aren't some funds available from developer "mitigation" funds so that impacts like these can be mitigated? It's not like you can put a garden on hold for a few years, it's going to take work to bring it back to what it was when I had to cut back on water.


18 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 9, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Speaking of the drought, we had some guys from PA Utilities out to check on why our water bill was so outrageous and whether the huge and constant puddle across the street might have some bearing on our bill.

The guys reviewed the bill, said they couldn't figure it out, couldn't identify the problem across the street except to blame the neighbor for over-watering.

They did notice the city was still charging us the $25 a month surcharge for a drought that had officially ended 6 months earlier so I called the Utilities Dept and asked for my $150 back. Nope. The next month they reduced the drought surcharge to something like $12.

26,000 PA households x $25 x 6 months = $3,900,000 + $12 x 26,000 = $312,000 for a grand total of $4,212,000.

We should be getting refunds, not another increase! And no, the new storm drain for which we're taxed more hasn't solved the problem of the puddle across the street, esp, when it rains.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of University South
on May 9, 2018 at 9:46 pm

The drought restrictions were imposed by the governor statewide and were not driven by the city or related to the city’s surplus allocations from SFPUC. SFPUC was in better water supply shape than just about any water supplier in the state. The city staff is accountable for how the restrictions were implemented.


33 people like this
Posted by Misled
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on May 9, 2018 at 10:52 pm

At first, I really supported this transfer. I got a mass email from Drekmeier linking to the staff report and thought that we were giving something of no value to us, to EPA residents in need. I sent an email in to support this, but now I feel rather foolish.

When you look into this closely, you find a very different reality:
* This "no value" gift is worth $2.5M
* The water isn't for poor EPA residents but for billionaire developer Sobrato
* EPA is running a massive budget surplus, while PA is running a deficit while raising utility rates dramatically despite residents letting their gardens get destroyed by the drought

Karen was right, the process wasn't followed and so I and many others were fooled.

I'm especially disappointed with Eric. I donated to his campaign and thought he would protect the interests of PA residents. What happened? I expected this out of Cory, Adrian, Liz and the rest of the pro development gang but not you.

Eric, you lost my vote for your reelection.


11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm

FB is on the border of EPA and MP - and closer to EPA off University. Is this about giving water to FB and the charter school they are going to put there? There is more to this story than we are seeing here and our city CC people are in on it. EPA's tax bill goes to San Mateo County (SMC) - not Santa Clara County (SCC). So any change in status to EPA will go unrecognized by SCC. Has anyone asked Atherton to provide some water? They are next door and are in SMC. I think Atherton should have been the group providing water. Or MP.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of University South
on May 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

Facebook’s development is all in Menlo Park due to MP annexing the most valuable commercial land when EPA was incorporated in 1983. The water transfer does not affect their development at all. East Palo Alto gets many of the negative impacts of Facebook’s development without the tax revenue.
Also, Sobrato already got the water needed for their development through the Mountain View transfer.
[Post removed.]


18 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Resident said:

"Sobrato already got the water needed for their development through the Mountain View transfer"

And you know all of Sabrato's plans, present and future... how?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of University South
on May 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm

$2.5M is what East Palo Alto will have to pay Hetch Hetchy for actual water over multiple years. The idea they would pay Palo Alto another $2.5M on top of that is a fantasy.


12 people like this
Posted by EPA resident
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Just to clarify, EPA will have to still buy the water that comes from both the PA and MTV water rights. Our cost for MTV is $5M plus the cost of water. For PA, it $0 plus the cost of water.

The $5M for Mountain view's water rights was mainly funded by Sobrato and Zuckerberg. I'm not sure why PA didn't ask for any payment for water rights, but the EPA CC was pleasantly surprised. EPA could have paid for the PA water rights from donations or increased developer fees like we did with MTV, but PA never asked.

PA residents should not be mad at EPA. This was a multi year process and PA had ample time to bring up the payment option.

Given the wealth in PA this $2.5M is a drop in the bucket. I don't know what all the fuss is about.


7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 10, 2018 at 9:54 pm

Amazon has offices in the legal buildings on 101 and a new building in process east of 101. Is this about Amazon? They weren't part of any calculations over two years ago. A lot of new building is going on in EPA and properties next door - a new hotel. Why isn't SMC negotiating more water for all of the new building in the county? the County is in a real estate boom right now - another disorganized effort.


27 people like this
Posted by CeCi Kettendorf
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2018 at 12:00 am

I was present and heard the discussion about the water giveaway.
Greg Tanaka was unfairly attacked for merely questioning whether the decision to give up some of our water right was in the best interest of HIS constituents, Palo Alto residents. The "extra apple" metaphor was not applicable, as Mountain View is paid for the water it transferred; they do not give their extra fruit for free. Greg voted bravely: an asset with value was being forever lost to Palo Alto. He voted in my interest.
Regardless of who imposed the water rationing mandate two years ago, city or state, a number of my neighbors in good faith let their yards and their big trees die, believing it was their civic duty as good citizens, as citizens of the state of California which was experiencing a thousand year drought. My neighbor had a yard full of beautiful sixty year old established bonsai trees which suffered horribly. I won't tell my neighbors how they were duped, that they didn't have to let big trees die, that Palo Alto had PLENTY of water and "has never run out.....always had a surplus." In fact we have had such an abundance of water that we can confidently give it away with no strings attached forever more! ( I guess that is why it has been okay to deplete the ground water to build basements in Palo Alto.)
I have little faith in our city government any more. So, developers YET AGAIN benefit by the vote of our city council?
Some Palo Altans who pay the taxes now have a diminished experience day to day as homeowners since they lost their trees, their shade, their landscaping, street pride, and now will pay higher utility bills.
Today EPA is quickly upscaling; the joke is on us. Developers will benefit from the water, the families of EPA will not.
Why doesn't San Mateo advocate for EPA water since it is a city within its jurisdiction?


12 people like this
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on May 11, 2018 at 12:41 am

eileen is a registered user.

EPA resident,
all the fuss is about giving a big development boom in EPA a free ride with Palo Alto water. ITs not really for the people who do not own property.

All that water will be going to the new housing boom (not affordable), Class A office buildings like Amazon,
condos, apartments (not affordable) that will be built.

The current EPA residents that do not own property will be the losers!


15 people like this
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

On July 1, 2018 the residential monthly water service charge in Palo Alto will increase 9.9% and the volumetric water charge will increase 2.8% for water use of more than 6 ccf per billing cycle.


18 people like this
Posted by CeCi Kettendorf
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2018 at 7:24 am

Didn't our City Council just vote in 2.7 million square feet of office space to be built in the next twelve years? Won't those offices need water, water we just gave away?!!!!? Won't those offices be making coffee, flushing toilets, washing their undersized carports with an inadequate number of parking spaces? I have a solution! Come to my house at 3719 grove ave off east meadow one block in from Middlefield second house on left. Sign the petition to put a measure on the ballot to slow the office growth to half of the 2.7 million square feet. (Remember, Stanford is building another 3.1 million square feet.) Let the voters who live here for once have a say! Come to my house anytime today. Take home a grapefuit. If you come this evening, have a glass of wine with us. Please sign the petition! You may drink from my mother's Waterford!


17 people like this
Posted by disingenuous city manager
a resident of Downtown North
on May 11, 2018 at 1:17 pm

PA City manager Keene tells us that our water rights aren't worth anything at the CC meeting and thus should be given away for free, yet on yesterday's twitter posting from the @cityofpaloalto account:
"#PaloAlto is happy to help a good neighbor by releasing a half million gallons of its water allocation daily to East Palo Alto. Read more about the transfer of this PRECIOUS RESOURCE here: bit.ly/2rrQo5N"

So which is it Keene, is the transfer worthless or a precious resource? Talk about speaking from both sides of your mouth!!!

The PR link claims EPA will do a bunch of things for PA, yet the truth is that the water rights were given with zero obligations required from EPA.

I am mad about our utility rates skyrocketing, but I am even more upset at the blatant lies. Keene, please stop your lying.



11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 11, 2018 at 1:56 pm

EPA is in a giant building boom. The PA CC cleverly only points to children and schools. Sorry - you have hotels, big box stores, a growing corporate presence - Amazon, and legal office on the west side of 101 and University which are in the EPA tax base. Aren't they clever enough to help the city negotiate new water requirements? It should be a requirement that any new building is further transacted with the county and state to provide the correct allocation and support of the increased building. There is obviously some transaction with the big boys here to curry favor with who knows who - not the residents of the city. The Zuck and his charter school? Who - Amazon? If any one on the PACC is thinking about a leap to a greater political favor then there lies the answer. I personally gave up watering my trees and went the route of direction from the city about conserving water - the joke is on me and everyone else who did as they were told to be good citizens. Meanwhile the groundwater is being drained for people's basements - another big joke on everyone else.


7 people like this
Posted by pickpocket
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 11, 2018 at 2:09 pm

Anyone else see the hypocrisy here:

This week: "Palo Alto has more water than it can possibly use, so we should give it away."

Drought year: "Reduce your water consumption 24%! Don't water your lawn! Water use surcharges!"

City Council seems to have no memory and no foresight.


4 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of University South
on May 11, 2018 at 4:11 pm

Just to restate what was explained by others earlier in this thread, the governor mandated water use reductions during the drought regardless of whether water suppliers had actual shortages. That isn’t what seemed like was happening, but that’s the truth. It wasn’t the city’s fault.
Palo Alto has an allocation of 17 mgpd and uses 10 mgpd. The extra 7 million is unused and unneeded by us.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2018 at 7:41 am

Every one is side stepping the reality of where we are today - our local property taxes and utility taxes are driven by the city, county we live in - Santa Clara County. EPA is in San Mateo County. Both counties are being subjected to large development by major companies. San Mateo County has non-stop building of apartments and condos, as well as commercial building - FB, Amazon, etc. Meanwhile Santa Clara County is undergoing a huge growth driven by Google and other major companies from PA south to San Jose and beyond. Since water is a major concern of any major building boom then someone is not doing the job projecting current and future use based on the projected growth. Even worse is the twin tunnel project that our current "water people" have voted on. How do they get the power to make these decisions with no vote from the taxpayers?

SMC should be planning for their county and driving the needs of projected development. SCC should also be developing the needs and uses of major development that is being planned at this time. If Amazon is sitting in EPA then they should be helping to coordinate with the county "water people" to project future use. What about all of the growth that SU is planning? Where is their negotiating power? What about the city of Atherton? They are next door to EPA and do not appear to have any commercial growth planned - do they not have excess water to share with their neighbor?
Next time we have a fight over airline noise and Atherton argues over it's EPA neighbor I will think of water - why not sharing with your neighbor?


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 12, 2018 at 8:23 pm

I was at the Facebook event today. The main complex is on the north side of HWY 84 - MP side. However on the south side - EPA side there is now extensive building by FB of both residences and work place. I drove through it and it is extensive. FB is going to have to help the city negotiate for more water and services - or did they just do that with PA? That city needs some real help now to upgrade for their growing needs.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 12, 2018 at 11:05 pm

^ Menlo Park covers both sides of Highway 84.
EPA does not begin until about a half mile south/east of 84.


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2018 at 7:03 am

EPA is also located on the west side of 101 if you want to discuss county lines. So go visit EPA and look at the street signage as you go down and check out the new buildings - no difference. The new growth on the EPA side of 84 is integrated with the EPA residential streets. You have to drive into it to see it. I cannot imagine that the dump trucks and postal workers will only address one side of the street in the semi-residential areas. I also know that a number of people are buying up houses and upgrading them as they are within walking distance of the FB campus. EPA is becoming big business in the residential housing market.


4 people like this
Posted by shane246
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2018 at 8:46 am

water is free. just collect it as it drops from the sky above. every other kind of water is not free and certainly has value. PA liberals are giving it away for free and raising our taxes to pay for their liberal utopia. this is especially irritating to read when I hear my utility rates are going. In addition, EPA has a budget surplus and can pay for it.


6 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Some commenters have made this into a moral issue using guilt as the medium of exchange. They have disregarded the structure that is in place at this time regarding taxation and the people within each county who are delegated and employed to function within the guidelines for the city, county, and state. Then you have the "water people" who voted on the twin water tunnels which will ruin the bay. It boggles the mind that the people who are in charge are unable to function within the forward planning required for their specific areas of concern. PA's specific area of concern is the planned growth on SU campus and our sister cities which are now in process of huge growth. And yes - EPA is also in a huge growth period which should be coordinated with the other cities in the SMC tax base = MP, Atherton, San Mateo, etc. It is very irking that Atherton keeps using EPA and Belle Haven as excuses for how airline traffic is directed yet does not appear to actually contribute to the cities growth requirements.


17 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm

This isn't your grandfathers Democratic Party.

After 50 years of one party rule in the Bay Area, establishment Democrats on the Mid-Peninsula no longer see themselves as leaders of their communities but instead see themselves as mid-level functionaries in a broader regional governmental structure with its policies set by the Party leadership in San Francisco.

"Regional cooperation" means domination by self-serving San Francisco based political elites and their benefactors in the real-estate industry.


5 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Mountain View
on May 13, 2018 at 6:32 pm

EPA officials previously got water rights from Mountain View. They may go to every city in the Bay Area, hat in hand, and not mention the other cities.


1 person likes this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 13, 2018 at 11:33 pm

First off, this does seem like a sensible and ethical thing to do - EPA was disregarded at the start when SFPUC did allocations and, as explained clearly in several posts, there is no additional cost to Palo Alto of doing something that seems right. Perhaps it is a lost opportunity to make money by selling water rights, but if this behavior were to be followed California wide, we might manage our scarcest resource more equitably and likely more sustainably.

So, I do have a question: Does anyone know where to find a list of current SFPUC allocations? It is fair to include other San Mateo county cities like Menlo Park when considering overall equity of the allocation to various cities.

I also have a second water question that perhaps Eric Filseth could answer: The board of the SCVWD has just voted 4 to 3 to participate in the Delta tunnels project ("Waterfix") - because of the substantial cost of the project this will involve a hefty increase in water rates and fees to SCVWD customers. This participation reflects the fact that much of SCVWD, but not Palo Alto, uses State Water Project water exported from the Delta (our Hetch Hetchy water is diverted upstream of the Delta). My questions are:
(1) Does the PA have an official city position on WaterFix participation?
(2) Will PA residents have to also pay to support SCVWD's participation in WaterFix?


12 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2018 at 1:54 am

"... there is no additional cost to Palo Alto of doing something that seems right. ..."

[Portion removed.] Of course there is a cost to Palo Alto by giving away something of value. And as evidenced by Mt. View's sale of water to Palo Alto, this cost is significant. Under Stephen's reasoning, if he has an asset - say a savings account from which he isn't currently drawing any money - he could give the asset to someone poorer than him - because it is the "sensible and ethical" thing to do - all at no cost to himself.

I would be willing to bet that Stephen does not behave this way with his own assets, and the City Council should not have behaved this way with assets they manage for the residents of Palo Alto. How much of the recent and planned water rate rises could have been avoided if the City Council had received value for the City's assets they just gave away [portion removed] "at no cost"?


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2018 at 7:20 am

Is Stephen a homeowner or a condo renter whose utility taxes are paid by the property owner? Different opinions by who is responsible and house owner who is trying to grow a lawn and plants. Maybe status of CC members level of responsibility and what they can decide for the rest of us.


3 people like this
Posted by Stephen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Resident: Despite the fact that your question is hardly germane. But, I will answer it: I am a homeowner who pays pretty heft property taxes. We have a small lawn and try hard to conserve water as a general principle. ...And you? Should I assume that you have some vast expanse of water-guzzling lawn etc.? I do assume you know that essentially all of the water we use is water that would otherwise flow through the Delta and into the Bay, supporting a functioning estuarine ecosystem. Clearly, trying to balance the needs of people and the environment is tough - my hat is off to the people who work hard every day trying to do so.
BTW, renters generally pay their landlord's property taxes since that is one part of the landlord's expenses that the landord generally needs to cover.

Mary: I hope that you not really as selfish as your message suggests. Like air, water is a shared resource - it is regrettable that the right to use a given amount of water has come to be viewed as property. PA's allocation is only an asset in that our city was in a good position to haggle when the structuring of the communal resource was carried out. It would not surprise me to learn that SFPUC could unilaterally decide at some point to re-allocate the water to which it has the actual water right, not PA. Palo Alto currently has a contractual guarantee that we can buy a set amount of water, The current agreement (Web Link) is for 25 years starting in 2009. In 2034, SF may renew the agreement. That is "may" not "wlll."

Finally: re equity: Here are the per capita supply guarantees based on 2009 populations of various cities:
Palo Alto - 284 gpd
Mountain View - 182 gpd
Menlo Park and Redwood City - 147 gpd
Sunnyvale - 90 gpd
East Palo Alto - 58 gpd

Mary: Does this seem like an equitable distribution of a shared resource? I think not.

Personally, I think the PA city council did the ethical thing, and I applaud them. Now if they could only clean up that mess on Ross Rd....


9 people like this
Posted by Mary
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 14, 2018 at 2:33 pm

" it is regrettable that the right to use a given amount of water has come to be viewed as property."

I think you meant "all property is theft".


6 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 14, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Stephen,

First: You seem to think the water allocations are gifts (inequitably)) handed out to various cities by the SFPUC. They are not. The allocations are options contracts negotiated by each city based on their perceived needs and market prognostications.

Second: The water option Palo Alto gave East Palo Alto water will not go to the residents of East Palo Alto. For all practical purposes the water will be allocated to the developers gentrifying East Palo Alto and pricing current residents out of their homes and rentals units.

"How Gentrification Is Intrinsically Racist" Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 14, 2018 at 4:13 pm

In the allocation I did not see Atherton and SU. Atherton is not in a big growth pattern however SU is planning a huge growth spurt. From where I am sitting Atherton should be reviewed and provide some water since they are directly in that area. As to negotiated amounts they do not seem to take into consideration the planned growth for the cities. Right now SOCAL is going to drain our water because our official "water people - collectively" are unable to project future use and put a stake in the ground. The fight is taking place now and the water will never get here if it is stopped at the twin tunnels. In order to allocate any water is first has to get here.


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 14, 2018 at 4:47 pm

According to the 2009 Water Supply Agreement between the City and County of San Francisco and Wholesale Customers in Alameda County, San Mateo County and Santa Clara County Stanford University has an Individual Supply Guarantee of 3.033 million gallons per day.

See Attachment C (page 107): Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on May 14, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Atherton gets their water from the California Water Service, not from the City and County of San Francisco:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 15, 2018 at 9:39 am

In a recent SJM article San Mateo County was created specifically to avoid SFC from dictating significant activities and making the peninsula a feeder of tax dollars and any other significant commodity. From where I am sitting there is a "water person" in SMC who is suppose to be negotiating for the county based on current and future growth. Is this another person hired or voted in to warm a chair or is it a person who is suppose to perform a job. That goes for the school system also - it all trees up to the county of SMC and the tax base which gets allocated based on current and future projections. EPA is now in a big growth period and the people who are suppose to be managing this are out to lunch somewhere. Can we please update these jobs with people who are actually qualified to do them instead of working below the radar to run the show.
We have had our go-arounds with all of these people in relation to the San Fransquito dam issue where everyone argued as to who has the rights to make a call on the creek that divides SCC and SMC and where that water gets directed.


1 person likes this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on May 21, 2018 at 7:32 am

In the SFC 05/21 is an Opinion Piece article by John Garamendi concerning an upcoming House vote on the twin tunnels which would unscramble any water contract in the state and prevent any challenges to the Water Fix plans. Whatever you thought was going on you can forget because any planning you are doing is going to be overcome by water going south. And the Santa Clara Water People have contributed to this mess by approving the project. So Jerry Brown is using the federal government to make his water plan a reality. ABAG and any other industrialist should check their current plans because there is no guarantee that any new development on the peninsula will be supported by sufficient water and there is nothing you can legally do to prevent that. Nice going everyone. Just non-stop upheaval that goes no where that we are at.


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