Episode 041: Connstance Holdaway Talks Water

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On this episode, I chat with Connstance Holdaway, District 5 Director and Vice President of the Board for the Contra Costa Water District. We discuss the impact all this rain is having on the district, water storage and conservation, water rates, Los Vaqueros Expansion, and what legislation could mean for the Contra Costa Canal which needs to be upgraded. We also get into recreation at Los Vaqueros.

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Episode Overview:

  • 02:26 – What does all this rain water & Snow Pack mean for Contra Costa Water. Los Vaqueros is 92% full.
  • 04:00 – Los Vaqueros Recreation: hiking & fishing
  • 04:44 – New Interpretive Center in Los Vaqueros
  • 05:00 – Los Vaqueros Expansion & Water Storage + timeline on construction.
  • 08:48 – Moving towards water storage.  How do we start HR 1600 – divert High Speed Rail money to water storage Los Vaqueros is largest reservoir in Bay Area. The life cycle is about 100-years.
  • 10:21 – Other bills they are watching is the “Water Tax” which imposes a tax on water bills to pay for water districts who can’t get clean water.
  • 11:03 – Contra Costa Water District just updated their water rates as of February 1. Holdaway explains the process and what went into the decision.
  • 13:35 – Uniform water rate increase vs. tiered pricing and why they didn’t pick the tiered rates. How infrastructure needs come into play.
  • 16:15 – On implementing the “Drought Charge” for 25% reduction in water usage.
  • 17:00 – Conservation vs. cost in maintaining the infrastructure.
  • 17:57 – Contra Costa Canal maintenance and upgrade and Congressman DeSaulnier introduced legislation to turn it over from the Federal Government to the water district.  The canal could be covered in the future.
  • 20:47 – Los Vaqueros recreation & activities, programs, fishing, hiking and events.