Zone 7 candidates stress sustainability, conservation at pre-election forum

Candidate state positions, answer questions about future of water supplies

Sustainability, storage, water quality and quantity, conservation and water management were words used throughout a forum held last week by candidates for the Zone 7 board of directors in the upcoming June 3 election.

Hosted by the League of Women Voters of Livermore-Amador Valley, the six of the seven candidates seeking election gave opening and closing statements and answered questions asked by the audience.

Board member AJ Machaevich, an incumbent in the race, did not participate in the League of Women Voters forum.

Zone 7 Water Agency provides water resources and flood control to the Livermore-Amador Valley, as well as selling treated water to Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin and a part of San Ramon.

The six candidates for Zone 7 Board of Directors who participated in the May 14 forum are:

* Alfred A. Exner

* John James Greci, Jr. (incumbent)

* Jim McGrail

* Matt Morrison

* Sarah Palmer (incumbent)

* Bill Stevens (incumbent)

Palmer, who currently serves on the Zone 7 board, said she believes that sustainability is the main issue and "we have to look 50 years, 100 years down the road."

"Water is key," she said. "Civilizations have fallen because water has not been available, or it's been misused or mismanaged."

According to Palmer, the economical, political and environmental issues must be looked at altogether in order to meet our [water needs.

Many candidates echoed one another about the importance of water storage and how it should be a priority.

"We need more storage and we need ways to get more storage," said Exner.

Stevens, the Zone 7 board president, agreed.

"There are ways of getting to more storage," he said. "You have to pass the BDCP (Bay Delta Conservation Plan), and you have to separate from the county."

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is California's current water proposal.

According to its website, the BDCP is a conservation strategy aimed at protecting dozens of species of fish and wildlife, while allowing operation of California's two biggest water delivery projects.

Morrison, a 45-year Pleasanton resident, is not in favor of BDCP.

"It sucks up to $60 billion in bonds and bond financing," he said. "We could take half or a third of that and put it in recycling, we could fallow agriculture land that's contaminated and strengthen levies."

In response to the separation from Alameda County, McGrail is against Zone 7 walking away from Alameda County.

"I believe we all can work together," he said. "There's power in numbers and I don't believe we should be independent."

In response to the drought emergency, Zone 7 vice president Greci said the quantity of water is of strong interest to him now and his previous experiences allow him to know the importance of managing water for availability and quality.

Alameda County residents can vote for the Zone 7 board of directors on June 3. There will be four seats available on the primary election ballot.


Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

I wander if any of these candidates know what Nitrification is?
I wander if any of these candidates know what blending is?
I wander if any of these candidates know what flushing is?
I wander if any of these candidates know what pigging is?
I wander if any of these candidates understand the formula
FAA(asN)+NO2-(asN)+N03-(asN)+(0.27 X NH2CI)= NITROGEN balance?
All the above questions are factors that heavily impact Pleasanton
water from Zone 7.

Posted by already conserve, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 20, 2014 at 5:04 pm

I would like to know their position on the excessive watering of Pleasanton parks and golf courses. The sports park is not showing any signs of lack of water, it's still soggy in many places. The businesses in Hacienda park are still watering their lawns and median strips. The golf courses at the fairgrounds and Callippe are still getting water. So, if Pleasanton can impose at 25% cutback on all of us, why is the city allowed to use ANY drinking water on golf courses, parks and road medians?

I read somewhere that 130,000+ gallons of water are used each and every day at the sports park. I would like to know if that is true and if so, what each of these candidates plans to do about that.

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 20, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I wonder why there are 19 water districts in the 400 square mile Mocho watershed area. That is almost one water district for every 20 square miles. Sounds like a lot of duplication and taxpayer expense to me. I guess there is a reason they call California water districts the golden faucet.

Haven't heard anything lately from the clowns that wanted to tear down Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 20, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Already Conserve, your question will better be answered by emailing

Posted by tim, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 21, 2014 at 8:48 am

do not vote for incumbents

Posted by Ed Dantzig, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 21, 2014 at 9:27 am

I don't know whether Matt Morrison is right or wrong about BDCP, but I love that he is thinking outside the box, looking for new solutions to challenging problems.

Posted by Melissa, a resident of Birdland
on May 21, 2014 at 9:53 am

Not voting for anyone who supports the BDCP. Protecting the Delta Smelt while our farmers in the valley have their water cut way back. I have seen 3 different water regulations from various agencies; the city, the Police Dept and now Zone 7's flyer yesterday. Which one should we follow. The city says only to water on odd days and Zone 7 says only 2 days a week on certain months, some months 1 day and Dec through March no days.

Posted by Scary, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

Ed, of course Matt Morrison is thinking OUT of the box....He's an extremist, a long way from center on alarmist, not based in rational evidence.

Posted by Right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2014 at 11:16 am

Wow, nothing like the reporter favoring some candidates over others! Really objective reporting!

It doesn't take a chemistry geek to know that sustaining humans are more important than sustaining smelt. Smelt have a huge ocean to explore and find a new habitat.

BDCP is a myth, imputed by collectivists who want our system of freedom to die. When we start favoring smelt over human freedom then we know the Democrat Party must be behind it.

Posted by disgusted, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Still waiting to hear any response on cutting back water at sports park, golf courses and of course Hacienda business park.....or because these make the city some money are they exempt ???

Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The incumbents get a "F" for planning. Remember that when you vote! Check out BDCP on line and see how much taxpayer money they are squandering! A major bureaucratic (and politically socialist)agency that favors smelt over people!!

Posted by Ed Dantzig, a resident of Carriage Gardens
on May 21, 2014 at 6:41 pm

As Grandpa said in the movie Moon Stuck, "I'm confused". If only Scary, Right and Citizen were read in these posts, you would think the Mr. Morrison was either a far right conservative or a far right liberal.
I think his OUT OF THE BOX thinking has actually confused some of our very conservative friends. They need to better coordinate their responses.

Posted by Question, a resident of Downtown
on May 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

Last I read we had between 42 and 47 million people in the state and growing through immigration. Don't we need to increase our water supply and storage?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 22, 2014 at 8:32 am

The US government is lying to American citizens. There are closer to 30 million "illegal" residents in the USA and that number grows daily. Americans are unable to control their borders.

I welcome all immigrants to the US and wish them the very best of luck in their new home.


Posted by already conserve, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

@disgusted -- they claim to be cutting back on water at the golf courses and parks but looking around tells a different story. The sports park is still a soggy mess in many places and the golf courses show no signs of water loss. I don't care what excuses they use, the city has no reasonable answer for why they are pouring drinking water on lawns. If they cannot keep the golf courses, parks and street medians alive with reclaimed water then let them die. Drinking water does not belong on lawns.

Posted by Adios Cholo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2014 at 9:59 am

Whatever these Zone 7 zeros do will not matter much in the end. Our water situation is going to be dismal to catastrophic unless something gets done about cutting immigration to the U. S. Our resources are quite literally getting overrun. There's still 3 billion Asians, Middle Easterners, and Latin Americans that want to move to the United States. Only a matter of time until we will be drinking recycled whiz, burning dung, and starving.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on May 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

Posted by Right, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 24, 2014 at 7:20 am

It boils down to smelt freedom verses human freedom. When smelt come up with they're own Constitution, maybe I'll listen to them. Until then I will resist the Democrat Party with every fiber of my bean.

Posted by Pleasantonian, a resident of Mission Park
on May 28, 2014 at 8:18 am

Pleasantonian is a registered user.

For those who think the city isn't cutting down on watering of our parks, drive by Mission Hills park at the corner of Independence and Junipero. It is quickly turning brown.

Posted by mjarivers, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 30, 2014 at 4:47 pm

mjarivers is a registered user.

During 2013 the city of Pleasanton flushed 2.7 million gallons of water into the arroyos and canels. The city flushed this water due to high nitrification counts in the city storage system. this flushing is ongoing today. Although the city says the amount is reduced this year over last year.
I tend to think with the advent of water conservation in Pleasanton with the reduced water usage the flushing will increase because it is the storage that causes the nitrification problem to persist. The longer the water sits without circulation the greater the bacteria will multiply. the city says no to this happening. The city says it may be just a case of more chlorination with flushing that will resolve this ongoing problem.

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