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.