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By Roz Rogoff

Screaming in the forest

Uploaded: May 6, 2012

Here's a new spin on the famous philosophical question: "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does anyone care?" That's not quite the original question, but it is my question for today. If I'm screaming about Zone 7 in my blog, and nobody reads it, does it matter that Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty killed the bill that would separate Zone 7 from Alameda County Flood Control so voters in Dougherty Valley could vote in Zone 7 elections?

I could rephrase the mythical question again as "If a water agency is in Livermore and voters in Dougherty Valley cannot vote because they live in Contra Costa County, does that mean the quality of the water they get isn't as good?" Well, I've been told the water quality from Zone 7 is much better in Livermore than it is in Dougherty Valley, so I guess the answer is "Yes."

It shouldn't matter to me. I don't get my water from Zone 7. Residents of Dublin and Dougherty Valley do, delivered by the Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD). The difference is that residents of Dublin can vote for or run for Director of Zone 7 but residents of Dougherty Valley cannot. Zone 7 is invisible to most residents of Contra Costa County.

Here are two more old sayings that could apply: "ignorance is bliss" and "don't drink the water." Oh, I shouldn't say that. Zone 7 water is legally potable just not very palatable. However, if Zone 7 was independent from Alameda County, it could be a multi-county agency and residents of Dougherty Valley would have some input into improving the quality of their water.

I guess tap water quality isn't important to residents of Dougherty Valley or more of them would have supported SB1337. I've seen water softeners and bottled water up there, so residents must be handling the water quality issue their own way.

Scott Haggerty and the other Alameda County Supervisors voted to oppose SB1337, so I thought our Contra Costa County Supervisors should vote to support it. I sent our current and past Supervisor the following email:

"Dear Supervisors Uelkema and Piepho,

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier authored a bill, SB1337, to separate the Zone 7 Water Agency from Alameda County Flood Control so it could operate across County lines.

Zone 7 provides water to the Dublin San Ramon Services agency for distribution in Dublin, Pleasanton, and Dougherty Valley. Residents of Dougherty Valley can vote in DSRSD elections but not in Zone 7's. SB1337 would enable Dougherty Valley residents to elect their own representatives to Zone 7.

I wrote my San Ramon Observer blog two weeks ago on this bill, which DSRSD and the management of Zone 7, support.

DSRSD President, Rich Halket, notified me that Alameda County Supervisor, Scott Haggerty, killed the bill. I hope it can be restored.

I don't want to start a cross county war, but Zone 7 provides water to residents in Contra Costa County and they should have a say in its governance. I hope our County Supervisors will stand up for residents of Dougherty Valley and give them the ability to vote for Zone 7 Directors. Water is too important to ignore.


It always amazes me how liars with flyers and a bucket full of cash can manipulate voters for or against whatever they want, but when a legitimate right has been taken away too many voters don't care or won't bother to do something about it.

I hope I've made enough noise in this blog to get people in San Ramon to pay attention to Zone 7. If enough voters in Dougherty Valley and the rest of San Ramon hear SB1337 crashing down, maybe you will take some action to stop it. All it takes is a phone call or an email.

Contact State Senator Mark DeSaulnier and tell him to keep pushing for SB1337. Assembly Woman Joan Buchanan knows about SB1337 because DSRSD included her in the mailing list for their letter of support.Tell Buchanan you want to be able to vote for your water quality.

Contact our Contra Costa County Supervisors and ask the three candidates running for District 2 where they stand on Zone 7.

Contact our City Council and demand they support this bill. Don't just sit there and let this tree fall. In the mean time I'll keep screaming in the forest until my throat is as irritated as my disposition.