Measure C Will Protect Our water

Letter to the Napa Valley Register, by Penny Pawl, April 16, 2018


I want to tell you why I am voting 'yes' on Measure C. I have lived in the same location in the county for over 50 years. My husband and I had a well dug in the late 1960s. We thought it was overkill, but we went to 405 feet. For years, we did not worry about having enough water for our home and gardens


For several years, I have been on the list of County Water Conservation District to measure my water level in the well two times a year. As this has been done and I have the records, the water level keeps getting lower . The lowest was last October at 139 feet to first water. This is the lowest ever and I am quite stingy with water. I don't have lawns and try to plant drought-tolerant plants.

I read in the newspaper that the county fathers said we had adequate water this spring. However that does not seem to be true as this past week my spring water level was 94 feet compared to 60 feet last spring.

If all the additional wineries are built and vineyards put in they will be drawing more water. It takes between 4 and 7 gallons of water to make a gallon of wine. I'll bet you did not know this, as it is not common knowledge. I have read this in journals from UC Davis.

So if a winery is making 10,000 gallons of wine they are using at least 40,000 gallons of water for cleanup.

When I moved to the valley in the late '50s, it was almost all dry farming for the vineyards and now I see sprinklers going at all times of the year. I realize new plantings need to be watered but it hurts to realize I have been saving water and others are using it.

I urge you to consider the needs of the current residents of Napa County as opposed to new developers who want to live their life time dream. That dream is noble but not at the expense of residents. The roots of our oaks maintain the soil and allow the water to seep down into the deep ground.

Vote 'yes' on Measure C.

Penny Pawl






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