The Metro has an excellent cover story this week about the WPCP. There is, as one might expect, a fair bit of scatological humor, but that’s to be expected. But the article gives a very thorough description of what the plant does, how utterly vital is is that the plant keep doing it, and how expensive that’s likely to be. Alastair Bland, the reporter, does not get very far into recycled water, unfortunately, neither does he delve too deeply into development plans:
Officials now hope to boot the grazers and open up the fields to other uses. Ideas are being discussed at City Hall. One proposition would turn the area into public parkland or soccer fields. Another (and one which would generate revenue to help offset the Master Plan’s $1 billion price tag) is to lease the land to renewable technology companies while staying mindful to the needs of the resident owls. Otherwise, increased user rates will cover costs.
It’s not just being discussed at City Hall, of course. Everyone who benefits from the plant, and certainly everyone in San JosÃ© should weigh in on the land use issue.
But that’s really carping. I hope this article is widely read; it gives a very, very good overview of the WPCP.
Along those lines, Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio has put online a very detailed survey about what residents would prefer to cut or not to cut. There are 100 questions (and the survey won’t let you progress unless you answer them all) but it really goes deep into the kinds of cuts that are on the table for San JosÃ©. Sewers are in there as a priority, along with police, fire and libraries. If you’re a San JosÃ© resident, I also urge you to take the survey.