Archive for date: May 27th, 2016
San Diego County Water Authority officials are in the midst of mapping out a long-term water supply plan that’s expected to look quite different from the document they drew up just five years ago. Some environmentalists worry those plans rely too much on energy-intensive sources like desalination.
Water officials say the region’s forecast for the year 2040 relies less on imported water from Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and more on local supplies that tap into recycling and possibly desalination.
In a case that highlights how difficult it is to enforce agricultural water reductions in California, a state panel has moved to dismiss a $1.55 million fine it levied last year against a Delta-area agency accused of ignoring an order to stop diverting water in the drought.
State water regulators alleged last June that Byron-Bethany Irrigation District in the southern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta defied a state order issued to dozens of senior water rights holders. The order told them to stop pulling water from streams and rivers due to extremely dry conditions.
House Republicans are trying a new approach to divert more water from Northern California.
Check that. They’re dusting off a stale and disreputable tactic: attaching a proposal that can’t pass on its own to unrelated legislation that has bipartisan support. In this instance, they’re hitching a ride on Senate-approved energy measures that reached the House floor this week. One is a must-pass bill that contains $37.4 billion in funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The other is a broader energy policy bill.
When California officials announced an end to restrictions on urban water use last week, they cited the recent wet winter as one reason. El Niño, the climate pattern that brought a succession of storms to Northern California, had given the state a reprieve from its water woes, they said.
Those storms left a mountain snowpack that while ordinary by historical standards far exceeded the meager accumulations of 2015.
San Diegans went from wastefully using water hoses to clean driveways and sidewalks to becoming a drought-conscience community that used a lot less water than expected in recent years. The low water demand is expected to linger for the next 25 years.
Some might assume lower water usage would mean lower water bills, but that didn’t happen.
On May 10, a California Court of Appeal upheld an earlier Superior Court dismissal of litigation challenging the Cadiz Water Project. The Cadiz, Inc. plan to conserve water that’s currently evaporating in the Mojave Desert would deliver new water to our communities in south Orange County as well as five other Southern California counties. After years of court challenges, the project’s opponents were told their arguments simply don’t hold water.