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Feds’ water use forecast was too good to be true

It sounded too good to be true — an official forecast that 2016 water use in Arizona, California and Nevada will be the lowest since 1992.

That forecast from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was too good to be true — by the bureau’s own admission. It was widely reported recently as a sign of major progress toward conservation. But what the bureau calls its more accurate forecast, while still showing progress, is significantly higher, predicting water use in the states will be its lowest in 11 years — not 24.

SANDAG Tax Measure Opponents File Lawsuit

Opponents of Measure A, which would hike San Diego County’s sales tax by a half-cent to fund infrastructure projects, announced on Tuesday that they’ve filed a lawsuit challenging the accuracy of supporters’ ballot statements. It’s the second court action involving the veracity of local ballot arguments. A judge said he would rule next week on the statement provided by opponents of Measure B, a planned residential development in the Lilac Hills section of Valley Center. The San Diego Association of Governments placed Measure A on the ballot, and it has received the blessing of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

Background on Agreement Between Bullhead City, BOR

The following is taken from a “council communication” from Public Works Director Pawan Agrawal providing background information regarding the agreement between the city of Bullhead City and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation permitting the city to pump effluent — wastewater — into the Colorado River: In October 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a letter inviting certain entities along the Colorado River to participate in the “Pilot Program for Colorado River System Water Conservation” they developed at that time, and Bullhead City received this invitation.


Listen Now: Interviews with Helix Water Board Candidates Mark Gracyk and Dan McMillan

September 6,2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Mark Gracyk and  Dan McMillan both say they’re running for the Helix Water District Board to stop rate hikes –and roll them back if possible.  Both are running against incumbents (Chuck  Muse and John Linden) who have repeatedly voted for rate hikes. Hear our full interview, aired on KNSJ radio,  by clicking the orange link above, and scroll down for highlights. Neither Muse nor  Linden responded to our invitation to be interviewed, nor did  three other challengers (Louis Tejeda, Aaron Zajac and Erik  Collins).

Water Agency Approves $55 Million Budget

The Sweetwater Authority board recently finalized its budget and water rates, approving a $55 million budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year with no rate increase for residential customers. At the Aug. 29 public hearing, the board voted for a rate decrease for commercial customers and an increase for public agency customers. Despite no local rate increases, residential customers will see a slight increase in the San Diego County Water Authority pass-through rates beginning January 1, 2017, said Rich Stevenson, the Sweetwater’s finance director.