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Water Authority Members Meet More In Private Than Public

Members of the San Diego County Water Authority met behind closed doors more than 100 times last year — four times as often as they met in public. State law limits the scope and frequency of such unnoticed, unrecorded meetings so as to prevent officials from hiding their activities from the public, which pays for them. Yet payroll documents, the only records available to describe the get-togethers, show three groups of authority board members met behind closed doors on a monthly basis in 2016.

San Diego Says Cuts to Flood Channel Clearing Won’t Increase Risk

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposal to spend significantly less clearing clogged drainage channels has raised concerns about higher flood risk in San Diego, but Faulconer’s staff says there’s no reason to worry. The city can prudently spend as much as $1.4 million less on clearing flood channels during the fiscal year that begins July 1 because staff has become more efficient at obtaining environmental permits and completing the work, said Kris McFadden, director of the city’s Transportation and Storm Water Department.

Plans For Major New Reservoir In Santa Clara County Moving Forward

Hoping to boost water supplies during future droughts, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider is working on a plan to build a new $800 million dam and reservoir in the remote hills of eastern Santa Clara County, just off Pacheco Pass. The idea, still in the early stages, could result in the construction of one of the largest reservoirs in the Bay Area — a lake that would be twice the size of Crystal Springs Reservoir along Interstate 280 in San Mateo County — and the first new reservoir built in Santa Clara County since 1957, when Uvas Reservoir near Morgan Hill opened.

Hydropower Plant Next to Joshua Tree National Park Wouldn’t Hurt The Environment, Feds Say

Federal officials have concluded that infrastructure for a proposed hydropower project — which would tap billions of gallons of groundwater in the California desert, just outside Joshua Tree National Park — wouldn’t be especially harmful to the environment. The Bureau of Land Management issued a “finding of no significant impact” Thursday for power lines and water pipelines that would enable Eagle Crest Energy Company to build a massive hydroelectric power plant in the Eagle Mountain area, which is surrounded on three sides by the national park. That finding clears the way for the agency to approve the project infrastructure in a few months, after a final protest period.