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CORRECTION: San Diego Union-Tribune Prints Correction about Board Member Stipends

A story on B1 June 5 about San Diego County Water Authority board meetings contained incorrect information about attendance stipends, expenses, and other payments for board members through March of this year. The amount paid collectively is $106,500.

OPINION: Lies, Damned lies & The Twin Tunnels

In the Ohlone Wilderness south of Pleasanton is a 220-foot tall reminder that the past may catch up with California.

Calaveras Dam — built by the City of San Francisco 92 years ago — sits next to an active earthquake fault. Downstream are Fremont and other communities along Alameda Creek where 300,000 people live that are considered at risk in a major quake. The dam’s base is comprised of loose earth from a previous dam that had failed earlier in the 20th century. It was back in the day when quake knowledge was just barely out of the Stone Age.


Padre Dam District Hikes Rates For Sewer, Water

Water and sewer rates for Padre Dam Municipal Water District customers are going up, despite pushback from some residents at a public hearing last week. The five-member water board approved rate hikes which will take effect in November. The average residential Padre Dam customer will pay about $155 a month for water and sewer services, up from $151. Further rate hikes are scheduled yearly through 2021. Increases will vary by customer based on water consumption and the type of dwelling — single family, multifamily, commercial, condominiums, hotels or apartments.

California Mounts Lobbying Blitz for EPA Water Loans

The Golden State is making a strong lobbying push to try to win new federal loans for water infrastructure projects, according to data and documents reviewed by Bloomberg BNA. The EPA has received applications from water systems across the country for these loans in 2017, the first year the agency will dole them out. But California is head and shoulders above its peers in trying to persuade the agency to send the loans its way.


How California Got Its First Groundwater Market

California’s drought might be over, but the state continues to suffer groundwater woes. The state’s first groundwater market for individual landowners hopes to address some of those problems. For much of California’s history, groundwater was completely unregulated – cities and farmers freely pumped from underground aquifers. Then in 2014, the state passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) to help curtail over-pumping during droughts and bring groundwater basins into sustainability. One powerful way to achieve that, says Matthew Fienup, is with market forces.

National Republicans Target California Water Needs In New Ads Against House Democrats

The National Republican Congressional Committee is going after five California Democrats for votes on a water issue. The online ads are identical except for one line tailored to target each Democrat: Reps. John Garamendi of Walnut Grove, Ami Bera of Elk Grove, Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara, Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert and Scott Peters of San Diego. They specifically are about the Democrats voting against a bill to funnel dam permits through a single federal agency in an effort to speed up new water storage projects.

Water Experts Debate Benefits of Draining Lake Powell

An environmental group in Utah wants to drain Lake Powell and move its water downstream to Lake Mead. Supporters say the plan will save water and restore a natural ecosystem in Glen Canyon. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports. The proposal is called “Fill Mead First.” It was suggested by Utah’s Glen Canyon Institute. Executive director Eric Balken says it’s more efficient to have one full reservoir, instead of two half-empty ones.