Local leaders are working to make greater Los Angeles more reliant on local water in order to prepare for a hotter and more crowded future. A UCLA study published today is a reminder that achieving water independence would require a delicate balancing act—in particular for how the region manages the Los Angeles River.
Archive for date: September 20th, 2017
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The state’s largest pension fund on Tuesday shot down a pitch from a Republican lawmaker who wants it to study how much money it could save by cutting benefits for retired public workers. Sen. John Moorlach of Orange County in July wrote letters to CalPERS board members – Richard Costigan and Dana Hollinger – making two touchy requests for the pension fund. In one, Moorlach wanted CalPERS to estimate how much money it could save by temporarily suspending cost-of-living adjustments for retirees. CalPERS has different retirement plans that allow cost-of-living adjustments of 2 to 5 percent for its pensioners.
Around California, the country and the world, reservoirs are silently filling with sediment, and only a few people are thinking about it. Among them is Tim Randle, a civil engineer with the United States Bureau of Reclamation’s Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group. “We used to be gaining water storage capacity with dam building,” said Randle, who is based in Denver. “Now, around the world, the pace is slowing down as sediment builds up. This is true in the U.S., too.”
The west coast state will spend millions of dollars over the coming years on improving water quality and reducing waste. The deal signed with the Danish Ministry for Food and the Environment will provide the opportunity for Danish business to be involved in that development, the ministry said in a press statement. Minister Esben Lunde Larsen, who signed the agreement, said the Californian market was ideal for Danish water technology.
Westlands Water District underscored a basic truth in rejecting a decade-long effort to construct a $17.1 billion twin tunnel project to transfer water from the Delta to farms and cities to the south and west: Without clear financing, the project will collapse. But the vote by seven Westlands board members, representing 600 San Joaquin Valley farm owners, doesn’t end California’s water struggles. Gov. Jerry Brown, the project’s main proponent, could be forgiven if he walks away from the Delta. He shouldn’t. Whoever replaces Brown as governor after the 2018 election will be less knowledgeable on this slow-motion mess.
At a “Wet and Wonderful” symposium at Descanso Gardens Saturday, water officials will promote the necessity of California WaterFix — a $17-billion plan to reengineer the flow of Northern California water past the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta into Central and Southern California. The plan involves the installation of two underground tunnels that would bypass the environmentally delicate delta and move Sierra Nevada runoff from the Sacramento River through aqueducts to water districts southward to San Diego.
A $16 billion-dollar plan to upgrade California’s water system would increase a ratepayer’s water bill upwards of $3 a month. However, the Metropolitan Water District and Department of Water Resources said the upgrade is necessary to update a 50-year-old system, improve water reliability, and protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta environment. “It’s absolutely essential that we take care of this,” said Department of Water Resources Director Grant Davis. “This resource is akin to the heart and lungs of the state of California.”