Water agencies across the San Diego region are expected to see rate increases for 2019 that are “among the smallest in the past 15 years,” according to the San Diego County Water Authority. Rates charged to the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies would increase by 0.9 percent for treated water and 2.9 percent for untreated water in calendar year 2019, according to a proposal to be presented to the Water Authority’s Board of Directors on May 24.
Archive for date: May 17th, 2018
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If you care about the health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta or protecting California water rights, you should be very alarmed by something that just happened 3,000 miles away in the halls of Congress. Backed by southern California interests, the House Appropriations Committee just unveiled the fiscal year 2019 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill. It includes language that would prohibit any judicial review of anything associated with the disastrous twin tunnels project, also known as California WaterFix, under federal or state laws. Let’s be clear on what this means. Currently, there are over 25 lawsuits challenging various aspects of the project.
It was December 1984, and President Reagan had just been elected to his second term, Dynasty was the top show on TV and Madonna’s Like a Virgin topped the musical charts. It was also the last time the Earth had a cooler-than-average month. Last month marked the planet’s 400th consecutive month with above-average temperatures, federal scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Thursday. The cause for the streak? Unquestionably, it’s climate change, caused by humanity’s burning of fossil fuels.
2018 has brought record-low snowpack levels to many locations in the Colorado River Basin, making this the driest 19-year period on record. With the depressed snowpack and warming conditions, experts indicate that runoff from the Rocky Mountains into Lake Powell this spring will yield only 42 percent of the long-term average. With drought and low runoff conditions dating back to 2000, this current period is one of the worst drought cycles over the past 1,200-plus years.
Water rate increases proposed by the San Diego County Water Authority staff for 2019 are among the smallest in the past 15 years due to financial benefits secured through litigation against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the Water Authority’s planned use of its Rate Stabilization Fund. Rates charged to the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies across out region would increase by 0.9 percent for treated water and 2.9 percent for untreated water in calendar year 2019, according to a proposal to be presented to the Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday, May 24.
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia watched with ill-disguised frustration as a hearing aimed at expediting state projects to restore habitat and control dust storms at the shrinking Salton Sea instead dissolved into discussion of why the efforts were falling further behind schedule. “We have a plan, we have money, there is additional money lined up, and we have a constituency — myself included — that is running out of patience,” Garcia (D-Coachella), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife, said.
California’s safe drinking water and natural resources are increasingly threatened by drought, wildfires, floods and mudslides. Proposition 68 is designed to help make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The measure was placed on the June 5 ballot by a bipartisan, two-thirds vote of the Legislature to make much-needed investments to bolster the reliability of our water supply and the infrastructure we depend on to help get us through wet and dry years. The Nature Conservancy’s mission goes beyond land conservation. We aim to protect the waters on which all life depends.
It’s time, Californians, to hold on to our collective wallets. “It does NOT raise taxes,” proponents of Proposition 68 insist in the official state voters’ guide. Then where do they think the money will come from to repay the $4 billion inbonds that are supposed to go for parks and “climate adaptation,” whatever that is? Bonds are debt. Debt needs tobe repaid, with interest. The debt payments will increase the state budget or something in the budget will have to be cut to provide the required funds. But most likely, taxes will have to be raised.
The relatively dry 2017-18 winter in California resurfaced recent memories of drought conservation mandates. From 2013-16, urban water utilities complied with voluntary, then mandatory, water use limits as part of Executive Order B-37-16. Urban water utilities met a statewide 25 percent conservation target, helping the state weather severe drought. Winter rains in 2016-17 led to a reprieve from mandatory conservation. Freed from statewide requirements, urban water agencies ended mandatory cutbacks by meeting “stress tests” that included several years of secured water supplies. A useful outcome of the 2013-17 drought period was long-needed reporting data on monthly urban water use and conservation.
On Wednesday, Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) again crossed party lines in the House Natural Resources Committee to support two bills that could dramatically improve the reliability and quantity of Valley water supplies. The first bill – introduced by Representatives Ken Calvert (CA-42) and Costa (CA-16) – aims to bring all Endangered Species Act regulation of species that have a portion of their lifecycle in the ocean, like salmon, under a single regulating government agency.