An innocuous sounding hearing tomorrow morning for lawmakers on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee at the State Capitol may lock taxpayers into paying for the California WaterFix for the next half century. The informational hearing, called “Department of Water Resources: Proposed Water Supply Contract Extension & Amendments,” will commit 50 years of funding to the WaterFix, the state’s plan to build two tunnels to siphon water from the Delta and send it south.
Archive for date: August 29th, 2018
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The next two days could help determine the fate of a proposal by Cadiz Inc. to pump groundwater in the Mojave Desert and sell it to Southern California cities. Environmental groups are making a last-minute push for lawmakers in Sacramento to pass a bill that could block the project. The state Assembly approved the measure in a 45-20 vote Wednesday evening. But the bill could face an uphill battle in the Senate, and the legislative session ends Friday night.
Heading into an eighth year of drought, Ventura County water agencies teamed up to try to import water into Ventura. But a fix — a proposed seven-mile pipeline from Camarillo to Ventura — will still leave gaps in water supplies. “I think it’s very important that this area begin to look at its next step for sustainable water supply,” said Steve Wickstrum, general manager of Casitas Municipal Water District, which supplies drinking water to much of the Ojai Valley and parts of Ventura.
Los Angeles is looking into whether it should spend an estimated US$3 billion on a massive, 20-mile underground pumped hydropower storage system that would be connected to the iconic Hoover Dam on the Colorado River outside of Las Vegas. If it does get built, this system would essentially serve as a giant battery to store power. Having written a book about the aggressive propaganda program behind the Hoover Dam’s construction in the 1920s and 1930s, I can say that the technical and financial challenges of this plan are sure to pale in comparison to the legal and political roadblocks that will have to be overcome.