Imperial Irrigation District Board President Erik Ortega proposed withdrawing electricity services from the Coachella Valley at a Tuesday board meeting following debates over how the region’s ratepayers are represented on the district’s board. The proposal could potentially force residents of La Quinta, Indio, Coachella and the unincorporated eastern Coachella Valley to seek coverage from Southern California Edison. IID charges its ratepayers a base rate of 11.69 cents per kilowatt-hour, while Southern California
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The project at Lindo Lake Park is designed to improve the health of the lake, deepening it to 10 feet and improving the aquatic ecosystem, county officials said. The project will also add a fishing pier, birdwatching stations, picnic tables and landscaping, while also restoring wetland and native habitats and improving trails. “This project will restore the health and beauty to Lindo Lake, the heart of the Lakeside community,” said Jill Bankston, county chief of development.
A new state program gives Californians a way to fight climate change, one restaurant meal at a time. “Restore California” is a public-private partnership between the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Air Resources Board, and farms, ranches and restaurants across the state, according to a news release from the government agencies. Participating restaurants will add a 1 percent surcharge to their bills, with that money going into a fund aimed at helping farmers remove carbon from the atmosphere and adopt climate-friendly practices.
Carol Pearson’s backyard in the Sierra Nevada has witnessed more than its share of California history: It’s been a cattle ranch, stagecoach stop and post office. The property, a peaceful meadow sitting at 6,820 feet elevation near Echo Summit, is also home to the state Department of Water Resources’ closely watched Sierra Nevada snowpack survey a monthly event that attracts hordes of reporters and photographers who tromp through the property on snowshoes.
California power companies have an appealing but flawed argument with the state’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2045. They want existing dams that churn out carbon free electricity to count toward that mark, making it easier and cheaper to meet their climate friendly obligations. A pending bill, SB386, sounds narrow and focused, but it’s not. It would allow the Modesto irrigation district that operates Don Pedro Dam astride the Tuolumne River to total the cranked out electricity toward its renewable energy quota. That exemption would mean less need to buy juice from solar, wind and other green sources and save money for ratepayers.
A group of Democratic senators and San Diego County-based congressional representatives sent a letter to multiple federal agencies Tuesday urging them to address sewage runoff in the Tijuana River, which then flows into the Pacific Ocean. California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein and Reps. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, Scott Peters, D-San Diego, Susan Davis, D-San Diego, and Mike Levin, D-Dana Point, co-signed the letter addressed to the directors of the U.S. Department of State, Environmental Protection Agency, Customs and Border Protection, Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. section of the International Boundary and Water Commission, which oversees bodies of water that traverse the U.S.-Mexico border.
A former city water department official who was let go during a recent shakeup said she is the victim of retaliation for raising concerns about spending of ratepayer money. Susan LaNier, a former deputy director, was pushed out as part a housecleaning by Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s administration, which has been responding for over a year to problems with the department, problems that first bubbled up when customers began receiving unreasonably high water bills.
California’s 2018 population growth was the slowest in state history, new demographic data show underscoring shifting immigration patterns, declining birthrates and economic strains that are making it harder for some to afford living here. The state added 186,807 residents last year, bringing the estimated total population to 39,927,315 as of Jan. 1, according to estimates released by the state Department of Finance on Wednesday. The overall growth rate slipped to 0.47% last year from 0.78% in 2017, the slowest since data collection started in 1900, department spokesman H.D. Palmer said.
An ambitious California irrigation drainage deal is now mired deeper than ever in legislative and legal limbo, alarming farmers, spinning government wheels and costing taxpayers money with no relief in sight. Though nearly four years have passed since the Obama administration and the Westlands Water District agreed to settle their high-stakes drainage differences, the deal remains incomplete. Progress, if there is any, can be measured in inches. The author of a prior bill necessary to implement the settlement is out of office. His successor is still weighing action. Opponents hold the upper hand in the Democratic-controlled House, the Senate appears simply disengaged and negotiations aren’t happening
With the Trump administration trudging ahead and re-writing another Obama era environmental law, wary California regulators last month approved new protections for wetlands in the Golden State. The decision by the State Water Resources Control Board came after 11 years of debate between the board, cities, farmers and environmentalists over how to best define and protect the state’s nearly vanished wetlands streams from being paved into extinction. Supporters said the move was a major step toward shielding California streams from Trump’s weakened Clean Water Act. Opponents argued that the rules will create new regulatory hurdles for farmers and businesses.