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‘We’re in a Bind’: California Braces for Rolling Outages as Heatwave Continues

The California Independent System Operator is bracing for rolling outages through Wednesday, after a record-breaking heatwave in the Western U.S. strained energy supplies and necessitated power shut-offs that affected hundreds of thousands of customers over the weekend.

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Litsa Tzotzolis, San Diego County Water Authority

This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Litsa Tzotzolis, San Diego County Water Authority Public Affairs Representative, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.

Water Authority Awarded $44.4 Million in Long-Running Dispute with LA Agency

A judge has awarded the San Diego County Water Authority $44.4 million in a final judgment of two lawsuits over rates paid to transport water supplies from 2011 to 2014.

The award, announced Friday, included $28.7 million in damages and interest to be paid by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which controls the transport of water from the Colorado River.

The Water Authority had worked for more than a decade to resolve the dispute, which concerned San Diego’s independent supply of water from the river that was carried by Metropolitan Water’s aqueducts and pipelines.

‘The Pie Keeps Shrinking’: Lake Mead’s Low Level Will Trigger Water Cutbacks for Arizona, Nevada

Arizona, Nevada and Mexico will again receive less water from the Colorado River next year under a set of agreements intended to help boost the level of Lake Mead, which now stands at just 40% of its full capacity.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation released projections on Friday showing that Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, will be at levels next year that continue to trigger moderate cutbacks in the two U.S. states and Mexico.

More Rolling Blackouts Ordered in California Amid Power Shortages and Searing Heat

New rolling blackouts in parts of California were ordered Saturday night as power shortages continued because of an extreme heat wave. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. said Saturday night it was beginning to rotate power outages affecting up to 250,000 customers in Northern and Central California. San Diego Gas & Electric said it also interrupted power to some customers but had restored all service by 7 p.m.

IID Facing Another Likely Suit from Another Abatti

While one Abatti brother reportedly plans to take his long-standing quarrel with Imperial Irrigation District over water rights to the California Supreme Court, another one has prepared a claim against the district for revenue he said his business lost through reduced payouts in its water conservation program.

Tuesday’s IID Board of Directors meeting agenda includes a memorandum from its human resources department regarding a financial damages claim against the district by El Centro farmer Jimmy Abatti’s Madjac Farms Inc.

PFAS Issues in California Compounded by Colorado’s PFAS Proliferation

Every year, nearly 40% of California’s water used for drinking, agriculture, and irrigation comes from groundwater sources located in Northern California. During droughts, as much as 60% of water in California is sourced from groundwater. In addition, large quantities of California’s surface water (water found in lakes, rivers, stream, and reservoirs) provides a resource to citizens and farms in the state. However, since the 1922 Colorado River Compact, California is also able to draw up to 4.4 million acre feet per year from the Colorado River.

Aqueduct Project Brought Much-Needed Boon to 1930s Banning

In 1930, while the Great Depression was worsening and the impacts of it were starting to be felt nationwide, the city of Banning received some good news. A major construction project was about to unfold in its backyard, and the city would benefit greatly. The project was the Colorado River Aqueduct of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Starting in the mid-1920s, there had been a series of studies done for bringing water from the Colorado River west to be used in the greater Los Angeles region. In December 1930, the district made the final decision to go with a route that included the San Gorgonio Pass and construction of a major tunnel under Mount San Jacinto.