State Takes Action on Water Exports from the Delta

Construction of a temporary salinity barrier on the False River is underway after an emergency request by the Department of Water Resources was approved by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The barrier, necessitated by worsening drought conditions, is intended to help preserve water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by reducing saltwater intrusion. The declaration of a drought emergency made by Gov. Gavin Newsom on May 10 suspended the requirement that a project of this nature complete a California Environmental Quality Act assessment.

Helix Water District Approves Water for Sand-Mining Project

The Helix Water District board of directors has agreed to supply water over the next 20 years for a controversial sand-mining project in the El Monte Valley in Lakeside. The board will now send a letter to county planners confirming they can meet the needs of the project should it win approval.

MWD Approves Battery Storage System at Skinner Treatment Plant

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California approved a battery energy storage system at the Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant.

The Oct. 13 MWD board vote amended MWD’s capital investment plan to include battery storage systems at three treatment plants and one pumping plant, authorized an agreement with Stantec Inc., for the design of the battery energy storage facilities and found the study portion of the project to be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

Hurtado Makes Splash as Newsom Signs Water Bill

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) secured Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature on legislation that will speed the permit process for low-income Central Valley communities to deliver clean drinking wate for residents. The bill, Senate Bill 974, exempts new water projects that serve small, rural communities from some provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act.

LAFCO Detachment Committee Discusses CEQA, Conditions, Consultants

The items discussed at the Aug. 3 meeting of the advisory committee on the Fallbrook/Rainbow detachment created by San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission included whether the reorganization was subject to California Environmental Quality Act review, whether LAFCO can place conditions on the detachment, and the use of consultants to address issues on which parties differ.

IID Files Opening Brief in Petition to Suspend DCP

Imperial Irrigation District made the first notable follow-up to its petition to hit the brakes on the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan for the Colorado River with an opening brief filed Wednesday.

IID originally filed the petition in Superior Court of Los Angeles County on April 18, 2019. The petition calls on the court to suspend approvals and actions related to the Lower Basin Drought Contingency Plan until such time an appropriate analysis of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s commitment to the plan has been completed in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

SCW Given Rainbow MWD Contract for Vista Valley Villas Pressure-Reducing Station

SCW Contracting Corporation received the Rainbow Municipal Water District contract to install the new Vista Valley Villas Pressure-reducing Station and associated infrastructure.

The company based in the town of Rainbow was awarded the contract on a 5-0 vote by Rainbow Municipal Water District board members Tuesday, June 23. The contract value of $334,700 matches the SCW bid for the project. The Rainbow board action also found the work categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review.

Water Fight About to Kick Into High Gear; Fallbrook, Rainbow to Take on County Water Authority

Within the next few weeks, two water districts will be filing unprecedented applications to detach from the San Diego County Water Authority.

Instead, they intend to buy water directly from the Metropolitan Water District via the Eastern Municipal Water District in Riverside County, thereby saving both districts millions of dollars annually.

The Fallbrook Public Utility District and the Rainbow Municipal Water District say they are in a unique position to divorce themselves from the Water Authority because Metropolitan pipes run right past their geographic areas.