Phoenix Among Those Voluntarily Losing Colorado River Water

The city of Phoenix this week outlined how it will voluntarily contribute water to a regional plan to shore up the country’s largest reservoir that delivers Colorado River water to three states and Mexico.

The river cannot provide seven Western states the water they were promised a century ago because of less snow, warmer temperatures and water lost to evaporation. Water managers repeatedly have had to pivot to develop plans to sustain it for the long-term.

Phoenix, the nation’s fifth-largest city, is among entities in the river’s lower basin that are part of the “500+ Plan” meant to delay further mandatory shortages. All pieces of the plan haven’t been finalized, but farmers and Native American tribes are expected to play a big role.

The Colorado River serves more than 40 million people in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Wyoming, Utah and Mexico. Lake Mead and Lake Powell store the water and are used to gauge the river’s health.

As Drought Worsens in Parts of Southern California, San Diego Helps With Supplies

The San Diego County Water Authority has stepped up to provide additional water supplies to drought-ravaged areas in three Southern California counties.

Under an agreement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, San Diego will provide water from an underground storage facility in Kern County to serve parts of northern Los Angeles County, Ventura County and San Bernardino County.

‘They Thought I Was So Low’: Women Say They Were Harassed, Bullied, Ignored at Powerful Water Agency

Miranda Grow loves the challenge of working with her hands. She’d had experience in carpentry and construction, and fulfilled a career dream when she was accepted as a mechanic apprentice at a large water district, relishing the behind-the-scenes work to deliver clean water to faucets and shower heads across Southern California.

Gary Croucher-Board Chair-San Diego County Water Authority-Primary

Water Authority’s Legal Efforts Protect Local and Regional Ratepayers

I have some important news for our region to share: The San Francisco Superior Court has ruled the San Diego County Water Authority is the prevailing party in the agency’s first two lawsuits heard challenging rates and charges set by the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan
Water District of Southern California.

The order entitles the Water Authority to recover its attorneys’ fees and costs in those cases, in addition to a $44 million damage and interest awardmade earlier.

“San Diego prevailed, and the judgment not only benefits its own ratepayers but all of thenearly 19 million people in Metropolitan’s service area because enforcing cost-of-service principles serves the interests of all ratepayers,” said Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo in her Jan. 13 order, which can be appealed.

The exact amount of recoverable fees will be decided later. It is deeply gratifying that the court not only validated our claims but acknowledged the importance of protecting ratepayers by water agencies following the law.

The order makes it clear once and for all that our desire to protect San Diego ratepayers was never intended to harm MWD, its other member agencies or the ratepayers they serve. Rather, the litigation was necessary to address serious flaws in MWD’s rates that will, as the court said, ultimately benefit not only San Diego County ratepayers, but all Southern Californians.

This order is another major step toward achieving Water Authority board objectives and one of my key initiatives as Board Chair: to conclude the litigation and work together with other MWD member agencies to address MWD’s water resource and rate challenges. This is essential in order to ensure MWD’s fiscal sustainability—and that of its member agencies—now and in the future.

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