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East County Water Officials Reach Tentative Agreement With San Diego in Pipeline dispute, Officials Say

Regional leaders have reached a broad agreement to resolve a dispute threatening a massive East County water recycling plant, but many details still need to be worked out.

The conflict between the city of San Diego and the Advanced Water Purification Project emerged publicly earlier this year, just weeks before officials broke ground on the $950 million plant.

We have “operational solutions” that meet both parties’ needs, Jay Goldstone, San Diego’s chief operating officer, said in a recent phone interview.

San Diego Council Considers Sharp Sewer Rate Spike on Tuesday

Sewer rates for San Diegans in single-family homes would increase nearly 17 percent next year and a total of 31 percent over the next four years under a rate hike proposal the City Council is scheduled to consider Tuesday.

The proposal also would reduce sewer rates for most businesses, condos and apartments based on two comprehensive studies showing those customers have been paying too much, while single-family homes haven’t been paying enough.

San Diego Sending Customers Notice on Proposed Water, Wastewater Rate Increases

San Diegans will have many opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback regarding proposed water and wastewater rate increases.

This week, all city water and wastewater customers will receive a Proposition 218 notice in the mail offering information about the proposed rate increases and an upcoming public hearing on Sept. 21. The notice is available in multiple languages online.

Outcry from Environmental Groups Prompts San Diego to Retreat from Proposed Merger

Outcry from local environmental groups prompted San Diego officials Tuesday to retreat from plans to merge three longtime advisory boards that are focused on trees, marshland and green energy.

OPINION: Boosting Diversity, Transparency of San Diego Boards Could Lead to Better Decisions

Members of San Diego’s 40-plus boards and commissions — from the Accessibility Advisory Board and the Airports Advisory Committee to the Wetlands Advisory Board and the Youth Commission — have long been less diverse, older and richer than the city at large. They have also often been so low-key that little is known about their actions. Given that a number of these panels make crucial decisions and offer valued guidance to the Mayor’s Office and City Council, this needed to be addressed.

City Opens State-of-the-Art Ranger Station in Mission Trails Regional Park

City Opens State-of-the-Art Ranger Station in Mission Trails Regional Park.

The state-of-the-art facility, at the East Fortuna Staging Area of the park, will give rangers improved resources and allow them to better protect the park and engage with visitors, according to Sherman’s office.

Sherman, chairman of the Mission Trails Regional Park Taskforce, said the park and making it accessible was important to him.

San Diego Creates State’s First Water, Sewer ‘Capacity Bank’

San Diego will create California’s first “capacity bank” for water and sewer, allowing breweries and biotech firms to cheaply buy excess water and sewer capacity from former factories.

The City Council unanimously approved the capacity bank this week, calling it an innovative idea that will create jobs and help the city avoid expensive expansions of its sewer and water infrastructure.

Oceanside to Launch Sand Retention Study

Alarmed by Oceanside’s shrinking beaches, a group of residents succeeded this week in getting the city to consider taking on the federal government’s oversight of a local sand replenishment project. The City Council unanimously approved a motion Wednesday by Mayor Peter Weiss to have staffers prepare a capital budget amendment to cover the anticipated costs of a sand-retention project. Details will be presented at an upcoming council meeting.

California is Feuding With This SoCal City Over ‘Planned Retreat’ From Sea Level Rise

Del Mar is gearing up for a tussle with the California Coastal Commission over the best way to adapt to rising sea levels, an issue with statewide implications.

The city north of San Diego has taken the position that one of the Coastal Commission’s basic strategies, called “managed retreat” or sometimes “planned retreat,” will not work in Del Mar.

San Diego Takes Steps to Boost Accuracy of Water Bills After Public Outcry

San Diego took several steps this week to boost the accuracy of water bills, improve customer satisfaction and speed up the installation of digital “smart” meters.

The changes come after public outcry in 2017 and 2018 over exorbitant water bills received by many customers which city officials blamed on faulty meters, employee errors and mismanagement in the Public Utilities Department.