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.

San Diego’s Landmark Water Recycling Project May Face Longer Delays Than Expected

San Diego’s long-awaited Pure Water project, a sewage recycling system that would boost the city’s water independence, is facing legal challenges that could last longer and cost more than city officials previously anticipated.

Opinion: Trump Wading into California’s Water Policy With Phony Answer

President Trump believes he “got it done” in fixing California’s troubled and contentious water system. What he actually produced is another wrecking-ball delay and a lawsuit to try to halt his lopsided solution.

The president found a dirt-dry corner of the Central Valley to sign documents that bless more pumping of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta water southward to farms and water agencies. His blessing at a campaign-style gathering in Bakersfield won’t immediately rev up water shipments, but it should underline how divisive and intractable he’s making a long-standing problem.

California Sues Trump Administration to Block Water Rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California sued the Trump administration on Thursday to block new rules that would let farmers take more water from the state’s largest river systems, arguing it would push endangered populations of delta smelt, chinook salmon and steelhead trout to extinction.

The federal rules govern how much water can be pumped out of the watersheds of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, which flow from the Sierra Nevada mountains to the San Francisco Bay and provide the state with much of its water for a bustling agriculture industry that supplies two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts and more than a third of its vegetables.

RMWD Sets Meeting to Consider Raising Water Pumping Rates

Ramona Municipal Water District board members unanimously approved April 11 to schedule a public hearing to consider raising untreated water pumping rates despite expressed reservations about another RMWD rate increase.

The vote to schedule the Proposition 218 public hearing for 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, was approved 4-0-1, with Secretary Jeff Lawler absent. The scheduled meeting will be held at the Ramona Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane.

Proposition 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act,” requires local government agencies to hold a public hearing when rate increases are proposed to be able to consider protests to those rates affected by Proposition 218. The notice for the public hearing with the proposed increases is required to be sent to affected property owners at least 45 days before the public hearing.

Climate Change Has Stolen More Than a Billion Tons of Water From the West’s Most Vital River

The Colorado River’s average annual flow has declined by nearly 20 percent compared to the last century, and now a new study has identified one of the main culprits: Climate change is causing mountain snowpack to disappear, leading to increased evaporation.

Four recent studies have found that up to half of the drop in the Colorado’s average annual flow since 2000 has been driven by warmer temperatures. Now, two U.S. Geological Survey researchers have concluded that much of this climate-induced decline — amounting to 1.5 billion tons of missing water, equal to the annual water consumption of 10 million Americans — comes from the fact that the region’s snowpack is shrinking and melting earlier. Having less snow to reflect heat from the sun, known as the albedo effect, creates a feedback loop, they say.

Trump Vows More Water for Central Valley Farmers, Less for Fish. Can He Deliver?

As a cheering crowd of supporters watched, Trump signed a memo directing federal agencies to move ahead with relaxed endangered species protections that have curbed water deliveries to San Joaquin Valley agriculture and the urban Southland.

Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s administration said Wednesday that it would challenge the federal action in court.

California Sues Trump Administration Again — This Time Over Water

A day after President Trump visited the Central Valley to celebrate a boost in water for California farms, state officials sued to block the additional water deliveries.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a lawsuit filed Thursday, maintains that new federal rules designed to increase pumping from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta fail to protect salmon and other endangered fish in the delta estuary.

Trump Brings More Water — and Himself — to Central Valley Farmers

BAKERSFIELD — President Trump swooped into California farm country Wednesday and, with a flourish, signed off on a plan that would take water away from fish and ship more to farmers in the Central Valley.

Fact Check: Trump says California is Rationing Water. Here’s What’s Really Going On

President Donald Trump had a lot to say about his efforts to fight off water rationing in California Wednesday before a cheering crowd of farmers in Bakersfield tired of seeing their water deliveries reduced to protect endangered fish.

But Trump’s claims — about how much of California’s water flows to the Pacific Ocean, and claims the state had set limits on daily water — left out key nuances that make his statements misleading.