The San Diego County Water Authority’s “negativity” isn’t the official reason the group is not participating in talks about the future of California’s water supply, but at least one participant says the Water Authority’s long-running series of disputes with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was a factor.

Representatives of the three states have been huddling behind closed doors and, for the first time ever, California water officials are offering to give up some of the state’s strongest claims to the Colorado River – at least temporarily. San Diego water officials are sitting on the sidelines, but that hasn’t stopped them from voicing strong opinions about a possible deal.

Ten years ago, San Diego water officials predicted demand for water would rise dramatically. Instead, the 1-2 punch of the recession and drought means San Diegans are using far less water than expected. The latest projections show the Water Authority now expects San Diego customers will keep saving water. Of course, lower demand doesn’t mean lower prices — those are expected to keep going up.