The ethics office within the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was created to help temper the long feud between Met and the San Diego County Water Authority. Now it’s become another tool in the fight. Metropolitan’s board may vote to fire its ethics officer after she appeared to side with the Water Authority in two recent investigations.
As recently as the first months of this year, Californians were asked to conserve water. Well, they did. And they still are. Now, that’s a problem.
In the latest sign of how far local officials might go to become water independent, Water Authority board leaders are asking the agency to study a plan to build a multibillion-dollar pipeline to the Colorado River.
At very least, an appellate court ruling this week is a momentary setback for the San Diego County Water Authority at crucial time in California water policy and politics. The Water Authority has two major decisions to make by the end of the year and the ruling plays some part in each of them.
The San Diego County Water Authority paid for a poll last month that asked voters whether they would support the state seizing control of water supplies across the region, including much of the water used in San Diego. The $31,000 poll is part of an aggressive campaign the Water Authority is waging against another public water agency, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
A typical San Diego household pays about $80 a month for water. The national average is less than $40 a month, according to a recent survey. By all indications, water prices in San Diego will keep rising.
The San Diego County Water Authority isn’t opposed to testing water in schools for lead – it’s just opposed to paying for it. One official said recent proposals are just attempts at “sexy legislation” intended to make a splash with the public.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC7’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Ry Rivard dive into why San Diego water officials are wary of Gov. Jerry Brown plan to keep water flowing from Northern California to Southern California.
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to build two 35-mile underground tunnels to keep water coming south through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. The San Diego County Water Authority used to pine for such a plan. But now, emboldened by its drought-proofing projects and wary of shocking ratepayers, the agency is aggressively questioning Brown’s delta tunnels.
On top of delivering a safe and reliable water supply at a reasonable cost, the Water Authority’s responsibilities also include agile and visionary thinking about the future.