The San Diego County Water Authority won $190 million in court this week from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California – but it also won potentially even more valuable water rights.
For years, we’ve been watching the legal battle between the two water agencies because Metropolitan delivers 75 percent or more of the county’s water and San Diego is accusing it of price gouging.
A judge agreed that Metropolitan has been charging too much to deliver some water to San Diego from the Colorado River. The judge said Metropolitan owes San Diego $188 million, plus interest.
But San Diego had another significant win that could be just as important: The judge said the County Water Authority is entitled to a greater share of Metropolitan’s water supply. If the drought continues, that may come in handy.
Metropolitan supplies water to 26 agencies, including the County Water Authority here. Those agencies, in turn, provide water to 19 million Southern Californians.
If the drought continues, the agencies could begin fighting over dwindling supplies of water.