Historical Water Price Trends

As demand has risen, prices for water have risen, too, according to a new study.

Read more…[.pdf] (Hat tip to David Zetland)

Here’s a graph from the study…

Indirect Potable Reuse: The Solution to San Diego’s Water Crisis

The world is undergoing a water crisis, and San Diego has certainly felt its effects. We import 90 percent of our water, most from the Colorado River and also from the Sacramento Delta, and both resources are strained and run the risk of drying up. The environment and the future generations of San Diego are demanding a solution to this water crisis — a solution which can be found in the “indirect potable reuse” of wastewater. Many San Diegans, however, have expressed disgust at the very idea; the concept of drinking our own waste does seem unthinkable at first. Opponents have even dubbed the plan “toilet to tap.” But the facts are clear. Purified wastewater is completely safe for drinking and has the potential to alleviate environmental strains and aid in reversing San Diego’s water crisis. Our city must take the initiative to preserve our natural environment as well as ensure that future generations are provided with ample supplies of drinking water.

Read more…

Court orders construction halt on Viejas sacred site

SAN DIEGO – A state superior court has issued a restraining order to stop construction on a $20 million water project after human remains were found in an area that the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians says is a sacred burial ground and ceremonial place of their ancestors.

In a June 7 hearing, San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes ordered the Padre Dam Municipal Water District to avoid construction on around two-thirds of the two-and-a-half acre site where it is building a new reservoir and pumping station. The restraining order extends to June 25.

Read more…

Water’s true price

Water as we know it is not priced for conservation; it’s less expensive than cable, your phone, or a tank of gas….

 recently read two articles: “America’s 10 Thirstiest Cities” and “The Price of Water: A Comparison of Water Rates, Usage in 30 U.S. Cities.” When considered together they provide some insight into what water availability for irrigation might look like in the future, and they offer some education about water rates and water supply philosophy.

First, let’s look at the 10 thirstiest cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Texas, Honolulu, Bakersfield, Calif.,  Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Sacramento, Calif., Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz. The rating identified cities that were likely to suffer a water crisis in the next decade. For me, the list wasn’t all that surprising, except for Portland. It’s interesting that Las Vegas, where front lawns have been prohibited since 2003, was ninth on the list; it’s usually the poster child for a city not having enough water. I expected it to be in the top three.

Read more…

Central Valley: Reclamation boosts efforts to meet water delivery needs

The three-year drought and other impacts to water supply have delivered a clear message to the Bureau of Reclamation and other California water managers: Be innovative!  We need to take a closer look at everything we do as we continue working together to deliver water for all California’s many competing needs.
For Reclamation, this means taking a closer look at all of our projects that store, deliver, and manage water throughout California and the Mid-Pacific Region.

Read more…

This time, will we end the water war?

In the grand Western tradition of fistfights down at the water hole, no fight has quite rivaled the one over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

In 1860, the delta – which is actually an estuary – was a marshy, half-million-acre expanse filled primarily with tules. It saw a constant ebb and flow between saltwater pushing in from San Francisco Bay and fresh water flowing in from the Sacramento, San Joaquin and Mokelumne rivers. An entire suite of fish, from iconic California species like salmon and steelhead to less sexy understudies like the delta smelt, evolved to thrive in that dynamic system.

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Delta fish rulings could affect endangered species law

Recent court rulings on Delta fish protection measures threaten to open the floodgates for lawsuits to weaken rules protecting endangered species.

U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger ruled in two Delta cases that pumping restrictions meant to protect endangered fish could be relaxed because federal scientists had not adequately justified them and because the government had not done separate studies on their effects.

The decisions cheered water agencies and property rights advocates but alarmed environmentalists.

Read more…

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