GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

San Diego County Water Authority water pricing lawsuit could jeopardize funding for Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 11, 2010

The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Board of Directors unanimously approved filing suit against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) challenging the 2011 and 2012 water rates that MWD adopted in April. The SDCWA news release quotes Claude A. “Bud” Lewis, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors saying “MWD improperly overcharges the Water Authority and its ratepayers in violation of California law.” The special board meeting was yesterday (June 10, 2010).

Links to local media reports and SDCWA releases are listed below.

Interestingly, the lawsuit potentially jeopardizes a funding incentive for the Poseidon Desalination Plant and the Desal Partner agencies.

Poseidon, its Desal Partners, and the Water Authority have an agreement with MWD whereby they would receive up to $250 per acre foot from MWD under a Seawater Desalination Program Incentive for a term of 25 years. There is an MWD rule, however, that allows it to terminate incentives if a member agency legally or legislatively challenges the MWD water rate structure. Thus, if SDCWA does pursue the lawsuit, it could prompt MWD to terminate its incentive agreement.

Anticipating this possibility at an earlier SDCWA Board of Directors meeting on May 27, 2010 the Water Planning Committee reported that Poseidon and the Desal Partner agencies were asking the Water Authority to guarantee them those funds if the incentive agreement were terminated. That request was supposed to have been discussed at yesterday’s meeting, but it appears the Board has not made a final decision on that yet. [June 12: The North County Times picked up the incentive issue in a late p.m. story]

One Response to “San Diego County Water Authority water pricing lawsuit could jeopardize funding for Carlsbad Desalination Plant”

  1. […] BTW, George J. Janczyn has a great summary on his blog if you want to read all the stories related to this issue. […]

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