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Archive for the ‘San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA)’ Category

MWD to San Diego water managers: you’ve betrayed us

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 23, 2011

[updated June 24]

You’ll recall that Metropolitan Water District (MWD) recently terminated a number of agreements to help fund local conservation and water supply development projects like the San Vicente Recycling project in Ramona and also decided against entering pending agreements to support projects such as the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project.

San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) has a big objection: MWD funds such conservation program agreements from its Water Stewardship Rate fee…and SDCWA’s contribution to that fund comes to a cool $22.5 million per year. Not fair, they say.

SDCWA says MWD’s terminations amount to “retaliation” for a lawsuit charging that MWD’s water transportation rate structure is illegal. SDCWA says MWD’s rates are illegal in part because MWD overcharges for delivering water that SDCWA already owns, in effect subsidizing MWD’s State Water Project water. This circumstance comes about because SDCWA buys Imperial Valley water from Imperial Irrigation District and pays MWD a wheeling charge to transport to the water to San Diego Aqueduct pipelines via the Colorado River Aqueduct. What gets bundled into that wheeling charge is the question.

The topic came up at this morning’s SDCWA Imported Water Committee meeting, part of a monthly all-day committee marathon culminating in a Board meeting.

“SDCWA pays $22.5 million per year to support that program and receives nothing in return?” asked Director Doug Wilson. “Why don’t we just stop sending that money and keep it for ourselves?” That was met with silent agreement, but General Manager Maureen Stapleton cautioned that there would be complications with unilaterally stopping those payments.

However, the meeting agenda packet reveals a variant tactic. A letter sent on June 13 to MWD Chairman Jack Foley reads in part:

“The Water Authority pays more to support MWD’s conservation and local supply programs than any other MWD member agency. By MWD’s own estimate, the Water Authority averages $22.5 million annually in Water Stewardship Rate payments; yet, under MWD board policy and action
under the RSI clause, the Water Authority and the ratepayers it serves are ineligible for program
benefits. The Water Authority hereby makes formal demand that MWD cease collection of Water Stewardship Rate dollars from the Water Authority’s ratepayers so we may fund our own conservation and local water supply development projects directly.”

The letter was signed by Directors Jim Bowersox, Lynne Heidel, Keith Lewinger, and Fern Steiner.

Director Lewinger lobbied that it’s time to begin a really vigorous public relations campaign and flood the county with updates and news highlighting the situation.

Was MWD retaliating for the lawsuit when it terminated its agreements? SDCWA Director Lynne Heidel said MWD Chairman Foley recently told her “You’re all a bunch of Benedict Arnolds.” Kidding? – maybe.* But GM Stapleton said she heard the same thing and that Foley later told her “Don’t take it personally.” Stapleton’s reply: “Just call me Ms. Arnold.”

* June 24: Someone told me they didn’t understand what the “betrayal” was. My take is that these are water management colleagues who are normally on friendly terms and the lawsuit puts them in a sensitive position, perhaps like someone choosing sides when a couple with whom (s)he is mutual friends are getting divorced. I guess Stapleton could have also replied that MWD was the Benedict Arnold by engaging in retaliation.




The following is from a handout provided at the committee meeting showing the status of the existing and pending agreements with MWD.


Posted in Carlsbad Desalination Project, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water conservation | 2 Comments »

Update on MWD’s subsidy (or not) for the Poseidon desalination plant

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 16, 2011

This is a followup to Tuesday’s post Lawsuit leads to cut in Poseidon desalination subsidy and more in which a San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) news release was cited. The news release, in part, said “The MWD board also instructed its staff to refuse to consider any pending or future local supply development projects in San Diego County. The pending agreements included the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, which would have been eligible for up to $14 million in annual payments…

Today a story in the Desalination & Water Reuse website writes that Poseidon Resources “denied reports that the current standoff in Southern California between the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) will affect the Carlsbad Desalination Project” and that a Poseidon representative said “This claim is incorrect and shows a disappointing lack of understanding about the project’s status and financing.”

A review of the summary report for the June 14 MWD Board meeting doesn’t clarify things much:

“The board reviewed the Rate Structure Integrity provisions of Local Resources Program and conservation agreements with the San Diego County Water Authority; voted to not terminate the two regional commercial and residential conservation incentives agreements; and approved termination of the remaining two active conservation and Local Resources Program funding agreements with the Water Authority.”

Looking deeper in the MWD Board Agenda packet, the Legal and Claims Committee provided the Board with several options. The recommended option reads:

…”terminate the existing incentive agreements with the Water Authority that contain rate structure integrity language. This option is consistent with the policy set forth by the RSI language. Staff will also continue to defer the approval of any pending agreements with the Water Authority requiring inclusion of the RSI provisions, until authorized by the Board.” [the Carlsbad subsidy is one of those pending agreements]

As noted, the meeting summary doesn’t mention the pending agreements, but assuming the Board approved the recommended option, it appears the Carlsbad desalination agreement was not specifically terminated; rather, it remains in the same limbo that was created at MWD’s May 10 meeting which deferred execution of the agreement until further notice.


Posted in Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water desalination | 2 Comments »

Lawsuit leads to cut in Poseidon desalination subsidy and more

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 14, 2011

[updated June 16–see bottom]

As predicted here one year ago (San Diego County Water Authority water pricing lawsuit could jeopardize funding for Carlsbad Desalination Plant), the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has moved to terminate an agreement that would have paid a subsidy of $250 per acre foot (potentially $14M annually) to Posiedon and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) for water produced at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. According to the SDCWA news release, “The MWD board also instructed its staff to refuse to consider any pending or future local supply development projects in San Diego County. The pending agreements included the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, which would have been eligible for up to $14 million in annual payments.” SDCWA said MWD’s action was retaliation for its lawsuit filed last year challenging MWD’s water rates.

Other MWD conservation rebates were also affected.

Here are news releases from both parties and local news reports:

A few days ago, the Sacramento Bee had this observation on the dispute: Warring water agencies should tone down rhetoric.

June 16: MWD move will not affect Carlsbad desalination, says Poseidon

Please see also the June 16 update to this story


Posted in Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water conservation, Water desalination | 2 Comments »

San Diego County making good progress diversifying water supply

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 11, 2011

“Our strategies are working” was the message from the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Water Planning Committee at a joint meeting with the SANDAG Regional Planning Committee held Friday at 1pm at the SDCWA headquarters on Overland Avenue.

The severe drought experienced in California in the 1990-91 years was a wake-up call for San Diego County, which at the time relied on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California for 95% of the county’s water supply — delivered from Northern California and the Colorado River. News headlines from those days delivered numerous grim messages about the effect water shortages were having on the local economy and way of life.

The response, explained Ken Weinberg, Water Authority Director of Water Resources, was to develop a strategy to improve water supply reliability and reduce San Diego’s dependence on imported water.

Developing new supplies would not be cheap compared to what had been spent previously, said Maureen Stapleton, SDCWA General Manager, but the drought made San Diego realize how vulnerable it was and that it could not afford the consequences of a catastrophic cutoff from future drought or when the California Delta breaks (I noticed Stapleton said when, not if).

Facing growth, regulatory restrictions, the possibility of future droughts, climate change, and increased costs, the county’s strategy for supply reliability was to develop a forecast of demand, encourage water use efficiency, invest in regional infrastructure, and diversify supply sources.

SDCWA coordinated with SANDAG to obtain a wealth of information and planning expertise on growth forecasts and the regional comprehensive plan.

That planning effort led to the development of new supplies as well as infrastructure investments.

For new water supplies, encouraging a water conservation ethic became a high priority. Negotiations to purchase water conserved by Imperial Valley farmers were concluded. Water recycling programs and brackish groundwater projects were implemented. Seawater desalination (Poseidon in Carlsbad) and the City of San Diego’s Indirect Potable Reuse demonstration project are more recent developments.

As for infrastructure, SDCWA created a $3.8 billion Capital Improvement Program to implement an Emergency Storage Project that would bring new surface storage (Olivenhain Dam, Lake Hodges, San Vicente Dam Raise), water treatment (Twin Oaks Water Treatment Plant), as well as pipelines, pump stations, and hyroelectric generation from water gravity flows within the system, among other things.

This SDCWA chart graphically depicts the progress that has been made towards the goal for 2020:

The meeting ended with the conclusion that the strategies to reduce reliance on MWD through sustained conservation, new supply sources, and infrastructure development have been working. The plan is to continue implementation of these strategies and to pursue further local supply sources.

See also this North County Times story that highlighted other topics that came up at the meeting — including reduced demand by aging citizens.


Posted in San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

San Diego water rates to go up in March

Posted by George J Janczyn on December 14, 2010

By now, just about all San Diego city residents should have received a notice of public hearing to be held on January 24, 2011 to discuss a requested water rate increase. The increase is needed to cover the new price of water charged by the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) — the imported water wholesaler supplying the City of San Diego and 23 other member water agencies in the county.

Although SDCWA’s price increase to its member agencies takes effect January 1, 2011, the City’s proposed rate increase would not begin until March 1, so there will be a few months where water rate revenues will be out of sync with what the City has to pay for water. The San Diego Public Utilities Department (PUD) believes it can absorb the difference for a few months, but if the March 1 increase does not take effect, something will have to give.

Many water agencies throughout the county have already approved rate increases for the same reason. In addition, some of them have taken the opportunity to bundle in additional operations and maintenance costs into their rate increases, so they are doing more than simply passing along the increased price of water.

San Diegans are not being asked for those extras. The higher price of the water itself is the only thing residents are being asked to pay for. For single-family residences — the majority of San Diego water customers — the increase will amount to about $0.47 per month. [late clarification: that amount pertains only to the increase in the base fee. The overall increase in the bill can be $3.41 for for up to 14HCF of use — see comments]

San Diego is in the middle of the pack. From the 2006 Water Cost of Service Rate Study

Practically speaking, it looks pretty straightforward and non-controversial. But politically there are complications.

For one thing, it is already known that SDCWA will increase the wholesale price of water again in 2012, so San Diego residents will again be asked to approve a “pass-through” rate increase next year.

For another, the City will eventually need to expand its water capital improvement program (to replace overaged water mains, etc.) and cover other higher costs.

The Public Utilities Department has been engaged in longer-term thinking about the water rate structure and the Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC) has been monitoring developments and giving feedback on that topic.

To that issue, yesterday the IROC held a special workshop — a presentation from PUD on the framework for the rate setting process. The nearly two-hour presentation by PUD Assistant Director Alex Ruiz went into detail about the many complex issues involved in designing rates. To list a few of the rate drivers: operations and maintenance; pumps, plants, and pipes; bond coverage requirements; rate affordability; current economy; pensions; trust/transparency; taxes; CIP financing; regulations.

The current rate structure was last overhauled via a four-year capital improvement program in 2007. The 2007 program was based on the San Diego Water Cost of Service Rate Study completed in 2006. FY 2011 is the final year for that program and PUD is now gathering information for a new rate review, with a new cost of service study expected to begin in FY 2012.

Mr. Ruiz also briefly characterized ongoing staff discussions about a future revision to the rate structure possibly incorporating some of the techniques used by the Irvine Ranch Water District for taking household needs into account in a rate structure that encourages conservation and penalizes waste.

Meanwhile, City Councilmember Carl DeMaio is campaigning against the increase by introducing tangental arguments that, especially in the City’s current economic malaise, tend to generate emotional responses. Based on a “white paper” he delivered in September, DeMaio makes charges of “empty promises” and “out of control labor costs” and that “flaws and weaknesses” in PUD’s management and the overall rate structure have not been addressed and therefore (as punishment, I guess) this pass-through increase should not be approved until those issues are addressed.

(Incidentally, while observing the IROC workshop I got to wondering if Mr. DeMaio ever attends IROC meetings. IROC’s administrative support person Monica Foster wasn’t sure how many times, but committee member Gail Welch recalled that did he come to one meeting long enough to inform the committee of his priorities as a councilmember.)

Ultimately, the whole rate structure issue can appear to boil down to this dynamic between costs and rates: on the one hand you can total the costs and then calculate what rates should be to pay for them; or you can determine what ratepayers can afford to pay and then decide which costs can be funded with that amount. Somewhere in that mix is the answer.

The immediate rate increase bypasses those difficult issues for the time being. Carl DeMaio’s diversions notwithstanding, the question is simply whether we’re willing to cover the commodity cost of water that the City has to pay SDCWA.

For further information, here’s a report by the San Diego Independent Budget Analyst (see also the City Auditor’s review of calculations used for the proposed increase).


Posted in Independent Rates Oversight Committee (IROC), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water rates | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

SDCWA: the price of water has little historic influence on water usage

Posted by George J Janczyn on December 9, 2010

[Revised Dec 15]

According to a [staff] study performed requested by the Water Planning Committee of the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), “Historically, water pricing has not been a major driver in consumer decisions to use water” although “water demands can be responsive to the retail price consumers pay when the appropriate factors are in place.”

The study report was presented at today’s SDCWA Board of Directors meeting (contained in the agenda packet) [at the Planning Committee meeting preliminary to the full Board meeting].

Rather than price being the key factor [historically influencing] in water use, “it was the upswings and downturns in the local and national economy, population growth, weather, long term conservation programs, heightened messaging and imposition of water use restrictions that had the greatest effect on retail water demand” according to the study. In particular, “personal income is one of the major factors that can influence customer water usage.” Mandatory restrictions and extensive media coverage are also considered to be strong factors among the interacting variables.

On the surface, this report would seem to be at odds with a Metropolitan Water District Long Term Conservation Plan report (a different agenda item) which states “Price to the end user is a significant factor affecting conservation – as the price of water goes up many consumers will choose to use less. Significant research on retail price elasticity has already established this premise.”

The Planning Committee report does include a qualifier that “It must be emphasized that this is a very simplistic evaluation of water demand responsiveness due to price over the last few years. The results are unique to the rate increases and demand reductions experienced over the four-year time frame.”

In any event, Dana Friehauf, SDCWA Water Resources Specialist, told Directors that price adjustments “can be an effective strategy with the right pricing signals.”

Several Directors expressed concern about how to use this information to help explain price increases to the ratepayers, but the answer to that question remains elusive.

[later: Ms. Friehauf confirmed to me that there isn’t really a conflict with the MWD report. The Met report isn’t saying price is THE determining factor, just a significant factor, while the committee report doesn’t say price is not a big factor. It just shows that many other variables also have considerable influence. She also pointed out that the committee report looked at both historic and near-term price elasticity and price does play a bigger role in the near-term analysis.]


Posted in San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Water Authority earns gold award for exceptional utility performance

Posted by George J Janczyn on October 25, 2010

News release from the San Diego County Water Authority:

The San Diego County Water Authority has earned a Gold Award for Exceptional Utility Performance from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies for its strong record of effective management and significant contributions to the drinking water industry.

The Water Authority is one of only 13 public drinking water systems nationally to earn AMWA’s outstanding achievement award for utility management. The awards will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 26 at AMWA’s Annual Meeting in Henderson, Nev.

“For nearly two decades, the Water Authority has focused on innovative ways to maximize our region’s water reliability while ensuring safe and cost-effective operations,” said Michael T. Hogan, Water Authority Board Chair. “It’s gratifying to have our colleagues in the water industry recognize with this award all the hard work our board and staff have dedicated to serving our ratepayers.”

AMWA recognized the Water Authority for its long-term strategy to enhance the region’s water supply reliability by diversifying the region’s water supply portfolio. The award specifically cited the accomplishment of major progress on supply reliability projects, including:

• Finishing construction on the All-American Canal Lining Project. Water conserved from the canal-lining project will be transferred to San Diego County for 110 years, and is helping to offset current water cutbacks to the region.

• Commencing construction on the San Vicente Dam Raise Project. The project, the largest dam raise in the United States, will provide up to 152,100 acre-feet of additional local storage to help manage supplies during dry years or emergencies.

• Efforts to develop local supplies, including desalinated seawater and recycled water.

AMWA also recognized the Water Authority’s Drought Management Plan for its role in facilitating the region’s orderly transition to mandatory supply allocations.

“AMWA’s 2010 award winners are industry pacesetters, where forward-looking managers and committed workforces create sustainable utilities providing high-quality, affordable water and responsive customer service, while protecting the environment,” said AMWA President James McDaniel. “The communities served by these award winners should be proud of the accomplishments of their exceptionally well-managed public utilities.”

Each year AMWA honors a small group of public water agencies that exemplify the attributes of effectively managed utilities. These attributes, which are evaluated by a panel of respected water and wastewater utility executives, include: product quality, customer satisfaction, employee and leadership development, operational optimization, financial viability, infrastructure stability, operational resiliency, community sustainability, water resource adequacy, and stakeholder understanding and support.

AMWA’s members include the nation’s largest publicly owned drinking water utilities, which provide safe and clean drinking water to more than 130 million Americans.


Posted in San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water | Leave a Comment »

Water Authority Board to pursue terms for water purchase agreement with Poseidon Resources

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 24, 2010

[News release – San Diego County Water Authority, June 24, 2010]

After weighing a number of options designed to ensure the successful construction of the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant, the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors today directed the agency’s staff to return to its July 22 meeting with draft terms and conditions for purchasing water directly from the Carlsbad Desalination Project, currently being developed by Poseidon Resources.

The board’s direction followed a presentation and discussion of three recommended options for the Water Authority’s financial participation in the privately-owned seawater desalination plant. Other options considered by the board included Water Authority grants and loans to nine member agencies that contracted to purchase water from the project.

“The Board decided that the direct-purchase option provided the greatest likelihood the project will be built, and because it ensures all member agencies share equally in the cost and benefits of this reliable local water supply,” said Claude A. “Bud” Lewis, chair of the Water Authority Board of Directors. “Direct purchase by the Water Authority is also the most fiscally responsible option to support the completion of this important regional project.”

Under the option selected by the board, the Water Authority would become the direct purchaser of the plant’s desalinated seawater and then sell it to its member agencies. Poseidon and nine local water agencies, collectively known as the Desal Partners, would then terminate their current water purchase agreements. The Desal Partners are Carlsbad Municipal Water District, the city of Oceanside, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Water District, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Sweetwater Authority, Valley Center Municipal Water District and Vallecitos Water District.

The Carlsbad Desalination Project is a fully permitted, 50 million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination project located at the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. In 2020, the project is projected to account for 8 percent of the region’s total water supply.

(See also: Poseidon Resources news release)

Reactions in the news (will add more if they appear):

County Water Authority to explore doing desalination deal / North County Times

S.D. Water Authority votes for desalination / SignOnSanDiego

Related: Poseidon may get subsidy for Calif. plant / Stamford Advocate

[Added 6/25] What would Jesus do? (about the Carlsbad Desalination Project) / Blogs

Early reactions from local tweeps (without their names):

“Expensive desalination right to your front door, only 3x the cost of current supplies!”

“Truth? SDDT claims the $500M plant only $170M. Difference must be Poseidon’s profit.”

“Your water agency wants you to pay more for water. I don’t get it.”

“Wouldn’t it be awkward for SDCWA to buy Poseidon’s water AND guarantee their MWD subsidy?”

Posted in Commerce, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water desalination | Leave a Comment »

San Diego regional water news roundup June 18-23, 2010

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 24, 2010


City looks into earth-friendly solar power / The Coast News“OCEANSIDE — SunEdison presented an overview of a proposed solar photo-voltaic system at a community workshop held June 9. The solar system promises to fuel part of the San Luis Rey Water Reclamation facility at a lower cost and reduce the plant’s carbon footprint.”

Indirect potable reuse: the solution to San Diego’s water crisis [student contest essay] / Voice of San Diego“Purified wastewater is completely safe for drinking and has the potential to alleviate environmental strains and aid in reversing San Diego’s water crisis.”

Helix votes to hike water rates — again / East County Magazine“By a 3-2 vote, Helix Water District’s Board on June 16 voted to increase water rates as recommended by staff. Board members Kathleen Coates Hedberg and De Ana Verbeke opposed the rate hike, while members Richard Smith, John Linden and Chuck Muse voted in favor of raising rates. The rate hike would average 8.8% per household, or an average of $10.06. But higher water users may pay up to 12% more.”

Lutar: Taxpayers support and need Carlsbad desalination project [commentary] / San Diego News Network“As an independent, non-profit organization fighting for the rights of California’s taxpayers, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association believes the Carlsbad Desalination Project is an innovative public-private partnership that protects taxpayers from financial risk while providing a desperately needed new drinking water supply.”

County Water Authority prepares for major quake / 10News“The most recent earthquakes to shake San Diego have raised more awareness of the possibility of a major earthquake hitting southern California, but water officials said they have already begun preparing.”

Water conservation in Calexico to remain until treatment facility is operational / Imperial Valley Press“Water conservation here will remain in effect until technicians finish work on a facility that may not be completed until the end of July, an official said Tuesday. Calexico’s 10 million gallon clarifier was severely damaged during the 7.2-magnitude April 4 earthquake which prompted the call for residents to conserve water.”

Poseidon desal deal? Govt may rescue junk bond project / Surf City Voice“Due to soaring cost estimates and lack of private financing for a proposed 50-million-gallon per day Carlsbad desalination project, a government water agency may negotiate a takeover deal with the project’s developer, Poseidon Resources, Inc.”

Agencies ask Water Authority to save desal project / North County Times“Local cities and water districts are asking the Water Authority to take over their contract with Poseidon Resources Corp., said officials from the nine agencies involved. The Water Authority is scheduled to consider that request at its board meeting Thursday, according to its agenda.”

CA Attorney General’s office threatens lawsuit against Padre Dam after water district defies Native American Heritage Commission, continues construction at site deemed sacred / East County Magazine“Community leaders testify on Viejas’ behalf, ask Padre’s water board to find alternative solution;
Viejas to ask judge on Friday to extend injunction”

More questions about public pensions — at Helix Water [commentary] / La Mesa Today“The Saturday edition of the U/T reported a planned 8.8% hike in water rates for the Helix Water District (HWD). This outrageous action is another instance of our elected representatives putting the well being of public sector employees above their constituents. While the HWD Board asks ratepayers for more money, they continue to pay outrageous benefits to their employees.”


Posted in Helix Water District, Indirect potable reuse, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), Regional water news roundups, San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water, Water rates | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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]

Posted in Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Poseidon Desalination Plant (Carlsbad), San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), Water | 1 Comment »