“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to the Santa Maria groundwater basin plan, ending 16 years of litigation over the issue and ensuring long-term water supplies for the city and a large portion of the Central Coast.
“Last November, the management plan for the groundwater basin was validated by a state appellate court. After the California Supreme Court later refused to hear the case, some landowners upset with the appellate decision petitioned the nation’s highest court, which on Oct.
“Sparse rain coupled with salty seawater eating at the water supply that feeds homes and businesses from Capitola to La Selva Beach has Soquel Creek Water District leaders seriously weighing alternative supplies.
“District leaders said one possible solution to the ongoing shortage saga is to join a regional multimillion dollar desalination plant proposed for Moss Landing that would also be used in the Monterey and Salinas areas.”
“You think the battle over the Fort Ord ballot measures is confusing? Prepare to see confusion taken to a higher level. If Public Water Now succeeds in getting a Cal Am takeover measure on a 2014 ballot, the campaign against it is likely to have you questioning your ability to understand the basics of math, government and economics. …
“If the ballot measure wins, it would require the Peninsula water management district to study the feasibility of a public takeover of Cal Am, the Peninsula’s water purveyor.
“After a media investigation revealed that federal regulators quietly approved at least four fracking projects off the Santa Barbara coast without environmental review, a national environmental group is calling for an immediate end to the practice.”
“Both farmers and environmentalists are taking aim at a new study addressing a controversial practice of bulldozing the Salinas River to prevent flooding. For decades, growers along the river have gone into the channel with equipment to clear brush and sediment to allow the river to flow faster during heavy rains and not back up and flood valuable crops.
“City Manager Martín Bernal will take the first step Tuesday toward starting a fresh dialogue with the public about water supply planning while simultaneously completing an analysis of seawater desalination.
“Bernal will seek the City Council’s blessing on a new public engagement plan to re-evaluate supply challenges, greater conservation and other alternatives, as well as address questions and comments about desal from residents and regulators.”
“An advisory committee on Thursday gave the green light to county water officials to request from the state an extension to develop new water projects, a milestone required to keep a key Salinas River water right from being revoked by the state.
From the Monterey Herald in a commentary by Bob McKenzie and Dale Ellis, consultants to the Coalition of Peninsula Businesses:
“On July 31, 2013, the Peninsula took a major step forward in the battle to solve our water crisis.
“On that day, many parties, including the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority, Cal Am, Monterey Peninsula Water Management District and the Coalition of Peninsula Businesses, signed two settlement agreements that resolve some major issues confronting Cal Am’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project.”
“Ron Cohen, the emerging leader of the latest effort to buy out California American Water’s local water system, says he has always avoided politics despite a family history steeped in public affairs. …
“Until now. He says he is motivated by Cal Am’s unfair monopoly of the Monterey Peninsula’s water supply and its failure to properly manage it and secure a new water source.”
From the California Farm Bureau Federation Ag Alert weekly newspaper:
“To increase understanding of groundwater quality and how Central Coast aquifers work, farmers and ranchers in four counties have formed a coalition for cooperative well-water testing to share costs and reporting requirements.
“Cambria’s 6,200 residents are at risk of running out of water before there’s sufficient rainfall to refill area creeks and aquifers, services district directors were told at a special meeting Monday. …
“The board set a special public hearing for Sept. 20 to discuss and take action on possible fixes.”
“Attorneys for both sides are claiming victory after an appeals court ruled that a successful challenge to the failed regional desalination project’s environmental review was no longer relevant.
“In a ruling issued Monday [August 26], the Sixth District Court of Appeal found the Marina Coast Water District’s appeal of a decision by a Monterey County judge that the project’s EIR was inadequate is ‘moot,’ or irrelevant, because both sides agree the project is essentially dead.”