The growing leadership of women in water. The Colorado River’s persistent drought and efforts to sign off on a plan to avert worse shortfalls of water from the river. And in California’s Central Valley, promising solutions to vexing water resource challenges.
These were among the topics that Western Water news explored in 2018.
We’re already planning a full slate of stories for 2019. You can sign up here to be alerted when new stories are published. In the meantime, take a look at what we dove into in 2018:
Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators are negotiating a new water bond that would go before voters in November. If negotiations break down in the next few weeks – and we hope they don’t – voters would decide on a flawed $11 billion water bond crafted in 2009.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for a drastically cheaper water bond set off a fresh round of negotiations in the Capitol on Wednesday, as lawmakers and stakeholders seek to craft a plan that addresses the state’s myriad water needs without a bloated price tag.
From U-T San Diego, in a column by Steven Greenhut:
Few issues are more important to the future of California than providing a reliable source of water for the state’s growing population. But despite the sense of urgency caused by this year’s particularly severe drought, legislators still aren’t sure exactly what to do about the problem.
Water bond politics look poised to dominate the remainder of California’s legislative session, with Senate leadership and Gov. Jerry Brown billions of dollars apart on the size of a revised water bond for the November 2014 ballot.
Gov. Jerry Brown told legislative leaders Tuesday that he wants a $6-billion water bond to be put before voters in November — a substantially lower price tag than proposals making their way through the Legislature.
The governor told legislative leaders in private meetings Tuesday that he opposes the existing water bond, which was negotiated by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers in 2009, and wants a $6 billion bond instead.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Gary Polakovic:
It’s been 40 years since the June 20, 1974, opening of “Chinatown,” the fictionalized drama about power, corruption and what is arguably L.A.’s most crucial resource: water. The iconic film was Hollywood’s make-believe version of an undying reality: In L.A., you have to follow the water.
From the PPIC Viewpoints blog, in a post by Emma Freeman and Ellen Hanak:
Much of the current water talk in Sacramento surrounds a new state water bond for the November ballot. Yet as we show in our study Paying for Water in California, most water spending—84 percent—is actually raised locally.
“Wielding two decades of Senate experience and sheer force of will, Sen. Dianne Feinstein overcame environmentalists’ objections and Republicans’ skepticism in pushing through a drought-relief bill that could ship more water to farms and cities and weaken protections for fish.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Kerry Cavanaugh:
“The fight over transparency at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is only escalating, with yet another lawsuit filed this week over two secretive nonprofits that have received $40 million in ratepayer money.”
“From all over California, farmers, environmental lawyers, wildlife groups, cities and even the Fresno County sheriff have posted thoughts in a siege of protests to state officials about the use of this year’s puny snowpack and half-empty reservoirs.”