“A Tuesday night presentation on one of the three key desalination projects moving forward on the Monterey Peninsula highlights what all the proposals’ proponents understand: They must pass muster with agriculture concerns in the Salinas Valley.
“A couple of dozen growers and agri-business representatives listened to a presentation Tuesday night at Braga Ranch in Soledad advocating for the People’s Moss Landing Desalination Project, which, along with DeepWater Desal and California American Water Co.’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, is vyi
“On Tuesday [August 27], the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has an opportunity to prevent further decline of the Paso Robles groundwater basin by adopting temporary land use restrictions.”
“San Juan Capistrano is objecting to a judge’s ruling that the city’s tiered water-rate system is illegal.
“In a four-page document filed Wednesday, a lawyer for the city says Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz erred when ruling that the rates approved by the City Council in February 2010 are not based on the cost of providing water service.”
“In exchange for dropping a challenge to a key Salinas Valley water right, state regulators have issued a set of requirements the Monterey County Water Resources Agency must meet in order to stay in regulators’ good graces.”
“The city’s longtime water director acknowledged Tuesday his department focused for years on championing a solution to Santa Cruz’s vulnerable water supply rather than first ensuring ratepayers understood the threat.
“After top city leaders called for halting development of a seawater desalination project, Bill Kocher, who will retire in September after 27 years, said state and federal mandates for improved stream flow for fish habitat will reduce water supply 25 percent annually.
“In January 2013, a group of agricultural interests began developing a cooperative groundwater monitoring plan in response to Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) requirements for groundwater monitoring (also known as the “Ag Waiver”).
“The city’s top two officials are expected to formally announce Tuesday their recommendation not to pursue a vote in 2014 on a controversial seawater desalination plant and instead work with the public on other avenues for safeguarding a drought-prone water supply.”
“Monterey Peninsula officials, water activists, interest groups and the public received separate audiences on Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission.
“Though all five commissioners were in the area for a series of public events, the Peninsula’s top water movers and shakers secured an invitation-only session with just a few of them at a time to avoid running afoul of rules regarding ex parte communications.”
“In the wake of more bad news this week about the North County’s sinking water table, The Tribune talked with locals about who is to blame and what should be done. Eight of 12 people The Tribune spoke with about the groundwater crisis said wineries are to blame, and everyone agreed that authorities should enforce some sort of regulation to conserve water.”
“The city of Salinas and Monterey County are on parallel tracks to follow other municipalities in the region and restrict the retail use of some of the roughly 18 billion plastic bags distributed in California each year.
“On Tuesday, the county Board of Supervisors unanimously directed staff from the Department of Environmental Health to move forward with the first phase — an environmental impact study — toward a draft ordinance severely restricting plastic bags and charging a fee on paper bags.”
“The way to replenish the Paso Robles groundwater basin is not to impose restrictions on the agricultural community, but to push for a California Water District that would have the power to establish short-term and long-term solutions to stabilize the aquifer.
“That’s the message from the Paso Robles Agricultural Alliance for Groundwater Solutions, a group of vineyard owners and other agriculturalists who want to establish a special district that could obtain loans to help people dig deeper wells, as well as fund projects to get supplemental wa