Tuesday, April 21, 2015

No more tiers?

Appeals court rejects higher water rates for big users

The California Aqueduct as it winds its way south through the San Joaquin Valley. DAN BREKKE/KQED

KQED

San Francisco Chronicle

A state appeals court dealt a potentially serious blow Monday to local governments' attempts to encourage water conservation in drought-parched California, ruling that they cannot charge higher rates to big users simply because those customers guzzle more water. Instead, the court said, cities and water agencies can charge only as much as it costs them to provide service to customers.

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Brown calls ruling 'straitjacket' for conservation

Sacramento Bee

"The practical effect of the court's decision is to put a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed," Gov. Brown said in a prepared statement. "My policy is and will continue to be: Employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California."

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Activists decry plan to cut habitat aid from Delta

San Francisco Chronicle

Environmental groups Monday blasted a proposal by the state to jettison the habitat restoration portion of the massive Delta water tunnel project as an ill-conceived "bait and switch" that will only make California's water woes worse. The $25 billion twin-tunnel project was supposed to include $7.8 billion to restore 100,000 acres of habitat for fish, birds and other species.

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