Newsletter

California’s Real “Fix” for Affordable Water

By: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Mr. Gary Brown, Director for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD), address government water leaders from an assortment of California’s state and local water agencies about how Detroit reworked policies to address water affordability issues—a strategy that has led to 95% of Detroit’s water customers now paying their monthly water bills on time. While there are numerous differences between how a water-rich area like Detroit and an arid region like Los Angeles County can manage water availability, distribution, and rates, Mr. Brown described an ethos that is sorely lacking in water management throughout California. Mr. Brown said, and I am paraphrasing here, that while the Detroit Water and Sewerage [...]

Where do we go from here? We keep going.

Today is a new day, and not a day to feel defeated. As we reflect on yesterday’s decision, it becomes clear that we have a choice on how we move forward—we can choose to accept defeat or choose to see where we have made tremendous progress and keep going. As we are seeing on many fronts in our country, there is a disconnect between what Californians are looking for in terms of public planning, and a sustainable use of our resources for the greater good, and what political leaders insist on doing. They may have won the battle, but this effort to cling to the last century’s methods for water management in California will not hold. The long arc of [...]

One Major Way to Stop the Tunnels in 2018

Dear Friends of Restore the Delta:   We are very grateful for your support that comes to us in many ways throughout the year — from attending events and key government meetings, to writing comments, to making contributions.  You are the glue that holds our efforts together.   This is why in 2018, we are asking you all to make a concentrated effort to let your local elected officials (at the city, county, state, and federal levels), and candidates running for statewide offices why you oppose the Delta tunnels.  It doesn't matter which candidates you support.  What matters is that they understand that the Delta tunnels are an environmental and economic boondoggle and that there are many better solutions for [...]

California WaterFix, WaterFantasy

<bodyDenial can be a very powerful motivator. On September 26, 2017, we saw what was perhaps the greatest display of institutional denial in California water planning at Metropolitan Water District’s Board Workshop on California WaterFix.   Throughout Southern California, a number of MWD member agency board members, various city council members, and elected officials of all stripes had indicated in recent weeks that they were looking to the MWD workshop for answers to specific questions about costs and water delivery allocations for WaterFix before they could give their approval for the project. These sentiments were even echoed by officials who wanted to see WaterFix move forward, but who, quite understandably, also wanted to ensure that sound financial planning was in [...]

WaterFix Chaos, Colonized Delta, and California Democracy

By Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla and Tim Stroshane   In water agencies all over California right now, fevered phone calls between general managers and directors and attorneys and engineers are likely happening because of Westlands Water District’s vote to reject California WaterFix on September 19th:   Will the project have to get smaller or stay the same?   Will the state water contractors be able to afford the project without federal Central Valley Project (CVP) water contractors ponying up? If so, how?   Can the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) force State Water Project (SWP) contractors to support WaterFix even if it’s against their wishes?   Will project customers getting Delta imports have to pay higher property taxes for the project? [...]

Join us in the fight to SAVE the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas!