News from around the state: Sonoma County drops plans to take more water from the Russian River, angering cities; CSU Monterey Bay agrees to mitigate some of its off-campus impacts; Lake County may get a fourth Indian casino.
The San Bernardino Local Agency Formation Commission may proceed with the proposed consolidation of two water districts, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled. The court rejected the argument of one district that the proposed consolidation is not subject to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Government Reorganization Act and that the consolidation is actually a dissolution.
The state's system for regulating water quality is failing, according to the Little Hoover Commission. In a recent report, the investigative panel concluded the current system managed by the State Water Resources Control Board and nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards lacks transparency, consistency and accountability, and that the system does not demonstrably improve water quality.
Cities, counties and public water agencies have broad discretion over the way they conduct water supply assessments for development projects that rely on groundwater, the First District Court of Appeal has ruled.
State lawmakers need to decide what to do with the Bay Delta, "and soon," the Legislative Analyst's Office urges in a new report. The lengthy document released in late-October is mostly an overview of the state's water system, but the report concludes with several potentially controversial recommendations.
In combination with the housing market crash, a water shortage has brought construction nearly to a halt in the Antelope Valley. Even if the market were to bounce back in the next year or two, it's unclear that water providers could serve a substantial number of new homes and businesses.
State laws approved seven years ago requiring water assurances for large development projects appear to be of minimal aid in determining whether the state and regions have enough water for the future. That's the conclusion of a California Research Bureau (CRB) report released with zero fanfare in August.
A water supply assessment provided by a water agency for a proposed development project is not subject to legal scrutiny until it becomes part of an environmental impact report, the Second District Court of Appeal has ruled.
State water quality officials are continuing to press forward with more and more strict regulations for stormwater runoff. In response, planners and developers are worried about the cost of implementation and potentially unintended consequences.