ICYMI 3/3/21: Met’s Mess, New Drought? Water Debt

Will major scandal at Metropolitan Water District save Delta communities from the tunnel? – Sacramento News and Review 3/2/21
Now, MWD’s leadership is facing calls for audits and investigations into its work culture from state assembly members, the president of the Los Angeles City Council and a major public employee union. The results of such probes could affect exactly how intact the utility is when it heads into its final gambit to build the tunnel…
One of the many voices MWD’s leadership ignored that day was Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta. Barrigan-Parrilla has been appearing before MWD’s board for years on behalf of conservationists. After the LA Times story broke, she wrote a lengthy essay about her own observations. 

California’s wet season nears an end with big concerns about drought – SF Chronicle 3/2/21
A disappointingly dry February is fanning fears of another severe drought in California, and cities and farms are bracing for problems. In many places, including parts of the Bay Area, water users are already being asked to cut back.
Bad News: CVP and SWP Plan to Drain CA’s Largest Reservoirs – Doug Obegi 3/1/21
But these water allocations would come at a steep cost, because they depend on draining California’s two largest reservoirs (Shasta and Oroville Reservoirs) to levels on par with—or even below—the devastating drought years of 2014 and 2015. This poses an unacceptably high risk of killing the vast majority of endangered salmon below Shasta Dam this year, like in 2014 and 2015 when endangered salmon runs on the Sacramento River downstream of Shasta Dam were decimated by lethal water temperatures…

Local Grandmother Owes $17,000 in Water Bills– Spectrum News 3/2/21
That’s why when the pandemic hit, she welcomed back with open arms eight of her children and grandchildren. All of a sudden, her household grew from four to 12.
But those extra family members added another wrinkle to Holt’s already complicated situation with water affordability. At the beginning of the pandemic Holt owed $8,000 to LADWP, now her debt is over $17,000…
One in eight California households have water debt. Johnathan Nelson, policy director for the nonprofit Community Water Center said it’s shameful.

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