Keep it civil

I’ll try. The easiest way to accomplish that when describing yesterday’s Los Angeles field hearing of the US House Sub-Committee on Water and Power is to thank the chair, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, who proved a model of efficiency and civility.

From there, it gets difficult.

Thunk tank

Next Monday, the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water and Power will be holding a local hearing at the Los Angeles offices of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The subject?

“California drought solutions.”

If that seems an odd thing to be contemplating during a deluge, it’s not. Most of our water does not come from local rainfall, but from other places, which, if not in a drought, are definitely in a jam. Last week, that jam became orders of magnitude worse as Sacramento judge Roland Candee struck down something called the Quantification Settlement Agreement.

This 2003 wad of contracts profoundly affects how California may legally divide and manage its share of the Colorado River, which is along with Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in Northern California one of the three main sources of fresh water for Southern California.

Candee’s 

Salton Sea et al

For those who have asked about the impact of of this week’s ruling by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Roland Candee as it affects the Salton Sea restoration deal incorporated in the 2003 Quantification Settlement Agreement and Joint Powers Authority funding agreement (QSA JPA), here are some relevant excerpts from the decision. Copious numbered references have been struck for coherence and eyeball-busting acronyms have been decoded. The full text of the decision is available here.

These edited excerpts come from Sections 6 through 9, pages 33 through 43 of the decision.

“Dealing with the Salton Sea appears to the Court to have been the single most significant environmental issue faced in the QSA process. The Salton Sea is California’s largest lake, located north of the Mexican border at the northern end of the Imperial Irrigation District  service area and the southern end of Coachella Valley Water District’s service area.

“It