News you can’t use

“MWD stops paying rebates for water-saving devices”

TO THOSE confused by the Los Angeles Times headline today on page A7 of the print edition asserting that the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has stopped paying rebates for water-saving devices, you’re right to be scratching your heads.

That report along with its varying online incarnations dated from July 17th to July 20th are all more than a month late, and wrong.

Metropolitan board votes to resume rebate program

YOU CAN be too popular. The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California last month suspended payments for its conservation rebate program after being told that that the program might be $24m in the red. Today, after hearing from auditors that the backlog was only $14.2m and that the cost of water saved through conservation was still cheaper than buying supplemental new water, the board concluded that its main failure was success. It subsequently voted to cover the rebate backlog.

Metropolitan Water District’s rebate budget $24m in the red as member agency LADWP announces cash for grass program

From Aquafornia via the Riverside Press Enterprise: “Metropolitan Water District’s board (yesterday) ordered an audit after questioning the management of a regional rebate program for water-saving appliances that is $24 million in the red.

The board of directors, meeting in Los Angeles on Tuesday, rejected a committee recommendation to pull money out of reserves to pay for a flurry of outstanding rebate claims incurred in the past few months, when the program had run out of money.

“This program has not been managed or monitored properly,” said board member James Blake, who represents the city of Fullerton. “We said when the money was gone, it was gone. We have not only used up the money, we are proposing to double or triple the money.”

Directors voted to have MWD’s auditor validate all pending claims to come up with an exact dollar figure, and to evaluate the best use of conservation …

Cadiz, Inc boondoggle is back

CALIFORNIA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has endorsed plans by private speculator Cadiz, Inc to tap Mojave ground water, reports the Los Angeles Business Journal. The Cadiz plan, according to a statement from the governor, “will sustainably recover more than one million acre feet of water that would otherwise be lost to evaporation and make it available to help provide a reliable source of water for Southern California.”

The Cadiz project proposes storing Colorado River Water in a Mojave aquifer in wet years and pumping it to Southern Californian communities in dry ones. Among its problems are that it involves taking out far more water from the desert than naturally refills every year and that, cost-wise, experts say it’s a boondoggle.

The Cadiz self-styled “dry year supply project” is best known, however, as a synonym for croneyism. As a succession of Los Angeles Times stories during the last nine

Welcome to Met, Mr. Fleming

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California sent out a press release Tuesday announcing the formal seating of its newest board member, David W. Fleming, an attorney with Latham & Watkins. Among his credentials to join the board of the country’s largest water wholesaler outside of the US Bureau of Reclamation, Mr Fleming has served as (or in some instances still serves as): 

  • a director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce 
  • chair of the Los Angeles County Business Federation
  • co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council
  • chair of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley
  • member and chair of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation
  • chair of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association
  • member of the Los Angeles Police Foundation
  • member of the Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles
  • member of the Los Angeles County Children’s Planning
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