San Diego Coastkeeper
Is Suing County Water Authority For Alleged Failure to Account
for Environmental Impacts
Michelle Mowad, April 29, 2014
Diego Coastkeeper is suing the San Diego County Water Authority,
alleging its recently approved water supply plan failed to
account for existing and future environmental impacts.
suit alleges the local water agency violated the California
Environmental Quality Act because it did not address the environmental
impacts or account for the energy used to move and treat the
water it supplied.
care about our water supply's energy use because it produces
greenhouse gas emissions, a primary driver of global climate
change," said Matt O'Malley of Coastkeeper. "Water
supply decisions based on this plan could jeopardize the health
and economic viability of San Diego County by contributing
to climate change impacts like sea level rise."
Water Authority did not immediately respond to a request for
comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court
Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update,
adopted last month, was designed to serve as a roadmap for
future capital projects and responding to climate change as
it relates to agency activities through 2035.
to water authority officials, investments in new energy generation
will allow the San Diego CWA to meet 2020 state targets for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent.
plan included an environmental analysis and a climate action
officials said they had repeatedly called on the Water Authority
to prioritize conservation and recycling, and to implement
a greenhouse gas reduction plan. They allege the Water Authority
declined to incorporate their suggestions into the plan.
Water Authority claims they approved only a couple minor amendments
to their plans and operations and can therefore avoid any
real scrutiny," said Everett DeLano, an attorney representing
San Diego Coastkeeper. "In reality, the plans they approved
will pose profound negative impacts to San Diego's environment
and ratepayers for years to come."