Category Archives: Water Marketing

The Colorado River in Disarray

The inevitable is upon us.  Channeling Hydrowonk’s favorite Chicagoan theologian, “the curtailments have come home to roost.”

Many are not surprised.  The early 20th century was a period of historically high natural flows on the Colorado River when the 1922 Colorado River Compact was negotiated.  The 1944 Treaty with the Republic of Mexico was, at least partly, a national security exercise during World War II against Nazi incursion south of our border.  Were interested parties inside and outside state and federal governments engaged in long-term comprehensive risk assessment over the past seventy years?  Based on Hydrowonk’s four decades plus experience, nope (with a few exceptions).  Neglect is always a prelude to catastrophe.

Continue reading

Appellate Court Wheeling Decision Puts More Pressure on Northern California Water Supplies

Last June, the Court of Appeal of the First Appellate District issued an opinion addressing the long-standing dispute between the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and the San Diego County Water Authority regarding lawful wheeling rates for water conveyed to San Diego through Metropolitan’s Colorado River Aqueduct and local distribution system. Reversing a superior court decision, the Appellate Court held that Metropolitan’s inclusion of State Water Project costs in its calculation of wheeling rates was lawful. Putting aside legal debate, Hydrowonk focuses on the economic consequences of the decision.

Continue reading

Groundwater Management under SGMA—A Role for Markets Part 1

The June 30, 2017 deadline for medium and high-priority groundwater basins to create Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (“GSAs”) under California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (“SGMA”) is behind us, and the newly-formed regulatory agencies must now figure out how they will meet their purpose of stopping overdraft and bringing groundwater to sustainable levels. SGMA implementation can easily build on the experiences of the west.

Continue reading

U.C. Davis Experts Call For Drought Environmental Water Market

By Wayne Lusvardi, Guest Blogger

On Feb. 11, 2014, a team of water experts[1] associated with U.C. Davis called for the creation of a “special water market” to generate “revenues that would help support fish and wildlife recovery” to alleviate the California drought. Continue reading