Processing Magazine

San Diego Water Authority faces lawsuit over water supply plan

May 20, 2014

Environmental non-profit organization San Diego Coastkeeper has accused the San Diego Water Authority of ignoring the dangers of climate change in its recently presented water supply plan. The group has filed a lawsuit against the authority, claiming that if the plan is implemented in its current form the future impact on local water resources and on climate change would be very serious.

In legal documents filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, San Diego, Central Division, the environmental group says that it wants the authority to be forced to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act by accounting for the energy is uses in water treatment processes.

Matt O'Malley from San Diego Coastkeeper stated that energy use in water supply should be considered carefully because it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and to climate change. The water supply plan put forward by the San Diego Water Authority is ineffective and puts at risk public health, the environment and the economic stability of San Diego County, he said in a statement.

The plan, called Regional Water Facilities Optimization and Master Plan Update, was presented on March 27, along with an accompanying Supplemental Program Environmental Impact Report and Climate Action Plan. According to Coastkeeper, it fails to recognize the importance of water conservation and recycling and does not include any adequate greenhouse gas reduction measures. Instead, the authority's plans would have a negative environmental impact and would affect ratepayers for years to come, the statement concluded.