Lloyd G Carter Blog
Fitch Ratings says a California appellate court ruling is likely to have limited impact on tiered-water pricing
28 April 2015
A court ruling reinforcing the requirement that California water utilities link their tiered fees to the cost of providing water may reduce revenue and increase compliance costs slightly for a few but will likely have limited credit impact, Fitch Ratings says. Nearly all Fitch-rated water utilities in the state use tiered water rate pricing. Those that have sufficiently justified their tiered water pricing based on direct cost recovery of capital, conservation programs, higher treatment, and purchased water costs will see limited impacts. However, some may be required to re-examine their rate structures, undergo more rigorous analysis of cost of service, and provide greater rate transparency going forward. READ MORE »
By Emma Bailey
editor's note: Chronicles of the Hydraulic Brotherhood is now accepting articles from anyone with something important to say about California Water issues.
On November 8, 2014, Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California, plunged to a record low: 26 percent of capacity. Boaters were forced to rappel from dock parking lots to their listing motorboats far below. Just 46 more feet lost and the lake would be rendered impotent, unable to produce power. If all the remaining water in the similarly starved reservoirs of Lake Shasta, Trinity Lake, and Folsom Lake was to be poured into Oroville Lake, it would still only be 80 percent full.
Prior to 2011, California drew 18 percent of its in-state electricity generation from 287 hydropower plants, from impoundments, run-of river and pumped storage facilities. A small fraction of its hydropower was (and is) imported from the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest's Hoover Dam. This energy source (learn more here) would have been a great alternative to traditional sources, such as coal or natural gas. READ MORE »
Restore Hetch Hetchy’s petition alleges reservoir’s diversion of water unreasonable; ‘Not One Drop of Water Need be Lost in Restoration’
OAKLAND, CA- April 21, 2015 - Restore Hetch Hetchy (RHH) today (April 21, 2015)filed a petition(1) in Superior Court in Tuolumne County asserting that the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park violates the water diversion mandates of the California Constitution. California’s Constitution(2) requires that the manner of diverting water out of streams and rivers must always be reasonable.
Restore Hetch Hetchy’s petition alleges that since there are many feasible alternatives for diverting the water downstream of Yosemite and allowing the Tuolumne River to flow through Hetch Hetchy Valley in a pristine state, theexisting reservoir violates the law. “Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park was once one of our nation’s most treasured landscapes. Its destruction, allowed a hundred years ago, is widely regarded as a mistake - a mistake that we don’t need to live with,” said Spreck Rosekrans, Executive Director of Restore Hetch Hetchy. READ MORE »