Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Water Weekly 3: Totally cool, totally hot and totally illogical

What were the three biggest California land development stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:

Totally Cool About Climate Change

UCLA economist Matthew Kahn thinks global warming is the real deal, and he’s really cool with it. “There is a lot of evidence that we can cope with change, that we are not mice, and we have big brains,” he told the LA Times, stating what we’ve always thought was obvious.  As for California’s water woes in a hotter world, he’s once again positive … in a way:  ”Climate change may force us to get rid of our crazy outdated [water] laws,” he said.  Looks like good times ahead for water lawyers!

Read the L.A. Times interview here

He Said What?!

“I don’t suffer bullies, cowards or liars very well,” wrote outgoing Sweetwater Authority water district general manager Mark Rogers to his customers in his goodbye letter.  Rogers included in that group some board members, employees and customers.  Oops!  Worse, he likened them to Nazis, saying, “You can elect to be like Neville Chamberlain and surrender to their demands, or you can choose to be like Winston Churchill who recognized a growing threat and inspired a nation to stand strong.” Sweetwater board chair Bud Pocklington and vice chair Ron Morrison recognized a growing threat and sent a letter of apology to the San Diego County water district’s customers.

Read the SignOn San Diego article here

Read Rogers’ “burn the bridges” piece here (scroll down)

Getting Water Rights Wrong

The 9th  Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, which is infamous for bad decisions, has laid down another whopper in a decision that threatens to pull the plug on water agencies’ rights and, by extension, the rights of the customers they serve. The ruling in Grant County Black Sands Irrigation District v. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation basically would have districts perpetually “rent” facilities that their water fees paid to build and maintain.  This is not only a reversal of the law, it’s a reversal of logic.

Read a summary of the case here
See a PFL attorney discuss the case here

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