IMPORTED WATER COMMITTEE
FEBRUARY 26, 2008
Dan McMillan – Chair Barry Martin
Bill Knutson – Vice Chair Ralph McIntosh
Yen Tu – Vice Chair Joseph Parker
Jim Bond Rua Petty
Gary Croucher Hershell Price
Keith Lewinger Elsa Saxod
John Linden Barbara Wight
1. Roll call – determination of quorum.
2. Additions to agenda (Government Code Section 54954.2(b)).
3. Public comment – opportunities for members of the public to address the
Committee on matters within the Committee’s jurisdiction.
4. Chair’s report.
4-A Directors’ comments.
I. CONSENT CALENDAR
1. Metropolitan Water District Issues and Activities update.
1-A Metropolitan Water District Delegates report.
2. Colorado River Programs.
2-A Colorado River Board representative’s report. Bill Knutson
2-B All American Canal human safety report. (Information) Halla Razak
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2-C Funding agreement for an amount not-to-exceed $30,000 for Halla Razak
the Water Authority’s cost share of the first phase of a joint
feasibility study and preliminary design of a binational
seawater desalination plant located in Baja California,
Staff recommendation: Enter into a funding agreement with
the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
(MWD), Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and
Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD) to
conduct a joint feasibility study and preliminary design of a
binational seawater desalination plant to be located in Baja
California, Mexico. The Water Authority’s share for the first
phase of the funding agreement would not exceed $30,000.
The Water Authority would pay for succeeding phases of the
study based upon a 30-percent cost share with the other
agencies, or it could choose to opt out of the study.
1. Metropolitan Water District Program report. Amy Chen
2. Update on Metropolitan Water District’s 2009 Integrated Amy Chen
Resources Plan process.
IV. CLOSED SESSION
1. CLOSED SESSION: Dan Hentschke/
Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation Halla Razak
Government Code §54956.9(b)(1) – All American Canal Lining
Project Air Quality Compliance Dispute
Doria F. Lore
Clerk of the Board
NOTE: This meeting is called as an Imported Water Committee meeting. Because a quorum of the Board may be present, the meeting is also
noticed as a Board meeting. Members of the Board who are not members of the Committee may participate in the meeting pursuant to
Section 2.00.060(g) of the Authority Administrative Code (Recodified). All items on the agenda, including information items, may be
deliberated and become subject to action. All public documents provided to the committee or Board for this meeting including materials
related to an item on this agenda and submitted to the Board of Directors within 72 hours prior to this meeting may be reviewed at the San
Diego County Water Authority headquarters located at 4677 Overland Avenue, San Diego, CA 92123 at the reception desk during normal
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February 18, 2009
Attention: Imported Water Committee
Funding agreement for an amount not to exceed $30,000 for the Water Authority’s cost share
of the first phase of a joint feasibility study and preliminary design of a binational seawater
desalination plant located in Baja California, Mexico. (Action)
Enter into a funding agreement with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
(MWD), Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and Central Arizona Water
Conservation District (CAWCD) to conduct a joint feasibility study and preliminary design
of a binational seawater desalination plant to be located in Baja California, Mexico. The
Water Authority’s share for the first phase of the funding agreement would not exceed
$30,000. The Water Authority would pay for succeeding phases of the study based upon a
30-percent cost share with the other agencies, or it could choose to opt out of the study.
Do not approve entering into the recommended funding agreement. This would limit the
Water Authority’s ability to participate in binational seawater desalination initiatives
being evaluated by the seven Colorado River Basin states, the International Boundary and
Water Commission (IBWC), and Mexico water agencies.
Funds for the Water Authority’s $30,000 share of the funding agreement are available in the
Fiscal Years 2008-09 operating budget. If the study proceeds beyond the first phase, the Water
Authority would participate based upon a 30-percent cost share of the succeeding study phases.
The recommended action is included in the “supply” category of the Water Authority’s rates.
For the past few years, the Water Authority has participated in a binational effort to review a
number of Colorado River water supply augmentation projects, operations, and management
practices. The IBWC organized and is leading this effort, and the Bureau of Reclamation is
working with the U.S. states and water agencies to identify workable projects. An IBWC
workgroup formed to identify potential new water supply projects selected a 25 to 50 mgd seawater
desalination plant to be located in Rosarito Beach, Mexico for further review in this process.
The Water Authority reviewed a similar project in its 2005 study, “Feasibility Study of Seawater
Desalination Development Opportunities for the San Diego / Tijuana Region.” That study
determined that a site in the city of Rosarito in Baja California, Mexico was the most promising
location for a binational desalination plant and concluded that a detailed evaluation would be
required to further develop this site.
The proposed joint desalination feasibility study and preliminary design is intended to build upon
information obtained in the Water Authority’s 2005 study, including a detailed evaluation of
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potential sites in or near Rosarito, updated U.S. and Mexico demand projections, and an analysis of
how existing water conveyance facilities could be used for both Mexico and U.S. points of water
delivery. The study is phased, with the completion of each phase requiring a “go” or a “no go”
decision before proceeding onto the next, more detailed phase. If a fatal flaw is found at a particular
phase that would preclude the Water Authority’s interest in continuing, the Water Authority could
opt out of the study.
The project phases include: 1) a feasibility evaluation (updated site evaluation, water demand
assessment and environmental permitting issues); 2) product water conveyance evaluation; 3) pilot
plant development and testing; and 4) preliminary design of the full-scale plant. The preliminary
design would be for a 25 mgd seawater desalination plant, expandable to a 50 mgd plant. This level
of design could be characterized as a “10 percent” design, sufficient to demonstrate the viability of
constructing a plant.
The potential water users of the plant’s product water include Mexican water agencies through
direct connections to the Mexican distribution system; the Water Authority and its member
agencies, with water being delivered through a pipeline connection across the border; or water users
from other states, with water delivered via exchange agreements. The binational process is
reviewing ways in which these exchanges could be made, including the potential for Mexico to
store water in Lake Mead under the Intentionally Created Surplus (ICS) program. This would allow
other U.S. users to participate in the plant by exchanging plant product water for deliveries from
The Water Authority would conduct the study with funding partners including MWD, SNWA, and
the CAWCD. Each of these partners would contribute a percentage of the funds required to
complete the study and design. Mexican water agencies are expected to contribute in-kind services.
Water Authority staff would administer the contract for the project, with technical staff from all
agencies reviewing the contractor’s work. The agency funding percentages of the total project cost
• SDCWA: 30 percent (not to exceed $30,000 for the first phase)
• MWD: 30 percent
• SNWA: 30 percent
• CAWCD: 10 percent
The proposed joint feasibility study and preliminary design will assist binational Colorado River
water supply and management efforts being conducted by the seven basin states, IBWC, and
Mexico. It will also provide the Water Authority with jointly funded information regarding the
Water Authority’s ability to use product water from a large-scale seawater desalination plant
located in Mexico, including how to integrate that supply into existing Water Authority and
member agency distribution systems. Staff recommends executing the joint funding agreement
to participate in this study and preliminary design. Because this agreement would be with public
agencies, SCOOP outreach is not required.
Prepared by: Dave Fogerson, Senior Engineer
Reviewed by: Halla Razak, Colorado River Programs Director
Approved by: Maureen A. Stapleton, General Manager
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February 18, 2009
Attention: Imported Water Committee
Metropolitan Water District Program Report (Information)
The MWD Program Report summarizes activities associated with the Metropolitan Water
District of Southern California (MWD) and other imported water agencies and organizations.
Metropolitan Water District. This memo provides a summary of key actions taken at the
February 9 and 10 meetings of the MWD board of directors as well as significant MWD
activities during February. The board meets next on March 9 and 10.
Orange County reliability projects
The southern portion of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) is highly
reliant on imported water from MWD’s Diemer plant. Staff reported that the three proposed
projects from MWDOC would improve local system reliability for MWDOC and allow
flexibility to MWD for routine outages, repairs and construction. The first project, OC-72
Regional Interconnection, allows potable water from the Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) to
be pumped into MWD’s Allen-McColloch Pipeline (AMP) during emergencies, when either the
Diemer plant is not available or water cannot be delivered through the AMP. The second
project, Baker Water Treatment Plant , involves the construction of a new, local treatment plant
to supply areas of southern MWDOC that are almost entirely dependent on the Diemer plant.
The third project will allow for storage of water in a newly constructed reservoir – Upper
Chiquita Reservoir – with water that is delivered from the Diemer plant, during times of
scheduled or unscheduled outages at Diemer or the AMP; this water could then be reintroduced
into the system during emergencies.
The design and construction of all three projects will be funded by MWDOC and its retail
agencies. Staff sought authorization to execute service connection agreements to allow the
implementation of OC-72 connection and Upper Chiquita reservoir projects, and to negotiate
agreements for subsequent board consideration for the Baker plant. To accommodate the
operation of these projects, staff proposed a combination of lease, service connection and
operating agreements. When this item was presented last month, the MWD board requested
that staff work with the member agencies’ managers to review and recommend a comprehensive
board policy addressing the use of MWD facilities, and bring these projects back under that
policy umbrella. Although this month’s board memo requested the authorization of only two
projects, staff also requested the board’s conceptual approval of a third project that clearly has
policy implications regarding when the use of a MWD facility qualifies as a “lease,” or when it
qualifies as “wheeling.” The MWD board approved the two projects with CEQA clearance, but
deferred the project that had policy implications for future discussion.
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Conservation Credits Program increase for FY 2008/09
The board authorized an increase to the Conservation Credits Program by $20 million for the
remainder of fiscal years 2008/2009, resulting in a revised budget of $40 million. MWD’s
incentive programs are largely oversubscribed, and without this extension, MWD would need to
immediately discontinue all water conservation incentives for the remainder of the fiscal year.
The additional conservation costs would be offset by lower than expected expenditures on dry-
year water transfers. Staff also presented to the board a list of actions aimed at controlling
2009 Water Supply Allocation Plan Status and WSDM update
Staff reported that the most significant update to this month’s report is the water supply impacts
on the State Water Project as a result of dry conditions during the month of January. A new
State Water Project allocation study, released January 21, indicated precipitation, snowpack and
runoff levels are considerably lower than normal. The study results no longer support the
Department of Water Resources’ State Water Project allocation of 15 percent of Table A water.
Staff reported that although the official allocation has not been revised to date, the updated
figure in the study is 9 percent of Table A. Moreover, staff reported that the study does not
include potential additional curtailments from regulatory actions to protect Longfin smelt and
Chinook salmon. Since the release of the state’s study, staff reported the likelihood of
implementing allocation in 2009 has increased to 75%.
Drought Water Bank transfer agreements and MWD member agency pilot program
The board authorized staff to enter into an agreement with DWR to pursue up to 300,000 af of
Central Valley water transfer agreements under the 2009 Governor's Drought Water Bank.
These transfer agreements are consistent with MWD’s Five-Year Supply Reliability Action
Plan, and would help mitigate dry-year conditions in 2009. The Drought Bank water will be
subject to Delta carriage and conveyance losses of about 20%. The proposed costs included a
$5/af nonrefundable administrative fee, and a $70/af refundable water purchase deposit. Staff
will return to the board in spring 2009 to present the terms of the transfer purchase, and seek
authorization to execute agreements with sellers.
Staff also presented a pilot program to the board that would allocate a portion of the Drought
Bank water to individual member agencies that desire to purchase additional water; however,
the board did not authorize approving the principles, citing limited supplies. .
Other items discussed or approved by board committees or at the board meeting:
• Authorized the installation of a prototype well for the Hayfield Groundwater Extraction
• Authorized payment for 2009 State Water Project charges;
• Heard a status report on the Inland Feeder project for activities through December 2008; and
• Heard an update on the proposed 2009/10 Budget and Rates.
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State Water Contractors (SWC). The SWC met on January 15, 2009. Department of Water
Resources Deputy Director Ralph Torres described the Governor’s budget plan: 1) reduce
spending by $17.4 billion (most of those reductions are in education, health and human services
and prisons); 2) increase revenues by $14.3 billion (from a temporary state sales tax increase); 3)
ease environmental regulations and other red tape to get infrastructure projects moving as
quickly as possible; and 4) make government more efficient (i.e. streamlining energy functions
and consolidating information technology). DWR operations staff reported that the January 1
runoff forecast was 44 percent of average (down from this time last year). The state model is
showing 60 percent probability that 2009 would be a dry or critical year and storage is the lowest
on record since 1991, with Oroville at 0.98 maf and San Luis (SWP share) at 0.32 maf.
Following the SWC Board meeting, a workshop was held with a focus on potential funding
options and considerations for SWP financing to include the East Branch extension (to San
Bernardino and San Gorgonio) and a possible “Isolated Facility.” The workshop also covered
potential costs for bond sales and repayment. For further actions by the SWC, see Attachment 1.
Prepared by: Julia Velez, Senior Office Assistant
Reviewed by: Amy Chen, MWD Program Chief
Attachment 1: State Water Contractors Board of Directors Meeting Board Actions for
January 15, 2009
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STATE WATER CONTRACTORS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
January 15, 2009
The following actions were taken at the State Water Contractors (SWC) Board of Directors January 15,
2009 meeting upon motions duly made, seconded, and unanimously passed.
1. Authorized the General Manager to provide a budget of up to $100,000 (with 50% cost
sharing from the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority) from the SWP-CVP
Coordinated Projects budget to assess the feasibility of improving flow and water quality
conditions in the San Joaquin River and south Delta by linking San Joaquin River and
tributary water users to an Alternative Delta Conveyance Program.
2. Authorized the General Manager to send a letter to DWR emphasizing the need for a more
comprehensive tracking, planning, and prioritization process for all existing, near-term, and
long-term Capital projects which require funding by SWP Contractors.
3. Authorized the General Manager to send a letter to the Governor’s office supporting DWR’s
request that SWP employees be exempt from the mandatory State employee furlough. SWC will
also recommend that individual SWC member agencies send similar communications. A
meeting with Sue Sims to obtain the latest information on the status of DWR’s exemption will be
1. Appointed the Budget Committee for FY 2009-2010 of Steve Robbins, Steve Arakawa and
2. Requested that approved budget amounts be included on the SWP/CVP Coordinated Project
Budget Summary and that the status of the SWP/CVP Coordinated Projects be reviewed
periodically at the Delta Committee meetings.
3. Requested that a special SWC Board meeting be scheduled for January 20 at 4:00 PM to
consider the two ammonia analysis study proposals and that the updated SWP/CVP Coordinated
Project Budget Summary be distributed for reference at the special Board meeting.
4. Requested that the Budget Committee develop a proposal for SWC funding of OCAP litigation
costs as MWD may file a separate lawsuit. Currently, MWD funds 70% of Best Best and
Krieger LLP’s legal costs with SWC funding the remaining 30%.
5. Requested that SWC attorneys work with DWR attorneys in identifying data needed to document
causes of potential subsidence on the California Aqueduct related to groundwater pumping
increases in the San Joaquin Valley.
6. Requested that the Energy Committee identify milestones for development of the SWP
Integrated Resources Plan and report to the SWC Board periodically on tracking the success in
meeting the objectives.
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February 18, 2009
Attention: Imported Water Committee
Update on Metropolitan Water District’s 2009 Integrated Resources Plan process.
Metropolitan Water District (MWD) adopted its first Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) in 1996.
The plan is to be updated every five years, and was last updated in 2004. This memo provides a
status report on the 2009 MWD IRP Update process.
In September and October of 2008, MWD held the first round of four Stakeholder Forums
(Forums) in Newport Beach, Ontario, Los Angeles, and San Diego to gather ideas and input from
diverse interests. Approximately 600 stakeholders participated in these forums and included
representatives from MWD member agencies, retail water providers, groundwater basin
managers, elected officials, government and non-governmental agencies and organizations,
environmental groups, business, civic groups, and interested individuals. The suggestions and
input elicited from the Forums will be reviewed and evaluated by MWD staff throughout the
development of the updated IRP. Attachment 1 provides a summary of the first round of
The San Diego region had the largest audience in attendance and promoted resource strategies
that included promoting more robust water conservation, recycling, desalination, and conjunctive
use and outreach programs. San Diegans also heavily advocated for fixing the Delta as the top
priority for MWD.
It is anticipated that there will be two Board Workshops scheduled in June and October of this
year. A second round of Forums is anticipated to be scheduled in late summer or early fall of
2009 to solicit further input on specific proposals that will be identified by MWD’s Board during
MWD has established an IRP Steering Committee, comprised of five MWD Board Members,
which is scheduled to meet monthly. Director Barrett represents the Water Authority on this
Steering Committee. The IRP Steering Committee’s purpose is to recommend policy options to
the MWD Board, review planning approaches and resource strategies, and receive input from the
Stakeholder Forums. A Member Agency Technical Oversight Committee (Oversight
Committee), comprised of member agency staff, has also been established to provide overall
oversight of the technical analysis, discuss policy implications, develop criteria to evaluate new
alternatives, as well as provide input on the how to manage uncertainties, such as climate change,
growth and regulatory impacts. The Oversight Committee is also responsible for determining
assignments for Technical Workgroups that are developed as needed and comprised of member
agency technical staff and others representing other agencies and utilities.
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To date, the following Technical Workgroups have been established:
• Recycled Water
• Stormwater/urban runoff
• Seawater desalination
Responsibilities for the Technical Workgroups include identifying opportunities or maximum
potential for each resource area, and assessing technical information on yield and hydrologic
variability, costs, water quality, energy consumption, benefits and challenges.
Table 1 shows how IRP the process is organized.
MWD Board of
Groundwater Recycled Water Conservation Stormwater / urban Seawater Graywater
The first round of Technical Workgroups took place in December of 2008. Each of the
workgroups were briefed on the IRP Update Process and were asked to collect and provide data
on current and future resource projects, and review current statewide legislation and regulations,
incentive programs, partnerships and educational programs as it related to those projects.
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On January 28, 2009, the Oversight Committee met to review the initial proposed criteria that
will be used to determine the selection of the IRP preferred strategies. There was quite a bit of
discussion and confusion about the implications of the draft criteria. MWD has agreed to rewrite
the criteria and send it to the Oversight Committee for further review. There will be a follow-up
conference call in early February to further refine the most recent draft of proposed criteria. The
criteria will then be presented to the Steering Committee in April or May, along with the
inventory results from the Technical Workgroups. Once finalized, the criteria will go before
MWD’s Board for its approval and direction. A brief presentation was also delivered by the
Rand Corporation, which has been hired to help MWD model “optimal resources strategies”
under “uncertain future conditions.” A full discussion on this approach will be highlighted at the
The Conservation, Recycling and Stormwater/Urban Runoff technical workgroups met on
February 9-11, 2009. The workgroups were tasked with the development of issue papers that
would be summarized and presented to the Oversight Committee at its next meeting, which is
scheduled for April.
Water Authority staff remains fully engaged in the IRP Update process and have staff members
participating in each of the Technical Workgroups. In conjunction, Water Authority staff is
working closely with the Water Authority’s member agencies to ensure that all of the region’s
projects and potential opportunities for future projects are represented in the process.
Prepared by: Meena Westford, Water Policy Manager
Reviewed by: Amy Chen, MWD Program Chief
Attachment 1: First Round of Stakeholder Forums Summary Report
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Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
2009 Integrated Resources Plan
1st Round of Stakeholder Forums Summary Report
Metropolitan’s mission is to provide “…adequate and reliable supplies of high-quality water
to meet present and future needs in an environmentally and economically responsible way.”
This is no simple task; all the more so in an arid region like Southern California, where
limited supplies are further complicated by competing uses, growing demands,
environmental considerations, and a multitude of jurisdictions with interest in or
responsibility for water.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) has responsibility for
bringing water to nearly 19 million Southern Californians and a regional economy of over
$800 billion. Key to meeting this responsibility is thoughtful, proactive water planning.
Metropolitan achieves this through its Integrated Resources Plan (IRP), which evaluates
alternative water supplies and conservation efforts to meet water demands of the region in
a reliable, cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner.
Metropolitan’s first IRP was developed in 1996, and updated in 2004. This plan recognizes
that there are many new challenges, such as Bay-Delta and Colorado River water supply
restrictions, climate change, continued population growth, emerging water quality issues
and rising energy costs. These new challenges will undoubtedly require new approaches
that Metropolitan will address in its updated IRP, which will include planning for future
needs, looking at the best options to increase availability, and defining best practices to
lower water use. But this is more than an update; the 2009 IRP will also explore new ways
of doing business at Metropolitan, with its member water agencies, and other water,
wastewater and energy utilities in the region.
To develop this critical and complex IRP, Metropolitan has embarked upon a region-wide
collaborative process that includes broad-based stakeholder involvement. In September
and October of 2008, the first round of four Stakeholder Forums was held in Newport
Beach, Ontario, Los Angeles, and San Diego to gather ideas and input from diverse
interests. Participants included representatives from Metropolitan’s member agencies,
retail water providers, groundwater basin managers, elected officials, other government
agencies, environmental groups, business, non-governmental organizations, civic groups,
and interested individuals. Nearly 600 stakeholders participated in these forums and
demonstrated widespread interest in the region’s long-term water supply planning.
The Stakeholder Forums were comprised of half-day facilitated workshops. The first part of
the workshops entailed a presentation by Metropolitan staff that provided an overview of
water demands and supplies in the region and identified the challenges facing Southern
California in continuing to provide reliable, high quality water. Stakeholders at each of
these forums were then split into four smaller breakout groups to answer several questions
that were designed to help Metropolitan gain important insights for the IRP. All four
breakout groups answered one common question, and four additional questions specific to
each breakout group. The participants’ answers and suggestions were recorded and are
summarized in this Stakeholder Forum Summary Report.
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What new water supply and conservation strategies should the region evaluate for
implementation during the next 50 years, and what criteria should be used when evaluating
A wealth of responses was provided. Recommended strategies have been grouped by
CONSERVATION was the most frequently mentioned strategy, with numerous ideas and
Water-Saving Landscapes Participants at all four forums placed emphasis on landscape-
related conservation, encouraging native landscaping (drought tolerant, California
Friendly®) for new development and re-landscaping for existing areas. Ideas included:
• Greater incentives to replace grass lawns, like Las Vegas’ “cash for grass” program
• Small, realistic California Friendly® demonstration gardens
• Educate retailers and landscapers; make California-Friendly® plants easy to find and
• Encourage public agencies to “show by example”
• New regulations, such as prohibiting use of potable water for large-scale outdoor use,
water-saving landscape ordinances, requiring California-Friendly® landscaping for new
• Incentives to reduce evapo-transpiration and runoff, including tree planting and
• Incentives or “give-aways” to provide automatic sprinkler systems and smart controllers
at all homes
Water Rate Incentives Participants at all four forums outlined opportunities to encourage
conservation through water rates, including:
• Tiered rates and more aggressive tiered pricing; Metropolitan involvement in developing
and promoting tiered rates, with additional incentives
• Need-based rate structures
• Individual metering for multi-family and condo units
• Fines for overuse and incentives for water savings
• Double-tiered and water quality for home use potable supplies and irrigation
• Leadership efforts to price water appropriately
• Widely communicate future rate increases, as an incentive to save water now
Regulatory Changes At all four forums, people proposed regulatory changes and additional
rules to advance conservation, including:
• Metropolitan should lead legislative efforts calling for uniformity related to conservation
• Implement a regional model landscape ordinance
• Encourage changes in building industry standards, including green-building ordinances,
that will conserve water and encourage developers to retrofit existing developments
• Many local ordinances impede conservation; modify them to facilitate conservation
• Update plumbing efficiency codes
• Incorporate water conservation in city management plans and National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permits
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• Conduct water audits for existing buildings and provide incentives for water-saving
• Encourage the installation of composting toilets and remote meters to detect water
• Require dual plumbing for new construction
Partnerships and Collaboration This theme emerged throughout the forums, and relating to
conservation included ideas for:
• Better coordination between planners and water suppliers
• Partnerships with the plumbing industry to finance retrofits
• Engage the bottled water industry in conservation efforts
• Integrate water and power supplies to encourage conservation
• An integrated program among cities and industry
BMPs This too was a common theme throughout the forums. Relative to conservation,
• Assess and establish/define “reasonable” residential and landscape use, including a
goal for per-capita use
• Per-capita goals likely will not work, given diverse needs and conditions
• Develop model ordinances (developers find it difficult to know what to do, since there is
no uniformity region-wide)
• Look to other countries for good examples of conservation practices
• Set conservation standards for new development (such as green buildings)
Investments and Funding Commitment of additional funding and resources was a common
• Fund R&D for additional conservation measures (grey water, on-site stormwater,
• Establish regional trading and conservation credits, and conservation cap and trade
• Provide funding for large-scale demonstration of new technology for conservation and
Beyond Urban Conservation Forum participants recognized that conservation initiatives
should not be limited to cities and communities, with recommendations that included:
• Pursue regional conservation strategies
• Work with agriculture and other industries to improve water use and increase supply
• Coordinate conservation measures with agricultural agencies (techniques, crop shift,
apply NPDES to agriculture, partner to develop BMPs)
RECYCLING was advocated as a source of supply, with participant’s at all four forums
voicing support to:
• Increase local recycled water projects and use of recycled water, including setting
higher goals for recycling (up to 100 percent), investing more dollars in recycled water
projects, and providing larger incentives for water recycling
• Encourage dual plumbing in residential areas, as well as solar systems, water capture
systems, on-site water recycling, and hot water recirculation systems
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• Review and address regulatory barriers and inconsistencies affecting use of recycled
water, and support legislation to encourage recycled water use
• Encourage indirect potable reuse by focusing on public and regulatory acceptance
• Send recycled water through raw water conveyances versus groundwater recharge
• Use aquifers to store and recover recycled water
Additional ideas to advance water recycling discussed at some of the forums included:
• Use smaller satellite plants; localized treatment by locating facilities along the
wastewater mains and upstream in the watershed to capture and treat wastewater
closer to the source
• Research and address salt management for recycled water
• Expand the use of grey water for residential irrigation
• Expand use of rainwater harvesting and cisterns
• Integrated planning among water, stormwater, and wastewater agencies
EDUCATION was mentioned as a strategy at all four forums, with multiple ideas expressed
• Work to change the current “water culture” to focus on water conservation through
education programs and outreach
• Increase public communication regarding the value of water and the interrelationship of
water and other issues
• Base education initiatives on studies of consumer behavior; work to change public
perceptions and behavior through continuous reinforcement of uniform messages
• Include mechanisms for feedback as part of education programs
• Direct specific education programs to different audiences, including
commercial/industrial users, schools, and general consumers
• Use varied educational methods, including Web sites, television, spokespeople from the
entertainment industry and social marketing to encourage a cultural shift in the value of
water and increase awareness of water-saving technologies
• Use diverse approaches, for example water education in schools, focus groups with
residents and businesses on conservation and water use, grass roots education
programs (block by block), collaboration with local colleges to develop new designs for
drought-tolerant gardens, a Metropolitan venue for sharing conservation ideas and
practices, conduct a mock water crisis (like an earthquake drill)
• Communicate the connection between smart water use and other aspects of water
management (stormwater pollution, energy, habitat/ecosystems, global warming)
• Change the terminology associated with conservation and provide specific examples for
conservation messages (e.g. how long/how much to irrigate)
STORMWATER was identified as another key source at the forums, with a focus on taking
greater advantage of stormwater, rather than diverting it to flood control systems.
Participants at all four forums encouraged development of strategies to beneficially use
• Develop guidelines to provide for on-site stormwater reuse
• Encourage stormwater collection at all properties, using grading and landscape
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• Encourage rainwater harvesting (cisterns)
• Advocate a nationwide system for managing stormwater
• Expand use of holding basins to capture stormwater; investigate ways to treat
stormwater and irrigation runoff as a local water supply, for irrigation use or to recharge
Forum participants in Los Angeles and San Diego also focused on reducing or eliminating
runoff, with ideas such as:
• Work with city planners to increase tree densification to decrease rain runoff
• Develop systems to increase infiltration
• Work with local stormwater agency to improve water quality of runoff
• Establish better relationships with county agencies for water management (storm/flood
• Control and reduce urban runoff through watershed management and focus on
WATER IMPORTS were discussed at all four forums, with varied improvements and
approaches proposed, among them:
• A broad consensus on the need to fix the Delta, with specific mention of Metropolitan
taking the lead, to assure a reliable supply of high quality water; strongly encourage the
State Water Contractors to take the lead; applying science-based processes for
decision making related to the Delta; and making Delta fixes to minimize fish takes
• Design and construct the peripheral canal in less than 20 years
• Acquire new water rights, including other rivers in the state
• Work with agencies to find new water sources and continue to fund source expansion
• Re-evaluate Colorado River and Delta allocations, based on need
• Consider the Colorado River and Pacific Ocean as part of basin water allocations
• Institute a national water system
• Transport water using water bag technology
Forum participants in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ontario advocated looking northward
and out of state for additional supplies, including:
• Re-operate federally controlled dams vs. flood control dams
• Import water from the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington) and Canada
• Change Columbia River laws in Washington
DESALINATION was discussed as a source at all four forums, with ideas including:
• Push for Metropolitan to “dominate” desalination-facility development and take the lead
in implementing aggressive ocean desalination projects, including the development of
• Need a regional approach to resources and desalination facilities
• Increase research and cutting-edge technology to reduce costs and enhance energy
efficiency of desalination
• Enhance incentives to speed development of desalination
• Increase education/awareness of desalination
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• Develop nuclear power plants in tandem with desalination (coastal, thermal plants) or
• Integrate salt management plans into the IRP
• Consider the quality of desalinated water and potential damage to other water sources
• Consider brackish groundwater desalination
• Demand offsets for new development; inland pays for coastal development
Forum participants in both San Diego and Los Angeles mentioned the possibility of
coordinating with Mexico to develop a desalination plant.
GROUNDWATER emerged as a supply topic during the forums in San Diego, Los Angeles,
and Ontario, with ideas that included:
• Integrate salinity management and groundwater recharge into the IRP
• Improve groundwater basin planning
• Provide monetary support for groundwater recharge projects and long-term
• Develop a groundwater storage policy
• Increase groundwater storage; expand the range of groundwater basins
• Recharge groundwater basins with stormwater in wet years
• Enhance groundwater remediation and local storage capabilities
• Increase use of recycled water for groundwater by blending
• Provide incentives for wellhead treatment
• Rethink groundwater seasonal storage program
• Support new research to allow for increased drawdown
• Encourage permeable surfaces to reduce runoff and increase recharge
WATER TRANSFERS were brought up by participants in the Ontario and San Diego
forums, whose ideas included:
• Increase use of water transfers within Metropolitan service area; maximize use of
existing facilities for water transfers and distribution
• Place greater emphasis on Imperial Irrigation District/Palos Verdes Irrigation District dry
year supply transfers
• Explore interstate transfer opportunities: Oregon, Washington, Midwest
• Provide resource sharing among agencies within the region (Eastern, MWDOC, internal
• Expand relationships with agriculture (transfer agricultural to municipal/urban uses,
conservation to reduce water use on some crops)
Participants’ ideas and recommendations for criteria to evaluate the IRP’s 50 year
strategies were similarly diverse and showed considerable alignment among the forums.
Criteria proposed by all four forums included:
Environmental impacts, such as environmental sustainability, environmental costs and
benefits, ability to promote watershed health, impacts on climate change, effects for wildlife
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Multiple benefits, with an eye to providing both water and environmental protection,
addressing the whole system of human and environmental needs, providing benefits to
local industries beyond water, and attracting a range of funding partners
Public support, with specific mention of public perception, public acceptability, early buy-in,
consumer acceptance, as well as support and leadership by elected officials
Risk, including risk diversification, potential for environmental conflict or litigation, flexibility
to address unknowns such as increased costs and consumer paradigm shifts, ability to
meet emergency requirements
Local focus, better to have programs and projects implemented by local versus state
authorities, should emphasize local support and control, and regional cooperation
Reliability, focusing on sustainability over time, increased reliability, and enhanced regional
and local reliability
In addition, specific mention was given to:
Timeliness of implementation, technical feasibility and research, by forum participants in
Newport Beach, San Diego, and Ontario
Balanced regulations, ease of permitting, and need for changes in laws and ordinances, by
forum participants in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Newport Beach
Carbon neutral, carbon footprint, reduce greenhouse gases, enhanced energy efficiency
and renewable energy, by forum participants in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Ontario
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Breakout Group Question 1
In the future, what other ways can development (whether new growth or infill) help mitigate
the impacts of growth on water supply?
While there were some clear geographic differences, participants at all four forums voiced a
common theme that new development should pay for or offset the costs of additional water
demand. Participant’s at all four forums suggested new requirements to drive smart, green,
water-saving development, requiring low-use internal and external water fixtures as well as
water efficient landscaping. Another common theme was to focus both on water-saving
practices for both new and existing development.
Ontario Forum Participants expressed that local government and utilities need to develop
shared standards, so projects can move forward smoothly. Some advocated a stronger link
between “smart development” and Metropolitan’s Local Resources Program, to offset the
costs to cities and developers.
The group suggested that Metropolitan and local utilities should be responsible for
education, and Metropolitan should be responsible for broadening incentives. Cities,
counties and the state should be responsible for ordinances, and local cities and utilities
should be responsible for linking efficiency to the permitting process.
Ontario participants also indicated that it is important to promote “smart development and
technology” with commercial and residential properties. “Smart readouts” should be tied to
the water rate structure and used to limit irrigation during periods of peak demand.
Several suggestions were made to develop “smart homes” including:
• Low-flush toilets
• Tankless water heaters
• High efficiency dishwashers and clothes washers
• Canister water softeners
• Computerized leak detection software
Los Angeles Forum Participants discussed several considerations as part of rate-structure
modifications, such as unfair impacts to disadvantaged groups and economic impacts
beyond the individual ratepayer.
Suggestions for how new development can decrease water demand included:
• Environmental restoration credits
• Conservation offsets for annexed areas
• Promoting high-density residential development to reduce per-capita water use
• Eliminate front and back yards from new development designs and install more
neighborhood parks so people have alternatives to their own yards
The group agreed that new development alone cannot mitigate the impacts on water supply
and suggested existing development could decrease water demand by evaluating existing
water uses and applying conservation surcharges, as well as installing water meters for
agricultural users. Some members also discussed imposing limits on agricultural
Participants in Los Angeles also discussed instituting statewide regulations on outdoor
water conservation (installing purple pipes for recycled water and green pipes for
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rainwater). Many noted that peer pressure, as opposed to regulation or a tiered rate
structure, may be a more effective option, as it was in Irvine.
Newport Beach Forum participants focused on creating specific, uniform standards for new
development, for example: standards for reclamation systems, dual piping and metering for
indoor and outdoor uses, low-flush toilets, permeable surfaces, land uses, open space, and
community cisterns. These would be implemented by local jurisdictions and water
agencies. In conjunction with these standards, an incentive system would be provided for
those who meet or exceed standards, and a new rate structure would be created for
Additionally, the group suggested that breaking down legislative and institutional barriers
would make it easier to develop and enforce uniform standards. They advocated for
incentives for installing efficient water systems in existing homes and businesses, funded
and implemented by Metropolitan and local agencies.
San Diego Forum participants suggested that all new development should be water neutral
at a minimum. For example, developers would be asked to invest in local conservation,
recycled water, or desalination projects to off-set their project. The group advocated
partnerships among builders, regional water suppliers, and Metropolitan to create smart
homes, with local, uniform rules on new development, and education for builders on new
water-saving technologies. The group also advocated that the first priority for demand off-
sets should be within the local water utility, followed by the county, and then the
Metropolitan service area region. San Diego County has already had meetings with water
utilities and developers to start the dialogue regarding how a water neutral program would
Additionally, the group felt Metropolitan’s water allocation should be re-examined and that
each region should see benefits from the system.
Breakout Group Question 2
What more would you be willing to pay in the future to ensure 100% reliability for essential
purposes (such as drinking water, fire protection) 10%, 20%, 30%, more? What about
landscaping or other outdoor uses; how much more would you be willing to pay not to have
this water interrupted?
A common theme of all four forums was that people would be willing to pay more for water
supply reliability, although there were many different concepts discussed regarding how
much added costs people would be willing or able to bear. Other common themes included
the sense that education about the need for water rate increases may help move people to
accepting higher pricing, higher costs and would help encourage conservation. Also,
consideration should be given to specialized rates for specific uses.
Ontario Forum participants indicated that most of their group would be willing to pay 100
percent more to ensure a reliable water supply. However, in discussing public reaction to
higher water rates, some suggested that people may not be willing to pay more for water
and it would take a great deal of education for people to understand the need to raise water
rates. Additional ideas included:
• people will pay whatever it costs because they can’t live without water
• higher pricing will change people’s behavior with regard to water conservation
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• significant rate increases (up to 50 percent) would motivate people to use California-
• rate accommodations must be made for some entities like schools
• Santa Barbara successfully increased water pricing to improve reliability
• commercial users in one city stated they would pay 100 percent more
• people would be receptive to learning about ways to reduce their water use as an
alternative to service interruptions
• service interruptions should be prioritized, for example, public parks should have
priority over individual yards
The group recommended implementing a regional water surcharge because it would be
simpler than each agency passing its own surcharge. However, some felt there should
not be a rate increase for essential water services. Some group members felt strongly
that potable water should not be used for landscape purposes.
The forum group looking at Question 4 also offered insights regarding water pricing.
Some in the group felt there is elasticity in what people will pay for water; the
willingness to pay for bottled water means prices for water can go pretty high. Some in
the group felt there would be population shifts in the future due to cheaper water
available in specific areas.
Los Angeles Forum participants brought forward diverse ideas and perspectives:
• One water system manager in the group said he would pay an additional 10 to 15
percent for increased reliability. In a past study, a survey group initially said they
would pay five to ten percent more to increase reliability, but after being provided
additional information, some people in the group said they would pay up to 50
• Some participants suggested that water users would pay up to 100 percent more for
essential uses and 10 percent more for nonessential uses. If dual-meter systems
are installed, agencies could institute different rates for indoor and outdoor uses.
• As with electricity rates, change in use sometimes is not affected until a drastic (300
to 500 percent) increase is instituted.
• Each agency has its own capital improvement programs, so when Metropolitan
raises rates, it leaves little room for agencies to pass on their own costs.
• Instead of increasing rates, agencies could include an additional charge for
developing supplemental supply.
• The group brought up several caveats about increasing rates and options beyond
o 100 percent reliability can never realistically be achieved. A natural disaster
can cut off water supplies, and no increase in water rates can prevent that.
o Some participants said they would be more willing to make changes to the
way they use water in order not to pay more.
o Rate increases would need to be justified (new pipelines, etc.) and
communicated to enhance customer knowledge and support.
o The additional amount people would be willing to spend will vary greatly
depending on income level.
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Newport Beach Forum participants discussed rate increases as a way to encourage people
to cut down on outdoor water use. Many felt that an increase in rates alone would not
result in major change, especially in higher-income areas that can afford water-intensive
landscaping. Some participants suggested that rates could not be arbitrarily raised to
encourage conservation, but that rate increases must reflect the cost of service.
Participants suggested a few alternatives to raising rates:
• A tiered pricing system for essential uses and providing incentives for cutting down on
outdoor water use. This would necessitate instituting a dual rate system to differentiate
between indoor and outdoor water use.
• Include a flat fee in water bills to fund research and development for new supplies.
• Institute fines for wasteful practices, though some participants pointed out that this may
encourage neighbors to report their neighbors and it is expensive to monitor.
• Ensure that spending by Metropolitan and member agencies is efficient and effective.
Generally, participants felt that rate increases would need to be drastic to affect widespread
changes in water use, similar to what has happened with gas prices. Water rates today are
300 percent higher than they were 30 years ago, which shows that customers are willing to
pay about 10 percent more each year for essential uses (drinking water) and 5 percent
more each year for landscaping and other outdoor uses.
San Diego Forum participants focused their discussion on a variety of rate-related issues,
• Government must first be efficient before it increases water rates
• Consumers need to be educated about why water rates need to be increased in order
for them to accept paying higher rates. After being educated, the group suggested that
people would be willing to pay 20 percent more annually for reliable water
• Incentives should be given to encourage conservation, and people who do not conserve
water should pay higher rates
Breakout Group Question 3
How can Metropolitan foster equitable partnerships with other utilities (including
wastewater, stormwater and energy) to implement multi-benefit projects?
There were many differing perspectives regarding partnerships, however, at all four forums
participants stressed the value of partnerships and encouraged Metropolitan to take a
leadership role in broadening the number and scope of its partnering arrangements.
Ontario Forum participants said it is important to expand utilities partnerships to include
non-governmental organizations and federal/state agencies. Suggestions related to this
• Metropolitan should lead a water and power forum to develop a model and
communication protocol for partnerships.
• The Integrated Areas Study Plan needs to be expanded.
• It is important to focus on reducing the net carbon footprint of all future projects.
One participant said it was important to develop a climate change policy to be
competitive regarding future grants.
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• Metropolitan should form a stormwater task force to discuss issues and guidelines
from a water supply perspective.
• Metropolitan should develop regional energy management programs.
Los Angeles Forum participants suggested that Metropolitan should be more proactive in
building partnerships with agencies and stakeholders, for example:
• Bridge the gap between environmental groups and water management
groups/industries to foster a more collaborative process
• Allow energy groups (e.g. solar, wind) to utilize Metropolitan’s existing land assets in
the desert to produce renewable energy
• Work with stormwater agencies, sanitation districts and flood control agencies to
capture and reuse stormwater
• Partner with water replenishment districts to develop injection wells and facilitate
recycled water projects
• Participate in the statewide Integrated Regional Water Management Plan (IRWMP)
• Increase partnerships with water retailers by providing financial and technical
support, especially as water rates increase. These partnerships can be vehicles for
determining the best financial positions for water deliveries.
In addition, group members felt Metropolitan could also take the lead in:
• Developing satellite recycling plants and upstream plants to decentralize water
• Community outreach efforts to seek regulatory, political, and public support for
• Financing infrastructure for processing brackish water and discharging brine
• Developing a holistic (water and power) conservation rebate package
• Supporting research and development of new technologies
• Financing large-scale recycled water plants and selling recycled water
• Incentivizing wetlands treatments projects, groundwater recharge, stormwater
capture and reuse
Newport Beach Forum participants discussed what it means to be “equitable”, in that some
partners will look to Metropolitan as a financial partner. The group suggested that perhaps
partnerships should be portrayed as mutually beneficial.
The group focused on building partnerships with local agencies based on the following:
• Regulatory issues, so all agencies can speak with a common voice
• Legislative issues, to promote and advance local projects in Sacramento and
• Technical issues by developing studies and pilot plans
• Community outreach efforts to help ensure consistent messages
• Recycling efforts, especially with wastewater and stormwater agencies
• Coupling desalination and energy production
• Local Resources Program restructuring, to provide higher incentives
The group also discussed the form partnerships between Metropolitan and member
agencies could take, with ideas that included:
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• Metropolitan offering subsidies for local projects
• Metropolitan leading regional planning efforts, so local agencies have a better
understanding of their needs and Metropolitan can prioritize its funding
• Metropolitan partnering with local distributors to determine per-capita water use and
base allocations on local criteria
• Metropolitan partnering with local agencies to increase awareness of water
conservation with individual users in a more comprehensive way
San Diego Forum participants reviewed a number of topics.
• Some members of the group stated that Metropolitan should be very involved with
other utilities in implementing projects; others said Metropolitan should only provide
broad oversight for the projects
• It is important to partner with local agencies to develop a uniform educational
message about water. There should be incentives or a point system to encourage
agencies to participate.
• Some members said Metropolitan should focus on fixing the Delta rather than
getting involved in local projects
• Some important partnerships discussed by the group included:
o State and Federal government
o American Planning Association
o Waste disposal organizations (to promote native plant use to cut down on
o On-site recycling (coordinate with developers)
o Landscaping vendors to push for conservation
o Conservation demonstrations
Breakout Group Question 4
Given the challenges presented earlier, what do you think are the most important
uncertainties that should be incorporated into the IRP?
Of all the group questions, this one demonstrated the greatest commonality geographically,
with a wide range of similar ideas and recommendations that Metropolitan take an active
part in addressing and resolving uncertainties and challenges.
Common themes among all four geographic areas included:
• Natural disasters such as seismic events, coastal flooding, and seawater intrusion
into the Delta
• Climate change and resulting sea level rise, that will impact water quality and
reliability; ability to finance climate change preparation programs; precipitation
timing; impacts to watersheds; unpredictable weather averages
• Environmental concerns such as endangered species (e.g. Delta smelt),
quagga mussels, eco-system stability, and conflicts that can arise when agencies at
different levels respond in different ways to environmental challenges
• Economic conditions at all levels, including project funding, ability to bond for large
projects, available funding for building and maintenance
• Regulatory changes, policies, legislation, and court decisions
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Multiple forums showed commonality in raising additional themes:
• Demographic changes, population growth, aging population, and urban
development patterns—Ontario, Los Angeles, Newport Beach forums
• Water quality, including impacts related to chemical and pharmaceutical
contaminants—Ontario, Los Angeles, Newport Beach forums
• Global and domestic shifts in agricultural land use—Ontario, Los Angeles forums
• Changes in public attitude regarding conservation, recycling, grey water, etc.—
Ontario, Los Angeles forums
• Energy availability and cost—Ontario, Los Angeles forums
Additional challenges and uncertainties were specific to individual forums.
• Ontario Forum participants talked of new technology and the importance of planning
as a continuous process, indicating Metropolitan should revisit the plan in no less
than five years. Some have said a 20-year IRP is not a long enough period,
because completing projects can involve a long process.
• Los Angeles Forum participants spoke of terrorism threats, possible privatization of
water, customers’ willingness/ability to pay, water availability and distribution
impacted by seasons, and possible failure of Salton Sea restoration
• Newport Beach Forum participants, in addition to identifying challenges, also
identified some possible solutions:
o Overall plan ahead, decrease reliance on centralized infrastructure and
reorganize the permitting process so it is less of a hindrance
o Overall reliability at the local, regional and state levels, with an emphasis on
o Develop storage projects to capture rain water and flood water
o Initiate development of at least one desalination plant in case it is needed
• Develop shorter-term goals to maintain progress and emphasize contingency
planning and adaptive management
• San Diego Forum participants surfaced the additional uncertainties of water
transfers and voter acceptance and support
Metropolitan’s board and staff appreciate the time and participation of all who attended the
stakeholder forums and others who provided input. The suggestions will be reviewed and
evaluated by staff as Metropolitan moves forward in the development of the updated
Integrated Resources Plan. Updates will be provided on www.mwdh2o.com/irp.
A second round of stakeholder forums is scheduled to be convened in late summer or early
fall of 2009 to solicit further input on specific proposals that will be identified by
Metropolitan’s board during the coming months.
This collaborative effort by Metropolitan, its Member Agencies and all stakeholders is
essential to developing and implementing a long-term plan to provide reliable, high-quality
water throughout the region. This is especially important as Southern California – and, the
state – continue to face a series of unprecedented challenges to California’s water supply
and delivery system.
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February 18, 2009
Attention: Imported Water Committee
Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation
Government Code §54956.9(b)(1) – All American Canal Lining Project Air Quality
This memorandum is to recommend that the committee by motion hold a closed session,
pursuant to Government Code §54956.9(b)(1) to discuss the above-referenced matter at the
February 26, 2009, Board meeting.
A closed session has also been included on the agenda of the formal Board of Directors’
meeting. Unless the Board desires additional discussion, it is not staff’s intention to ask for a
closed session with the full Board at that time, but staff may request action to confirm directions
given or action recommended by the committee.
Prepared by: Daniel S. Hentschke, General Counsel
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