Friday, April 09, 2004
Whiskey is for drinking...: and water's for fighting over. When I read this, I found it strangely refreshing.
Local water officials voted yesterday to appeal to the state Supreme Court regarding litigation aimed at protecting the region's water supply during a crisis.
The case filed by the San Diego County Water Authority focuses on the method used by the Metropolitan Water District, the region's main supplier, to determine water rights during a drought. The method uses property values to decide how water is distributed: The more expensive the real estate within an agency's boundary, the more supply it can get.
Because property in Los Angeles costs more, that city has rights to more water than San Diego County. In 2001, the water authority sued, arguing the formula is illegal because it ignores that the authority is Metropolitan's biggest customer. The local agency purchases nearly 90 percent of the water used in San Diego County from Metropolitan.
The initial court case was dismissed, and the water authority voted to appeal. Last month, a San Francisco appellate court upheld the dismissal, saying it was up to the Legislature to change the law.
The way that water would be distributed in a drought is definitely unfair, but the court wants the legislature to change the law -- what a novel idea.