NRDC files suit against California DWR to maximize water savings from grants
The Natural Resources Defense Council has filed suit against the CA Department of Water Resources to ensure that $200 million of grant funding has maximum water-saving impact by confirming that agreements with local water suppliers also include water conservation measures.
OAKLAND, CA, June 1, 2015 -- On Thursday, May 28, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed suit against the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to ensure that $200 million of grant funding has maximum water-saving impact by confirming that grant agreements with local water suppliers also include water conservation measures.
In the filing, NRDC challenged the DWR's award of grants to water suppliers that have neither implemented the water conservation measures called for by Assembly Bill 1420 and the Water Conservation Act in 2007 and 2009, respectively, nor committed to do so. The lawsuit would not block funds to any grant applicants; rather it asks for DWR to insert a provision in grant agreements that would ensure that water suppliers will carry out well-established water-conservation measures as a condition of receiving state grant money.
The State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 1420 in 2007 and the Water Conservation Act in 2009. Both statutes were designed to help make California more resilient to dry times like this. The laws requires urban water agencies and large agricultural water districts seeking state grants or loans to adopt certain water efficiency practices that will help them better plan and prepare for dry periods -- such as measuring the amount of water that agencies are delivering to their customers and charging customers based on the amount of water they use instead of flat rates.