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San Diego County Water Authority Seeks To Settle Legal Disputes With Metropolitan Water District

The San Diego County Water Authority has been upgrading its existing water st...

Credit: San Diego County Water Authority

Above: The San Diego County Water Authority has been upgrading its existing water storage facilities in an effort to decrease reliance on the Metropolitan Water Authority. This photo shows construction at the San Vicente Dam to remove the right crest of the dam to increase the size of the reservoir, November 2009.

San Diego County Water Authority Seeks To Settle Legal Disputes With Metropolitan Water District

GUEST:

Jim Madaffer, board chair, San Diego County Water Authority

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Letter to Metropolitan Water District

Letter to Metropolitan Water District

A letter sent on Oct. 25 from the San Diego County Water Authority board to the Metropolitan Water District offering an agreement to end pending legal actions.

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The San Diego County Water Authority is offering an olive branch to the region's largest water wholesaler in an effort to end years of public and legal feuding.

Local water officials have fought for decades with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The dispute has often left the two agencies fighting expensive legal battles and publicly insulting each other.

Jim Madaffer, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority, said it is time to end the fighting. In a letter sent Thursday, he offered the Metropolitan Water District an agreement to end pending legal actions.

"Our approach is designed to 'clear the deck' by ending all current litigation and allowing us to work together on the 2020 rate-setting process, based on Metropolitan's agreement that the Water Authority (and other member agencies as they wish) will as part of that process, be provided a fully functional rate model on reasonable, agreed-upon terms," Madaffer wrote in the letter.

RELATED: San Diego County Water Authority Takes Rates Dispute To State Supreme Court

Local water managers are offering to settle on water transfer rates, so major water generation projects in San Diego can benefit from Metropolitan Water District subsidies. Madaffer is hopeful a deal can be worked out in a matter of weeks.

"Representatives from the city of Los Angeles, they have a delegation that goes to the Met board, and representatives from San Diego, our region, have really come together to say we're tired of some of the nonsense that's been going on. It's time to start acting like adults. And let's figure out how we can work together."

In an emailed statement Metropolitan Water District General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said, “We are in receipt of the San Diego County Water Authority’s proposal and will respond after we have had the opportunity to review and analyze it. It is not Metropolitan’s practice to litigate or negotiate in the press.”

Editor's Note: The headline for this story has been updated to reflect the correct name of the Metropolitan Water District. We regret the error.

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