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December 2012
Subscribe to Your Water – Metropolitan's E–Newsletter.

2012 - A Year in Review


Bay Delta

Against a backdrop of shifting weather patterns in the West, Metropolitan is making strides to ensure the reliability of its water supply and delivery system through continued sustained investment in infrastructure and increased water storage.

Because of its strategic investments in Diamond Valley Lake and the Inland Feeder pipeline, Metropolitan was able to take advantage of improved conditions last year on the Colorado River and its record snowpack, helping the district end 2012 with record-high water reserves. Even with drier conditions this year, Metropolitan expects to add to its highest reserves in the district's 84-year history. Metropolitan effectively tripled its available reserves in a four-year period.

With Metropolitan's overall distribution system and the Colorado River Aqueduct system more than 70 years old, replacement and refurbishment of the aging infrastructure is essential to ensure continued reliability and efficiency. In April 2012, the Board of Directors adopted a two-year budget that directed more than half of its capital budget to refurbishment and replacement. By focusing on strategic and essential maintenance, Metropolitan trimmed $165 million from planned capital expenditures and limited rate increases to 5 percent for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 fiscal years.

Resolving the challenges in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that impact Metropolitan's State Water Project supplies remains a central goal of the district. Details of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) are expected to continue emerging in the coming months.

The BDCP represents a historic effort led by state and federal agencies to craft a 50-year plan of conveyance and ecosystem improvements in the Delta estuary. A proposed new 35-mile tunnel system under the Delta to protect water supplies from earthquakes and other threats is the centerpiece of infrastructure improvements under consideration.

"A healthy Delta ecosystem and a reliable water supply are profoundly important to California's future," Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. said in July when announcing the "framework" of an overall BDCP solution. “This proposal balances the concerns of those who live and work in the Delta, those who rely on it for water and those who appreciate its beauty, fish, waterfowl and wildlife."

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said: "With California's water system at constant risk of failure, nobody can afford the dangers or costs of inaction."

"Both state and federal administrations are demonstrating leadership…this is a historic moment for decisive action to achieve the goals of regaining a reliable water system for California and restoring the Delta," said Metropolitan General Manager Kightlinger in response to the framework announcement.

Metropolitan's ongoing investments and improvements in its imported water supply and delivery system along with its continued strategic and collaborative regional approach to water planning, including strong support for local projects throughout its service area, will help ensure that Metropolitan continues to provide a safe and reliable regional water supply, today and in the future.

 

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