California’s Elected Officials and Citizens Create Plan for State’s Water Model

According to L.A. Times reporter Monte Morin, the California State Water Resources Control Board recently approved the Stormwater Capture Master Plan for Los Angeles County. Up to 10 billion gallons of water fall during a single storm in L.A. County and makes its way through storm channels to the Pacific Ocean. The water model plan involves reclamation and use of that rainwater before it reaches the ocean.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) collects approximately 27,000 acre-feet of rainwater yearly. It is held in spreading grounds and flood control dams. The Master Plan adds the capability of capturing another 100,000 to 200,000 acre-feet each year at an estimated cost of $600 to $1,100 per acre-foot.

The additional capture will augment dwindling water reserves. Felicia Marcus, SWRCB chairwoman, noted the historic impact of using the water and costs for a number of local benefits. Specific areas are urban greening, water supply and quality, and flood control.

Controversial revisions to L.A. County’s stormwater discharge permit include a framework allowing cities to plan and build green infrastructure systems such as aquifer recharge systems. The board unanimously approved the measure. Local municipalities are concerned over potential high costs for the enhanced watershed management program. View more information about this update at the L.A. Times.

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The Palm Springs public law attorney firm of SBEMP has a broad range of experience drafting public contracts. They have the experience to provide regulatory agencies, contractors, and developers with advice regarding concerns over the state’s water model. Designing specific contracts that allow for future contingencies will help settle disputes about related public improvement projects.