Food and Water Watch v. Metropolitan Water District

Lawsuit filed by Food & Water Watch and Center for Food Safety challenging the approval, by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, of a funding scheme to pay for over half of the cost (far more than MWD's share) of California WaterFix. That project would build two massive tunnels (now a single tunnel) under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, in order to enable the State Water Project to evade environmental laws and restrictions governing the pumping of water out of the Delta. The suit alleges that MWD's funding scheme violates California's Propositions 13 and 26 because MWD did not secure voter approval for its tax and/or rate increases that will be required (and are planned and anticipated) to pay off the bonds it will issue to pay for WaterFix.

The trial court granted demurrers filed by MWD and San Diego County Water Authority on the basis that the lawsuit was premature, since tax increases had not yet been imposed. FWW and CFS have appealed. As of February 2020, the appeal is currently active.

Not All Water Stored Underground is Groundwater

Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal, 2016

Download PDF