San Diego water authority sued for breaching environmental act

US-based non-profit San Diego Coastkeeper has filed a lawsuit against San Diego County Water Authority for violating the law and failing to address environmental impacts in its water supply plan.

According to the watchdog organisation, the authority has failed to account for the environmental impacts of existing and future water supply sources in its plan approved in March. The plan sets the precedent for the region’s water supply needs and options through 2035.

The legal action was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, San Diego, Central Division, and calls on the authority to follow state law by recognising and accounting for the energy it uses to move and treat water in the region. Filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the lawsuit holds the water authority accountable for not meeting legal requirements addressing greenhouse gas emissions resulting from its approved water supply plan.

San Diego Coastkeeper representative Matt O’Malley said that the city’s water supply produces greenhouse gas emissions.

“Water supply decisions based on this plan could jeopardise the health and economic viability of San Diego County by contributing to climate change impacts like sea level rise,” O’Malley added.

San Diego Coastkeeper Escondido attorney Everett DeLano said: “The Water Authority claims they approved only a couple minor amendments to their plans and operations and can therefore avoid any real scrutiny.”