San Francisco Chronicle: S.F., East Bay fear water rationing in future


San Francisco and East Bay water managers are warning that a plan to overhaul the state's water system could result in draconian restrictions and rationing in the Bay Area and possibly undermine water rights that are more than 100 years old.

If that were to happen, "in future dry years our ability to serve our customers becomes more difficult and the prospect of rationing becomes more real," said Randele Kanouse, lobbyist and special assistant to EBMUD's general manager.

That utility district, which serves parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, imposed 15 percent mandatory rationing in spring 2008 that was rolled back earlier this summer. Kanouse said residents could be forced to ration even more if the agency must send water to the delta in dry years rather than piping it from Pardee and Camanche reservoirs to the East Bay.