Photo by Sam Hodgson

Opposition is building against a $5 billion plan to build a parallel pipeline to the Colorado River, an effort aimed at breaking the San Diego region’s dependence on the L.A.-based Metropolitan Water District, which controls all the connections to the precious resource.

A letter from nine out of San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies said the project fails to prove financially viable or competitive when compared with other options to secure water resources in drought-prone Southern California.  

Other groups like the water district and environmental groups in Borrego Springs are alarmed over the pipeline’s path which appears to borrow through Anza Borrego State Park. 

But the Water Authority faces another battle with its neighbors to the east and the largest Colorado River water consumer, Imperial Irrigation District. Its governing board just flipped two seats in November, both who are vehemently opposed to the pipeline, details MacKenzie Elmer in a new story. 

‘They Can’t Continue Like This in Mexico’

VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan has been examining the ways in which asylum is effectively non-existent since coronavirus-related closures and restrictions have collided with existing crackdowns by the Trump administration.

In the latest Border Report, she spoke with an asylum-seeker from Venezuela whose initial court appearance was scheduled for March, but was postponed because of coronavirus shutdowns. He hasn’t heard a word about what will happen next. In the meantime, he’s trying to survive in Mexico without access to consistent work or medical care. He’s hoping President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will grant special protected status to Venezuelans, but he’s not even sure he can survive in his current circumstances long enough to see Biden’s inauguration, he told Srikrishnan.

A lawyer from Jewish Family Service said the asylum-seeker’s situation isn’t unique: “They don’t have access to the essential things that they need to survive. They’re in a situation where their case isn’t moving forward and things in Tijuana are moving backwards. The longer this goes on, the worse the situation will get – the access to basic needs, the safety and security issues, the access to medical services.”

It’s Bad Out There in Coronavirusland (Which Is Everywhere)

They say misery loves company, and most of the state on Tuesday is set to join San Diego in the purple tier of the state’s coronavirus restrictions after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced new actions Monday to control the rapid spread of the virus. 

Many local law enforcement agencies told NBC San Diego they’ll help enforce restrictions but plan to focus on education and compliance. Earlier this year, we found that a disproportionate amount of coronavirus-related citations given out in San Diego went to Black residents

Just how bad are cases locally? A grim snapshot from KPBS’s Andrew Bowen: “The three highest daily case counts of COVID-19 in San Diego County have taken place in the past three days.”

In Other News

  • Drill instructors at San Diego’s Marine Corps Recruit Depot cannot do their jobs from home. The New York Times did a photo essay about how the corps has responded to the threat of COVID-19. 
  • In an op-ed, a San Francisco State economics professor and a researcher argue that cities that strictly limit short-term rentals are effectively limiting access to the coast, particularly for lower-income households and underserved communities.”
  • California Republicans made some gains in the latest election – just not in San Diego. (Union-Tribune)

The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and MacKenzie Elmer, and edited by Scott Lewis.

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