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January 4, 2014

Water bonds shrivel as California sees driest year

The driest year on record for Los Angeles and San Francisco is threatening water supplies to the world’s most productive agricultural region and almost doubling borrowing costs on some bonds issued by California water agencies. Los Angeles, which normally gets almost 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain a year, got less than 4 inches in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. San Francisco, where 22 inches is typical, got 6. Severe or extreme drought grips 85 percent of California, a federal monitor reported Dec. 24. The scarcity is depleting California’s reservoirs and jeopardizing the credit of at least 30 water agencies that had been considered safe bets because their debt is backed by user fees rather than general taxes. Read More

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