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San Diego’s Multi-Million Dollar Treatment Plants Stand Idle

San Diego has built out massive water infrastructure systems over the years that are now standing idle as water demand drops.

“This winter, demand for water was so low that the San Diego County Water Authority temporarily idled a $160 million plant in San Marcos that it built less than a decade ago. Water agencies that went into debt building treatment plants still have to pay up, whether the plant is needed every day or not,” Voice of San Diego recently reported.

Water Resilience Project Wins 2016 Excellence in the Constructed Project Award

More than 80 percent of the water used in San Diego County is imported from Northern California and the Colorado River. The $1.5 billion E&CSP project, owned by the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA), is a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines and pumping stations that provide water system resilience and reliability to the San Diego region if imported water deliveries are interrupted due to events such as a prolonged drought or damaging earthquake.

Water Experts Denounce Arizona Groundwater Bills, Ask Ducey to Veto

Several Arizona water experts are calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to veto legislation passed this week that they denounce as weakening groundwater protection standards in two counties and threatening Arizona’s reputation for smart water management.

The bills’ proponents, including lawmakers who represent Cochise County, said they are written narrowly to avoid upending statewide water law but are necessary to protect individual rights. Both passed with overwhelmingly Republican support.

Sally Jewell Sees Progress in Colorado River Talks

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the United States and Mexico are making important progress in talks on a new accord to share water from the Colorado River, which is badly over-tapped and approaching critical shortage levels.

American and Mexican officials have been negotiating an agreement to replace their current five-year accord, which expires in 2017. Jewell said she is optimistic about those talks, and also about recent negotiations between states on sharing cutbacks if the levels of reservoirs continue to drop.

Less than 90% of California in Drought for 1st Time in 3 Years

California’s devastating 4-year-old drought showed signs Thursday of easing its grip on the nation’s most populous state — if only a little.

For the first time in three years, less than 90% of California is in drought, the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks the dry conditions, reported. The decrease may not sound like a lot, but it’s still welcome news for the state’s 38 million residents dealing with widespread water restrictions, which could soon be amended.


Sanford in Runoff for LAFCO Special Districts Alternate

Rainbow Municipal Water District board member Dennis Sanford is in the runoff election for the alternate special district member seat on San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).

Four special district board members sought the four-year term as the special districts alternate, but none received the necessary majority and a runoff between the two candidates with the most votes is now taking place. Judy Hanson of the Leucadia Wastewater District received 15 votes while Sanford received nine votes to qualify for the runoff election.

Chula Vista Man Appointed to California Fish and Game Commission

Gov. Jerry Brown Friday announced the appointment of a Chula Vista man to the California Fish and Game Commission.

Peter Silva, 63, has been president and chief executive officer at Silva-Silva International since 2011. He served as assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2011, senior policy advisor at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 2005 to 2009 and vice chair at the State Water Resources Control Board from 2000 to 2005.

Free Landscaping Videos Bring Water Savings

When newcomers to the San Diego County Water Authority’s WaterSmart landscaping program tackle the prospect of giving their yards a water-saving makeover, their first questions aren’t about what they should tear out and what they should plant instead. It turns out their first questions are much more basic. Primal, even.
“Who can do this for me? Who can I hire? Can I really do this myself?” said Joni German, assistant water resources specialist for the San Diego County Water Authority.