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OPINION: Our View: Managing water takes foresight

It’s easy to take water for granted. Turn on the faucet, and the water comes out.

But we live in a desert, where just 9 inches of rain fall each year and the aquifer on which we rely for drinking water is at its lowest point in 100 years. Couple that with a population surge, plans to build hundreds more homes in Twin Falls alone and a booming regional food-manufacturing industry, and cities are right to worry just how much larger we can get before there isn’t enough water to support it all.


L.A. breaks ground on water treatment facility

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined City Councilman Mike Bonin and the Los Angeles Board of Public Works to break ground June 30 on a new underground water treatment facility that will conserve 108,000 gallons of potable water every day by capturing and recycling stormwater for irrigation.

The water treatment facility at Penmar Park will allow stormwater to be captured and used to irrigate the Venice area park, its golf course and Marine Park in Santa Monica.

The $23.6 million project is the second phase of the stormwater capture system. The first phase involved the construction of the tank.

Our View: Conservation should be a lifestyle

Californians seem to be adopting conservation as a lifestyle, and that’s encouraging. It’s also necessary. As the state, particularly the southern portion, didn’t get the full benefit of El Nino this past winter and spring, drought conditions persist in much of California. If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you know that drought is a fairly regular occurrence in our state. We see periods of higher- and lower-than-normal precipitation, but the latter seem to be occurring more often and for longer spans.

Environmental issues top of mind with readers

Climate change is a threat to our quality of life and our economy. The staggering costs of deepening droughts, water shortages, wildfires and epic storms will accrue until we take action.

We know that excess greenhouse gases (GHG) cause climate change. We also know that we must aggressively cut GHG to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. There are no shortcuts.

In Palm Springs, our last GHG audit in 2010 revealed that 70 percent of our GHG emissions come from the gas and electricity used to heat, light and cool our buildings.

Area support of diversion plans runs wide, deep

A proposal to divert Colorado River water to Denver recently has won the endorsement of Gov. John Hickenlooper and the approval of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

But Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir expansion project may be just as notable for its general lack of opposition west of the Continental Divide. That’s thanks to a wide-ranging agreement, effective in 2013, in which Denver Water obtained concessions including a promise that numerous Western Slope parties to the agreement wouldn’t oppose the expansion project. In return, Denver Water made a number of commitments to the Western Slope.

Santa Clarita Valley brush fire grows to 1,100 acres and is 49% contained

About 700 firefighters on Sunday continued to battle a brush fire in the Santa Clarita Valley that has grown to more than 1,100 acres, officials said.

The Sage fire is 49% contained, said Inspector Gustavo Medina of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A small home caught fire in the burn area Sunday, but it was unclear whether that was the result of embers from the brush fire, Medina said.

No other structures or homes have been damaged and are no longer threatened. The fast-moving brush fire forced about 2,000 residents to evacuate when it broke out shortly after noon Saturday.

OPINION: Commentary: Water supplies sufficient for region’s needs

The San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies have enough water to meet demands, even during three additional dry years, and won’t be subject to state-mandated water-use reductions through January 2017, according to data the water authority has submitted to state regulators.

Of course, that’s welcome news. It shows that the region’s investments in a safe and reliable water supply over the past 25 years are paying off in tangible ways.