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Accelerating Innovation in the Urban Water Sector

Climate change and population growth are rapidly increasing stress on our water systems, challenging their ability to deliver critical services. To respond to this, we need more than simple course adjustments in how we manage our water – we need entirely new paradigms that will improve resource efficiency and support more sustainable urban water systems.

Considerable work is being done to develop new visions for sustainable water infrastructure. Actualizing these visions, however, is another battle, one that requires increasing innovation in the urban water sector.

The Unforgiving New Landscape for Water Utilities

Local officials are judged on how well their governments provide basic services from transportation to trash collection. So it has been with drinking water: if the water was safe to drink and reliably delivered, water managers were doing their job. Moreover, when water managers thought about long-term planning, the answer was always the same: increase supply.

Climate change, new economic realities and population growth in the Sun Belt (from California to Florida) has made water management much more complex.

CWA rates and charges to rise 5.9 percent for treated water, 6.4 percent for untreated supply

The San Diego County Water Authority (CWA) board approved an increase in water rates for next year.

The CWA board action June 23 set the water rates and charges for calendar year 2017. The rates on a countywide basis will increase by 5.9 percent for treated water and 6.4 percent for untreated water. The new rates and charges will be effective Jan. 1, and the CWA’s member agencies have the option of absorbing the rate increases or passing on the additional cost to customers.


VIDEO: Mail Print More County to Establish Groundwater Sustainablilty Agency

County supervisors took action this morning to officially file a notice of intent with the state to establish a groundwater sustainability agency.
It’s more of a technical maneuver than anything else. GSAs are starting to pop up in Kern County, to comply with state law that mandates a statewide effort to balance demand for our groundwater with supplies.
The city of Bakersfield has joined with Kern Delta Water District to form their own GSA.They both draw water from the Kern River.

Sites Reservoir likely years down the road

Don’t expect to see a reservoir built in the hills west of Maxwell anytime soon.

Plans to build the Sites Reservoir have been in the works since 1957, and if it is eventually approved, work on the project probably would not be complete for another 10 to 12 years, according to Jim Watson, the Sites Reservoir Project general manager.

“Sites is not for us. Sites is for our grandchildren,” said Nadine Bailey, chief operating officer for the Family Water Alliance in Maxwell.

San Diego facing $4.6M water pollution fine

Local water quality officials proposed on Tuesday fining San Diego $4.6 million for allegedly allowing private construction sites to pollute sensitive waterways, including the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon.

Over a period of nearly five years, city officials failed to conduct proper site inspections, prevent harmful sediment erosion and enforce the city’s water quality ordinances at multiple sites, according to the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Bill seeks to use renewable energy to boost water supplies

As the state slogs through its fifth year of drought, many water agencies are increasingly turning to alternative water sources to boost supplies — source like seawater, brackish groundwater and recycled wastewater.

But those need a lot of energy to treat. Now a local state senator wants to use California’s growing renewable energy supply to help meet that demand. “In the old days I remember we had this thing called Flex Your Power,” said state Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys).

California To Set Legal Limit On Probable Carcinogen In Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board will soon set a maximum contaminant level for 1,2,3 Trichloropropane, or 1,2,3 TCP.

It’s found in industrial solvents and cleaning agents, but it was once found in two popular soil fumigants made by Dow Chemical and Shell Oil Company.

The pesticide byproduct contaminated groundwater throughout the Central Valley. State water regulators have found 1,2,3 TCP in 94 public drinking water systems in 16 counties.

Right now, water systems in California are only required to notify residents if the chemical is found at a certain health-based advisory level.

Water Board Proposes Fining San Diego $4.6 Million

A $4.6 million penalty against the city of San Diego was proposed Tuesday by the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for the city’s alleged failure to make sure construction sites did not prevent the pollution of local waterways.

The allegations cover the time period from 2010 to 2015 and affected water bodies stretching across city limits from the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to the north, down to the Tijuana River Estuary to the south, according to water board officials.