The draft environmental impact report for the governor’s tunnels fails to disclose and analyze adverse environmental impacts, says a coalition of ten environmental groups. The draft also fails to develop or even consider a reasonable range of alternatives to increase water flows in the California Delta, the groups say in a letter. The governor’s tunnels project as it stands violates both the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act, say the groups in a letter Thursday to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Archive for date: August 18th, 2016
You are now in California and the U.S. category.
San Diegans are blessed with miles of beautiful coast and beaches, but all of that may be vastly different in a little more than one human lifetime. Children born today may see a San Diego with six more feet of sea by the time they are 84. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keeps track of various climate scenarios, and the six-foot-rise projection is the more dire calculated. Despite San Diego’s climate action plan, few communities are making concrete plans to deal with a future with more water, thanks to melting ice at the poles.
When it comes to the biggest environmental problems — global warming, ongoing pollution of the water we drink and irrigate our crops with — it’s always disheartening to hear scientists say that looming disaster is practically impossible to prevent. Makes it hard to work up the energy to conceive the cure if all hope is lost.
Now that some of the tough water restrictions in California are being eased, a conservation group is sounding the alarm that we might be slipping back into our wasteful old ways. At the Pacific Institute, an environmental research group based in Oakland call it drought fatigue; and define it this way. “Feeling sort of overwhelmed and not knowing what sort of actions you can take and really not knowing when you can stop taking it,” Pacific Institute spokesperson Heather Cooley said.
Five years of drought in California have meant raging wildfires, dying trees, falling groundwater, dry wells, threatened wildlife and economic losses. It’s hard to imagine that there could be much to celebrate, but it turns out there are some people who are benefiting, even unintentionally, if you look closely enough.
Times of hardship often spur innovation and collaboration, and California has definitely seen some of that, along with some other benefits.
Although it’s not exactly news that California could use some more water, new research has revealed just how extensive the need has become – and at what cost for the state economy. The good news is, new research of a much different kind has revealed the answer: affordable, large-scale ocean desalination.
California’s water problem is so extensive that only a widely scoped solution will do. In a new UC Davis study reported by CNBC, water shortages this year were determined to threaten a whopping $550 million cost to the state’s agricultural industry, plus over 1,800 lost jobs.
The highly anticipated and overdue re-opening of San Vicente Reservoir – San Diego County’s most popular recreational reservoir – continues to be held up for the same unresolved issue; cables that attach the marina’s two docks to land. Shocking, isn’t it? A project that involved raising the dam 117 vertical feet (the tallest dam raise of its type in the entire world), construction of an entire new marina and parking lot, a 900 foot long launch ramp that is 114 feet wide, new concession building, office buildings, restrooms, pump stations and more…and they still can’t get the docks tied to land correctly.
When engineer Bruce Townsend walks around this hot and dusty construction site in El Centro, it is not the massive gas-fired power plant nearby that catches his imagination. His eyes are planted firmly on the future of energy — and the low-slung metal building that will house it.
“This is really going to take off,” Townsend said. Townsend was referring to a nearly $38 million battery, the largest battery of its kind in the western U.S. He was the venture’s original project manager.