Encinitas City Council member Mark Muir, who has represented the San Dieguito Water District on the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors since 2013, has been elected as the new board chair of the county organization. Muir follows two years of Mark Weston (Poway) leading the board of the Water Authority, which sustains a $222 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility, according to a news release.
Archive for date: October 3rd, 2016
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Happy New Water Year 2017! Hopefully everyone has recovered from their celebrations. The 2016 drought year is over. It was milder year than the four previous drought years. The great wet hope of the “Godzilla” El Nino did not end the drought, but brought only near average precipitation. Going into the new water year, California remains in a drought.
As the 2016 water year comes to a close, San Diego County Water Authority officials said that the region’s projected water supplies will be sufficient to meet demand in 2017 and beyond, but continued water-use efficiency remains essential to help the region manage those supplies amid an uncertain outlook for rain and snow this winter.
October is the time for optimism about water in California. The forecasts start calling for rain as the coming winter offers hope of relief for the state’s thirsty rivers and reservoirs. Just this weekend, parts of Northern California saw up to three quarters of an inch of rain, while the first big snow shut down Highway 120 in Yosemite. Hydrologically speaking, Oct. 1 also marked the official start of the state water year. But as much as the milestone brought the prospect of drought-busting storms ahead, it highlighted the grim reality of the past 12 months.
What’s bad for farmers is bad for all of us. And as the climate changes, many farmers are struggling to adapt.Laura Lengnick is a soil scientist and consultant who specializes in climate risk management. Lengnick: “The most challenging effect all over the country is what I like to call ‘too much and not enough’ water. We’re getting very heavy rainfalls punctuated by fairly long, and relatively severe, droughts.” Crop quantity and quality can suffer as a result: too little rain and plants dry up, but too much can make the roots rot. Farmers are doing their best to prepare.
A low-interest loan program that supports California water projects has seen three times more requests for money than it has funds available, partly because of surging interest in water recycling.The Clean Water State Revolving Fund exists to help local agencies pay for wastewater treatment plant upgrades, stormwater capture and wildlife habitat projects that improve water quality. Eighty percent of the money in the fund comes from federal appropriations via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the remainder from state appropriations. A separate Drinking Water State Revolving Fund provides grants and loans for drinking water treatment and supply projects.
California’s 2016 water year ended Friday with lower-than-expected rainfall and a “snow drought” as the state’s snowpack measured well below average.Water year 2016, which ran from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, was officially categorized as “dry” statewide, continuing California’s five-year drought. The onset of the new water year has brought attention to the record reliance on groundwater by farmers and water wars between corporations and residents.