The San Francisco Bay and all forms of life that depend upon it are in trouble. So declares a new study from The Bay Institute which finds that upstream water diversions have removed so much water from the Delta and the Bay estuary that artificially created “supercritically dry” years have become the norm — endangering the entire ecosystem as a result. No need to panic or anything.The Chronicle picked up the study, and noted that it shows evidence of “the planet’s Sixth Mass Extinction.” Yeah, so that’s a terrifying term.
Archive for date: October 10th, 2016
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One of the largest potable water users in Half Moon Bay could soon benefit from the flush of a toilet. Years in the making, officials on the coast are getting closer to designing a recycled water treatment plant to reduce the amount of potable water being used for landscape irrigation. Instead of discharging millions of gallons of treated sewage into the ocean every month, recycled water would be used to nourish a local golf course.
Since 1998 there have been slow but steady changes along the Sacramento River. Areas that had been managed by man have returned to something closer to the wild. Native trees and plants have thrived Just south of Ord Bend Park is a very visible example of habitat restoration by Chico-based River Partners. Visitors pull into a gravel parking lot and pass by a brown sign explaining where to go and what to see. From there, trails meander through trees and shrubs intentionally planted more than a dozen years ago, then nurtured until nature could continue the job.
Water infrastructure globally needs major improvements. Replacing US water pipes alone would cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to the American Water Works Association. This, coupled with increasing water scarcity, demands a huge investment in water distribution systems. A new report from Navigant Research says smart water products and technologies will play a growing role in upgrading and replacing these aging systems.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Central Valley Project began water year 2017 on Oct. 1 with 4.9 million acre-feet of water in its six key reservoirs. The amount is 2 million acre-feet more than was in storage at the beginning of water year 2016, federal officials announced. The amount of storage in the key reservoirs – Shasta, Trinity, Folsom, New Melones and Millerton reservoirs and the federal share of the joint federal/state San Luis Reservoir – is 82% of the 15-year average of annual carryover of 6.0 million acre-feet.
California’s sewage treatment plants produce billions of gallons of wastewater every year, nearly all of it dumped into rivers or the Pacific Ocean like garbage. And this is how it’s done all over the U.S.and most of the world. But what if we began looking at treated sewage, instead, as a valuable resource? That’s what David Jassby and his co-authors Kurt Schwabe and Quynh Tran at the University of California, Riverside, did in a recent study published by the journal Environmental Science &Technology.
The transformation of Lake Mission Viejo into the first recreational lake in California to be fed with highly treated waste water instead of drinking water is expected to start in mid-November. On Monday, city, state and water district officials converged at the 124-acre man-made lake to celebrate the dedication of the project that will fill the lake with advanced purified water that experts say will be safe for swimmers and the lake’s fish. The project, which is going through final checks and maintenance, will save 114 million gallons of drinking water a year for residents in south Orange County, officials said.
Officials with the National Weather Service are predicting rain toward the end of the week in the Bay Area. Rain could move into the area Thursday night and spread south from the North Bay on Friday. This is the rainy season’s first atmospheric river, which is region in the atmosphere responsible for bringing water vapor from the tropics. Weather officials said that it’s important to prepare for the rain by changing windshield wipers, checking tires, fixing leaks at home and finishing outdoor projects.
The ravages of drought and wildfire over the past couple years in California should be mitigated somewhat by help available through the 2014 Farm Bill. Val Dolcini, administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) toured fire- and drought-damaged locations in California as part of a federal effort to ensure farmers have adequate risk management tools at their disposal. Dolcini, who several years ago was promoted into the lead FSA position after serving as California’s FSA director, spoke recently with Western Farm Press to share some of the programs available for California and Arizona growers.
The West is almost certain to experience a decades-long drought by the end of the century, if greenhouse emissions continue as usual, a new climate study concluded. The chance that the Southwest will experience a megadrought – a dry period lasting 35 years or more – is between 70 and 99 percent by the end of the century, according to the study, published Wednesday in Science Advances, an online, open access academic journal.