What does water that once came from a toilet taste like? Pretty bland, actually. “Our water goes through five different treatment steps, so it essentially purifies it,” says Brent Eidson, deputy director of external affairs at San Diego’s Public Utilities Department. “It almost strips the water of everything, so there’s not a whole lot of taste or anything left in it.”
Archive for date: March 1st, 2017
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Lawmakers, regulators and environmental groups in San Diego County are calling on federal officials to investigate a massive sewage spill in the Tijuana River that some people believe Mexico may have intentionally caused and then refused to explain much about it. Mexican authorities have yet to give a full accounting of how, without advance notice, an estimated 143 million gallons of effluent spewed into the river during 17 days that ended on Feb. 23.
Even as dam spillways are put to the test and parts of Northern California flood, there’s a silver lining to all the rain, beyond ending the drought. It gives California more hydroelectric power. “In the thick of the drought last year and previous years, the dam levels all over the Northwest actually were low. And so we didn’t have as much hydropower available, dispatchable, as we normally would want or expect,” said California Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.
Despite the deluge of rain in recent weeks, officials at the Padre Dam Municipal Water District continue working on a regional water reclamation program that converts sewage discharge into drinkable water. The still-controversial “toilet to tap” process has yet to be officially implemented, but it’s not that far off. An advanced water purification demonstration program, now in its second year, has a scheduled completion target of 2021. By then, reclaimed and purified sewage could be providing up to 30 percent of the district’s water demands.
Bakersfield received ten inches of rainfall for the water year already. With all the added water, it could lead to a whole lot more bugs and mosquitoes. I find out what this means for the West Nile Virus and how to protect yourself this spring. We had ten inches of rain in only a few months. This created a greener Kern County already with lush plants and vegetation, but this also created more standing water than normal which attracts an annoying pest called mosquitoes.
Heavy rainfall in southern California has caused severe flooding in San Diego. Even Petco Park, the city’s baseball stadium, found itself under a few inches of water. Click through the slideshow to see the astounding images from around the city.
As you are probably aware, on Sunday, Feb. 12, the Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway almost eroded away. This caused more than 180,000 people to evacuate the area immediately. If the wall above the emergency spillway failed, it would have been catastrophic and could have caused many to lose their lives. Fortunately, this did not happen.
Water managers will once again manually measure California’s snowpack, saying the state is on track for one of the wettest winters on record after five years of drought. The California Department of Water Resources will do the survey Wednesday in the Sierra Nevada. The snowpack is vital because it provides one-third of the state’s water to homes and farms when it melts.
The chances of an abundant water supply for California growers this summer keep improving as the water content in snowpack remains far above normal. The state Department of Water Resources third manual snow survey of the season found a snow-water equivalent of 43.4 inches on March 1 — well above the average of 24.3 inches for the date. “It’s not the record, the record being 56.4 (inches), but it’s still a pretty phenomenal snowpack,” state snow survey chief Frank Gehrke told reporters after the survey at Phillips Station, about 90 miles east of Sacramento.
There is a cycle to the conversation about infrastructure and how to pay for it. And it goes like this in California: A few politicians say that infrastructure — roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, dams and more — are the lifeblood of economic prosperity. Editorial boards point out that Gov. Pat Brown and the Legislature of his era helped make California an economic power by investing in the massive California State Water Project and highways, and by making the University of California system the best in the world.