Deep in the eastern Mojave Desert, rainwater trickles off limestone and granite mountains and collects in the crusted sponge of the desert’s ancient soil. The moisture feeds ephemeral lakes and seeps that bubble up in winter storms; it sustains springs that nurse wildlife through punishing summers. When it percolates beneath the surface, it replenishes aquifers whose contents date back thousands, even millions, of years. Scott Slater, the CEO of Cadiz, Inc., thinks that water is going to waste.
Archive for date: June 6th, 2017
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While I was California Environmental Protection Agency secretary, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and I often worked collaboratively on important statewide water issues. That is why I found her op-ed regarding the Cadiz water project so troubling (Water extraction project would be destructive to California’s Mojave Desert, May 24). The project has followed the law and offers immense benefits for her constituents. Yet the senator’s opinions are disconnected from facts in this case.
This is the third installment in our series Contaminated, in which we explore the 300 California communities that lack access to clean drinking water. When we began the series, we introduced you to the community of Lanare, which has arsenic-tainted water while a treatment plant in the center of town sits idle. Today, we return to Lanare to learn why infrastructure projects aren’t always enough, and how Sacramento is trying to ensure Lanare never happens again.
Baja California is moving ahead with plans to expand and upgrade its failing San Antonio de los Buenos sewage treatment plant, located on Tijuana’s coast, and expects to launch construction next year, a state official said. The project, estimated at $24.7 million, entails the upgrade of existing wastewater treatment ponds at the 30-year-old facility just south of the border with San Diego County. It also involves the construction of a new activated sludge facility on the site.
Californians used more water this April than they did in April 2016, according to state data, and that jump in water use came thanks to residents of Southern California. The numbers were released Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board, which requires urban water districts across the state to report on local water use. Gov. Jerry Brown declared an end to the state’ drought emergency in April, following a wet winter across California. That included lifting the mandatory water conservation limits imposed by the state.
After coming out of a major drought via a remarkably wet winter, California water management is top of mind for the fresh produce industry. Looking to address the issue, major water agencies are working with California Governor Jerry Brown to take additional responsibility in order to close a $15.7 billion delta tunnel deal, named WaterFix, according to the Associated Press. Initially proposed in 1982, and revisited numerous times in the decades since, the WaterFix plan seeks to modernize the 50-year-old water conveyance system throughout the state, but has moved slowly due to environmental concerns.
The cause of one of the year’s most memorable weather disasters is getting the boom this month — the spillway on the Lake Oroville Dam in California. In February, the spillway failed spectacularly, to the tune of 200,000 people evacuated from their homes. After torrential winter storms, water poured over the lake’s spillways. The main spillway, which was ostensibly designed to bear the weight, crumbled on one side and allowed a torrent to flow out of the spillway onto the wall of the dam itself. That’s problematic because this area of the dam is literally just a hill.
Items of interest include a presentation by the County Water Authority on its lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water District, a proposal to adopt a resolution declaring an end to drought level 1 restrictions but keeping in place other permanent water use restrictions. The board will also consider spending funds on a customer satisfaction survey.