When it comes to water scarcity, California offers researchers a perfect laboratory. The historic drought it endured over the past few years began impacting groundwater levels, leaving farms few options but to drill deeper and deeper for lower-quality water. Enter Helen Dahlke, Assistant Professor in Physical Hydrology at University of California, Davis. She headed up a study on how to tap into storm water and winter melt runoff in a way that would not run afoul of California’s strict water rights or environmental laws.
Archive for date: June 21st, 2017
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“Toilet to tap” is the less-than-appealing nickname given to wastewater that is treated so it can be recycled for human use. For about a decade now, Orange County has had a plant that purifies wastewater and pumps it back into the groundwater supply. And as the county expands its operations, it is working to convince the public that the water is indeed clean and safe to drink. On a scorching first day of summer, the Orange County Water District set up a stand in Hollywood to give away free ice-cold bottled water.
California is hell-bent on draining the Sierra by taking water from one region to meet the environmental needs of another. Though essential to the survival of the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, the Sierra Nevada watershed is rarely recognized for its natural resources and significance. Environmental groups want more water for fish in the Delta and are willing to sacrifice the quality of life of Sierra communities with permanent and forced water rationing. It is about extracting resources from the Sierra to satisfy downstream interests – first gold, then timber and now water.
Re “California Legislature votes to keep dam-safety plans secret” (sacbee.com, June 15): There was nothing secret about the new dam safety legislation. Far from slipping the bill into the public domain as suggested, the language was posted on March 8, shared with Republican and Democratic staff in the Senate and the Assembly on March 10, and raised in budget subcommittee hearings on March 16 and 22. The Bee misinterpreted the intent of the legislation. It improves public safety by requiring all dam owners to create emergency action plans. It clarifies which information in those plans should not be disclosed, such as home phone numbers.
The heat wave hitting Southern California this week is one for the record books. Temperatures topped 100 in the valleys and 120 in the low desert. Death Valley hit 127 — seven degrees shy of the hottest temperature ever recorded on the planet. The National Weather Service said temperatures in some low desert locations were “among the highest ever recorded.” The temperature hit 124 degrees on Tuesday in Ocotillo Wells — the highest reading ever recorded in San Diego County, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters said the reading was two degrees above the previous high of 122, which was recorded in Borrego Springs on June 20, 2016.
When it comes to managing water in uncertain times, few things are more important than knowing how much is flowing in the river alongside your city, or filling the reservoir that irrigates local farms. That information is crucial to deciding how much water is available to irrigate crops, whether to declare a flood emergency or whether to launch a lazy rafting excursion. But this basic information is at risk across the West because the nation lacks a reliable funding source for the simple stream gages that measure river flows.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California can add the costs of transporting water via the State Water Project to what it bills its customers, but it cannot tack on so-called “water stewardship” charges, the California 1st District Court of Appeal says in a ruling Wednesday. Metropolitan says the ruling vindicates its position. But on the other side of the watery divide is the San Diego County Water Authority, which also says it won the day at the appellate court. The central issue in dispute is one of cost allocation
The 1st District Court of Appeal today issued a ruling in favor of the San Diego County Water Authority on key points in its lawsuits against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The County Water Authority has charged that MWD rates charged are illegal. The case is expected to be appealed to the California Supreme Court, where if upheld it would mean a big win for San Diego County ratepayers.
Damages awarded to the San Diego County Water Authority in a long-running legal dispute over rates need to be recalculated, a panel of state appellate justices ruled Wednesday. The ruling by the three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco amounted to a split decision for the Water Authority, which sued the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California multiple times over the amount it charged the SDCWA to transport imported water from the Colorado River.
A Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) Wednesday in a key rate case against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California. According to a statement released by the Water Authority, the court ruled MWD collected millions of dollars’ in illegal charges from ratepayers in San Diego. The Water Authority is also entitled to tens of thousands of acre-feet more water from the district than it had calculated, according to the ruling.