October 7-15 Was…. Water (And Wastewater) Professionals Week: Honoring The “Silent Service.”

With the recent passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 80, October 7-15 was officially designated as “Water Professionals Week.” SCR 80, authored by Sen. Bill Dodd (D-Napa), was sponsored by a coalition of state water, wastewater and utility associations, including the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) to bring recognition to the service and contributions by the water and wastewater professionals serving the various communities across California.

A Concrete Border-Sewage-Collection Basin Plan

With the governor’s signature late Monday (October 9th), $2.1 million in state funding is on its way to the Tijuana River Valley — some of it earmarked to deal with the sewage, trash, and sediment that enters the U.S. along the border. Senate Bill 507 allocates $500,000 to update the feasibility study for capturing, controlling, and treating the waste and water that currently enters the river valley from Mexico. State senator Ben Hueso and assemblyman Todd Gloria promised to seek the funding in May.

San Diego Offers Lawn Rebate To Encourage Water Conservation

The City of San Diego now offers a rebate to encourage its water customers to conserve water by removing their water thirsty grass and installing water-wise material and efficient irrigation systems. The City’s Public Utilities Department water customers can receive a rebate up to $4,250 for residential owners and $17,000 for commercial owners. “This rebate will allow customers to become empowered in their efforts to save money on their water bills,” said Halla Razak, Director of Public Utilities.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Lends Support to Huntington Beach Desalination Project

As supporters and opponents of a proposed Huntington Beach desalination project gear up for a key meeting before the State Lands Commission, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has weighed in. In a letter to the Commission, the senior senator from California gave her endorsement to the Poseidon Water project, saying it would ” provide potable water to meet documented demand within Orange County.” Feinstein joins a long list of state political and water officials leaders, including former Senate colleague Barbara Boxer, in support of the proposed $1 billion plant to be built by Poseidon Water to provide 50 million gallons per day or enough for 400,000 residents.

CLWA Backs Plan To Secure Delivery Of Northern California Water

Local water officials have endorsed a plan to fix the system which delivers water to the Santa Clarita Valley from Northern California at a cost to mom-and-pop SCV ratepayer of $20 a month. The project hammered out by state officials these past 10 years to repair the water conveyance system is called the California WaterFix.  It used to be called the Bay Delta Conservation Project. Members of the Castaic Lake Water Agency board unanimously approved a recommendation Wednesday to back the WaterFix project which calls for an extensive overhaul of the water delivery system.

OPINION: Santa Clara Valley Water District Should Join in the WaterFix Tunnel Project

California is the sixth largest economy in the world, and Silicon Valley is a primary driver of our state’s job creation and growth. Yet our success is at risk unless we move to protect our water supply. That’s why we are urging the Santa Clara Valley Water District help secure our water supplies now and well into the future by supporting California WaterFix, which will deliver water through modern pipelines.

Group of San Joaquin Farmers Says They’re Willing to Pay for the Delta Tunnels

A bloc of San Joaquin farmers tentatively endorsed the Delta tunnels project Thursday, becoming the first significant agricultural group to support the struggling plan. But the level of support from members of the Kern County Water Agency, which serves much of the $7 billion-a-year farm economy at the southern end of the valley, was less than wholehearted. An estimated 48.5 percent of the agency’s water users said they’re interested in helping pay for the tunnels, which works out to about $1 billion in financial support.

Kern County Water Agency Opts to Support Brown’s Multi-Billion Dollar WaterFix Project

The Kern County Water Agency has voted to participate in the California WaterFix project, potentially saving one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s two legacy projects: the Delta tunnels. California WaterFix would upgrade the state’s outdated water system and maintain a reliable source of water for 25 million Californians and more than three million acres of farmland in the Bay Area, Central Valley and Southern California, according to a news release issued by California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird. To date, Kern is the largest agricultural contractor that has voted to support the California WaterFix project.

OPINION: San Diego Desalination Project Should be Lesson to Orange County

Orange County water customers have a lot at stake as a proposed billion-dollar desalination project heads to the California State Lands Commission for approval. As expected, Poseidon, the plant’s developer, is making last-minute promises about the Huntington Beach project to appease concerns that have dogged the company for years. I’ve heard Poseidon’s promises before, in San Diego County, where we fought to stop them from building a virtually identical desalination plant.

OPINION: Why San Diego’s Desalination Project Should be Replicated

In December 2015, during California’s most recent drought, Poseidon Water opened a seawater desalination facility in Carlsbad which has since produced over 22 billion gallons of high-quality, drought-proof drinking water for San Diego County. As a United States senator, much of my work included finding innovative solutions to address climate change which would reduce Californian’s pain in the face of predicted droughts. As such, I supported the Carlsbad project and it pleases me that such a huge majority of Californians support seawater desalination as well.