Most Americans are familiar by now with the concept of recycled wastewater. We all may not be completely comfortable with the concept of reusing treated sewage, but most of us have at least heard about it, and in some communities we know that it helps parks and street landscaping thrive. A handful of communities practice what is known as indirect potable reuse, which means using highly refined treated wastewater to recharge groundwater or a reservoir. This water is processed again in a conventional drinking water treatment plant before being delivered to customers.
Archive for date: March 7th, 2018
Despite the fierce winter storm that brought an avalanche of snow to the Sierra Nevada last week, water officials say the state’s snowpack is far behind its desired level. Before the storm, comparisons were being made to record-breaking dry years. So why isn’t there more panic about a potential drought? The state’s reservoir levels and drinking water supply are in good shape, largely because last year was exceptionally wet, said Dave Rizzardo, of the California Department of Water Resources.
Following a storm system set to bring drenching rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest late this week, another system will track into Southern California this weekend. The latest U.S. drought monitor from March 1 showed that nearly 20 percent of California remains in severe drought, with moderate drought gripping about 50 percent of the state. Areas from central to Southern California are being gripped by the worst of the drought, including the cities of Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego.
City staff members are set to give an update on the investigation and remediation of residential water bill overcharges at a City Council committee meeting Thursday, three weeks after Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced that an audit of the utility’s billing practices was being fast- tracked. City officials in February discovered problems with some customers’ water bills after hearing weeks of complaints. Some residents saw their charges skyrocket by as much as 400 percent due to what city officials say was one employee’s misreading of meters.
If you imagine the San Francisco Bay as a bathtub, sea level rise means the bathwater is rising. A new study published today in Science Advances finds the tub is sinking too, and in some places, more than others. Where Bay Area cities have built on landfill or newer mud, that land is compacting, and sinking faster than other places. This subsidence is a problem for, among others, Foster City, Union City, San Rafael, and the land around San Francisco Airport.
Water that once coursed through city sewers may soon find new life coming out of your home faucet. New regulations approved Tuesday by the California State Water Resources Control Board allow treated recycled water to be added to reservoirs, the source of California municipal drinking water. The regulations specify the percentage of recycled water that can be added and how long it must reside there before being treated again at a surface water treatment facility and provided as drinking water, according to the Water Board.
As the clock winds down on Gov. Jerry Brown’s time in office, pressure appears to be mounting on state agencies to move the California WaterFix project forward. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) surprised many during a Bay-Delta Special Committee meeting on Feb. 27 when it was disclosed that the agency was examining the opportunity to finance the $11 billion cost of building the first of two tunnels in accordance with the Department of Water Resource’s (DWR) revised construction plan.
Followers of the ecologically dubious and largely pointless Cadiz water project in the Mojave Desert might have pricked up their ears last week at reports of a possible conflict of interest involving Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and the investment firm Apollo Global Management. That’s because Apollo is a sizable investor in Cadiz, which has received favorable regulatory treatment from the Trump administration after years of thumbs-down rulings under the Obama administration and from local and state officials. Apollo and Cadiz announced the $60-million investment, along with a “conditional” $240 million in construction financing, on May 2.