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Sweetwater Authority Awards WEEP Grant to Living Coast Discovery Center

Sweetwater Authority presented a $5,000 award check to the Living Coast Discovery Center at its June 13 board meeting as part of the Authority’s Water Efficiency Education Program (WEEP) grant program. The grant helped fund three events highlighting both organizations’ mutual goal of educating the public about water conservation.

OPINION: Proposed First-Ever Tax On Water Got The Demise It Deserved

It’s 2018, not 1918, and the idea that an estimated 360,000 California residents don’t have access to clean, safe water in their homes is both appalling and hard to fathom. While this problem is concentrated in the Central Valley, it’s a concern in rural agricultural areas across the state, including in San Diego County.

It’s Back: El Niño Expected Later This Year, Forecasters Say

Climate troublemaker El Niño is forecast for this coming fall and winter, the Climate Prediction Center announced Thursday. The agency said there’s a 65 percent chance it will form by the winter, prompting it to issue an El Niño watch. In the U.S., a strong El Niño can result in a stormy winter along the West Coast, a wet winter across the South and a warmer-than-average winter in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains.

Supporters Rally For Bill That Pays For Clean Water In Rural, Low-Income Areas

Supporters of a bill that would raise monthly water bills for many residents rallied in Sacramento Wednesday.  The money raised from the bill would pay for systems to clean water in areas, supporters say, suffer from unsafe drinking water. Central Coast Sen. Bill Monning introduced the bill last year. It would increase residential water bills by 95 cents a month and is projected to raise $100 million. Low income earners would be exempt.

DWR Expands On Response To Spillway Forensic Report

The state Department of Water Resources has beefed up its response to the independent forensic report on what caused the Oroville Dam spillway failure last year. The report, released on Jan. 5, described how insufficient maintenance and repairs and faulty original design allowed water to seep through the spillway’s cracks and joints. It also blamed “long-term systemic failure” on the part of DWR, regulators and the dam safety industry at large.

OPINION: California, The World’s Fifth-Largest Economy, Has A Third World Drinking Water Problem

Even in times of drought, California’s natural and human-made arteries run with the nation’s cleanest, most accessible water. So fundamental is the stuff to the state’s identity and to its residents’ daily lives that California law recognizes a human right to “safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes.”

Pasadena’s Fire Stations Lead The Way In Replacing Thirsty Water Turf With Drought-Tolerant Landscapes

Fire stations throughout the City have said goodbye to water-guzzling grass and hello to drought-tolerant landscapes in a water conservation overhaul made possible by Pasadena Water & Power. The Community Demonstration Garden project is part of Pasadena’s continuing commitment to maximize water savings throughout the City and to support water-saving opportunities at city facilities. “It is the City’s effort to demonstrate to the community what is possible when you remove your water-thirsty turf and you replace it with drought-tolerant landscapes,” said Ursula Schmidt, Pasadena Water & Power Water Conservation Manager.

1916: Record Rainfall Damages Dams, Causes Flooding

Despite the construction of magificent new dams, the San Diego region suffered from lack of water supplies due to a ten-year drought. Desperate for rain, the City of San Diego hired rainmaker Charles M. Hatfield in December 1915 for $10,000 with the promise he could fill the Morena Reservoir.

From January 15 – 20, 1916, it rained throughout San Diego County. The San Diego River rose six feet, creating a mile-wide flood in Mission Valley. Roads and bridges throughout the county were wiped out. But the Morena Reservoir wasn’t full. Citizens wanted the City Council to stop paying Hatfield to make rain, but it refused.

From January 25 – 30, it rained another 14 inches in the mountains. Flooding damaged the Sweetwater Dam, and destroyed the Lower Otay Dam. Bridges, railroads and highways were gone. Fourteen people died in the flooding.

Whether it was simply a coincidence, or whether Hatfield really did make it rain, no one will ever know for sure. San Diego County has never recorded a wetter two-week period in the 102 years since January 1916.