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Efficiencies Lower Long-Term Water Demand Forecast For San Diego Region

Updated water-use projections for the San Diego region through 2040 are substantially lower than earlier forecasts due to efficiencies that have become standard practice at homes and businesses countywide. That’s good news because it signals the potential for lower spending on water supply development and delivery in coming decades compared to previous forecasts.

 

Smoke Prompts Sacramento County Health Alert: Limit Outdoor Activity Through Friday

The smoky air blanketing the region from wildfires prompted a statement Monday from Sacramento County air quality and health officials urging residents to take precautions and limit outdoor activities through Friday. If you smell or see smoke, officials said, here’s what you should do: Minimize outdoor activities, even if you’re healthy. In particular, children, the elderly and people with respiratory or heart conditions should avoid exposure when air quality is poor.

Trump Says California’s Water Policies Are Making The Wildfires Worse. Is He Right?

President Donald Trump recently broke his silence on California’s wildfire disasters by blaming the state’s environmental and water laws, saying the state has exacerbated its fire problems by letting large amounts of water flow out to the Pacific Ocean. Trump’s remarks, which he posted in a pair of tweets Sunday and Monday, drew immediate criticism from fire experts in the state.

Why Are California’s Wildfires So Intense And What Can Be Done?

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning in parts of California warning of conditions conducive to the growth of wildfires, including strong winds, low humidity and very high temperatures. The White House has declared California’s fires a major disaster and there are signs they are growing more intense.

OPINION: A Drought-Proof Water Supply Right In Our Orange County Desert

Although it usually doesn’t seem like it, Orange County really is a desert. We’re so accustomed to turning on the spigot anytime, anywhere, for any duration. Most of the water we use is imported, either from the glorious Northern California snow pack or the quagga-mussels-clogged recycled water of the Colorado River, which is shared by five other states and Mexico. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has been the chief architect on both projects, and has done a good job stewarding the flows to SoCal over the decades.

Wetlands Restoration To Begin As Part Of Del Mar Mesa Preserve Expansion

Nearly 112 acres of habitat and old agricultural lands in the Carmel Valley area will be restored into wetlands starting in September, the San Diego Association of Governments announced Friday. SANDAG acquired the land, referred to as Deer Canyon East, in June, shortly after state and federal agencies claimed successful rehabilitation of the adjacent 31-acre Deer Canyon West site.

Huge Orange County Wildfire Visible From San Diego Area

A large and rapidly growing wildfire that erupted Monday afternoon in the Holy Jim Canyon area of Orange County is producing a plume that’s visible from parts of San Diego County, according to the National Weather Service. The fire has so far burned more than 1,000 acres at a spot in the Cleveland National Forest, nor far from Corona, the Orange County Fire Authority said.

Helix Water Rates Going Up Starting In November

East County water users in the Helix Water District are going to see higher rates starting in November. On Aug. 1, the Helix Water District Board adopted a 2018-19 budget of $89.5 million, a 5.7 percent increase over last year’s budget. With that, the board voted 3-1 to approve a 3.4 percent rate increase for its nearly 275,000 customers. That translates to a $5.18 increase every two months ($2.59 monthly) for the average Helix Water District customer using 21 units of water or 15,708 gallons of water every two months. One unit is equal to 748 gallons.

California Groundwater Law Means Big Changes Above Ground, Too

California’s new groundwater management law is not a sports car. It moves more like a wagon train. The rules do not require critically overdrafted aquifers to achieve “sustainability” until 2040. But 22 years from now, once they finally get there, lives will be transformed. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), adopted in 2014, will change more than groundwater. The requirement to end overdraft will also transform land use, a massive side effect yet to be widely recognized. Parts of California will literally look different once the law takes full effect. It could put some farmers out of business. It could change how others farm.

New River Parkway Key Component In Restoration Efforts

The restoration of the New River has been in the works for decades, addressing an environmental issue and eyesore that affects mainly the west side of Calexico. But through legislation and the activism from residents affected by river pollution, progress has been achieved towards a permanent solution. Starting in Mexico, the river crosses the border in Calexico and snakes about 70 miles before emptying into the Salton Sea. Often saddled with the dubious honor of being the most polluted river in America, its murky water carries numerous pollutants and often produces a foul odor.