I read with great interest Sam Kumar’s opinion column on the recent California wildfires (“California wildfire prevention needs rational solutions,” Aug. 19). I agree on two points: The wildfires this season are substantially worse than normal, and the drought is to blame for this difficult summer experienced by Nevadans and our neighbors.
Archive for date: August 27th, 2018
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Heat waves will grow more severe and persistent, shortening the lives of thousands of Californians. Wildfires will burn more of the state’s forests. The ocean will rise higher and faster, exposing California to billions in damage along the coast. These are some of the threats California will face from climate change in coming decades, according to a new statewide assessment released Monday by the California Natural Resources Agency.
This year’s wildfire season is not the worst that California will see. The number of large fires across the state will likely increase by 50 percent by the end of the century while the amount of land that burns annually will rise 77 percent, according to a new, far-reaching state report that seeks to document the impacts of climate change.
Beautiful Lindo Lake in Lakeside is looking a bit different these days. People living nearby want to know why the lake seems to be a bright shade of green. Mindy Collier and other Lakeside residents who frequent the lake know all too well about the algae-like affair. “It seems to have improved a little bit,” said Collier. “It looks a little better.” The lake is only about three feet deep; combined with hot summers and slow-moving waters, it’s prime blooming grounds for blue-green algae, which, despite its name, is actually a bacteria.
A festival to celebrate water and show how at least one entity recycles waste and turns it into drinkable water is on tap for next month. The East County Water Festival is set for 9 a.m. until 1 p.m, Saturday, Sept. 8, at the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project Visitor Center at the Padre Dam Municipal Water District in Santee.
The transformation of Cuyamaca College’s trailblazing Water and Wastewater Technology Program into the Center for Water Studies is all but complete. Among the premier water and wastewater training facilities in California, the Center for Water Studies relocated in late August to a renovated complex complete with new classrooms, a water quality analysis laboratory and a workshop for back flow, cross-connection controls, and related skills-based courses. The complex sits next to a state-of-the-art field operations skills yard that opened in January, with an above-ground water distribution system and an underground wastewater collection system.
Residents are invited to celebrate water at the East County Water Festival from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project Visitor Center in Santee.
This free, fun-filled, water-themed event takes place for the first time this year. Members of the East County community as well as other interested San Diegans are invited to participate in interactive activities for adults and children.
Among the Water Festival’s highlights:
- Tour the East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility to learn about the science of cleaning and purifying wastewater.
- Enjoy free food and sample iced coffee using purified recycled water.
- Participate in face-painting, take-home crafts and much more.
The event is hosted by the Padre Dam Municipal Water District. The Advanced Water Purification Program is a regional partnership with Padre Dam, Helix Water District, City of El Cajon and the County of San Diego. To sign up to attend and for location details, go to www.EastCountyAWP.com.
About the East County Advanced Water Purification Program and Padre Dam Municipal Water District
The East County Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Facility treats recycled water to create 100,000 gallons of purified water each day. The facility uses the same state-of-the-art technology that provides water to Disneyland and more than 600,000 Orange County residents. The Advanced Water Purification Program could ultimately produce up to 30 percent of the drinking water for residents in the Padre Dam Municipal Water District and Helix Water District water service areas.
Padre Dam provides water, sewer, recycled water and recreation services to approximately 100,000 residents in East San Diego County, including Santee, El Cajon, Lakeside, Flinn Springs, Harbison Canyon, Blossom Valley, Alpine, Dehesa and Crest. The district currently imports 100 percent of its drinking water supply and treats two million gallons per day of wastewater at its Water Recycling Facility. Go to www.padredam.org for more information.
The transformation of Cuyamaca College’s trailblazing Water and Wastewater Technology Program into the Center for Water Studies is all but complete.
Among the premier water and wastewater training facilities in California, the Center for Water Studies relocated in late August to a renovated complex complete with new classrooms, a water quality analysis laboratory and a workshop for back flow, cross-connection controls, and related skills-based courses. The complex sits next to a state-of-the-art field operations skills yard that opened in January, with an above-ground water distribution system and an underground wastewater collection system. The facility aims to simulate the challenges that students will face on the job in advanced water and wastewater facilities.
“With the completion of these new facilities, our Center for Water Studies is now the flagship water and wastewater technology program in the entire California Community Colleges’ system, and one of the premier programs of its kind available anywhere in the western United States,” said Don Jones, the veteran water industry professional overseeing the transition of Cuyamaca College’s Water and Wastewater Technology program into the Center for Water Studies for the past decade.
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Proposition V construction bond provided $1.2 million in funding to reconstruct the building. Funds from the college’s National Science Foundation’s “California WaterWorks: Building the People Pipeline” grant helped pay for tools and equipment to foster a learn-by-doing environment. The Field Operations Skills Yard was built through approximately $200,000 from a California Community Colleges Strong Workforce grant, more than $70,000 from the National Science Foundation grant, and approximately $130,000 in pipe fittings, valves, meters and other equipment donated by water industry manufacturers and distributors.
Producing the next generation of water professionals
The Center for Water Studies is already making a difference in a region where water industry professionals are needed to replace the more than 1,200 industry employees who are at or nearing retirement age. The Center has been reaching out to high school students in STEM fields, transitioning military, women, and other traditionally underrepresented populations to explore water and wastewater technology careers. The Center collaborates with Grossmont Union High School District science instructors and water industry experts to develop specialized lesson plans related to water and wastewater management skills.
In January 2019, the Center for Water Studies will host the second annual Women in Water: Exploring Career Pathways symposium. Recently, nine Center for Water Studies students were among 17 selected to participate in the 2018-2019 San Diego Region Water and Wastewater Internships program supported by the Water Authority, its member agencies, and community college water and wastewater technology programs.
The Center’s National Science Foundation grant, which totals almost $900,000, will cover the cost of curriculum development among the participating agencies and educators.
Water industry professionals supportive of program’s goals
The Center for Water Studies evolved through discussions with the Cuyamaca College Water and Wastewater Technology Program’s Industry Advisory Committee, which comprises water industry professionals from the Water Authority and many of its member agencies. Support from local water agencies has been strong. The Otay Water District’s Board of Directors presented Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes with a $5,000 check for the new center in August.
An official dedication ceremony for the new complex is tentatively set for January.