As the price of imported water continues to rise, and technological advances for seawater desalination improve efficiencies, California’s time to turn ocean water into drinking water has come. Orange County is poised to integrate purified ocean water into its drinking water portfolio, just as San Diego has successfully done by producing 35 billion gallons of drinking water from the Pacific Ocean in just three short years. The ocean is the world’s largest reservoir; it’s always full and sits on our front doorstep. At the cost of a half-penny per gallon, seawater desalination is cost-competitive with the development of other new water supplies.
Archive for date: September 25th, 2018
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In California, it is a persistent challenge making water supply and water demand match up. A report being released Wednesday outlines how much water California’s coastal wastewater treatment plants dump into the ocean, and how much of that could be saved through better water management. James Hawkins is a water policy researcher at the Santa Barbara-based Heal the Ocean. The nonprofit is focused on reducing ocean pollution, and undertook a multi-year study of the state’s recycling potential. They did so by compiling an inventory of wastewater discharges into coastal waters, wastewater coming from urban cities along the coast.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and some state representatives in the Bay Area are calling for voluntary settlement agreements, rather than a State Water Board proposal, to bolster the salmon population in tributaries of the San Joaquin River. In a letter Friday to water board chairwoman Felicia Marcus, Feinstein said a voluntary settlement will achieve more in restoring fish in the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers.
Sites Reservoir, the largest new water storage proposal in California, recently won a commitment of $816 million in state funds to help with construction. It promises to deliver enough water every year, on average, to serve 1 million homes. But regulatory realities looming in the background may mean the project has substantially less water at its disposal. The project would inundate an oak-studded valley 8 miles west of Maxwell, a town on Interstate-5 about a 90-minute drive north of Sacramento. For a total construction cost of $5.1 billion, the shallow Sites Reservoir could store 1.8million acre-feet of water.
A Delta farming island crucial to sandhill cranes is so mismanaged that the levees may break, a lawsuit alleges. Ironically, the allegedly bad manager is The Nature Conservancy. A suit by the Wetlands Preservation Foundation seeks to stop TNC’s allegedly bad, even dangerous, farming practices to avert a potential catastrophe on Staten Island in San Joaquin County. “TNC has failed to live up to its proud environmental tradition,” says the suit, filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court. The Nature Conservancy counters that the suit is baseless. The nonprofit is proud of its work on Staten, which is helping cranes rebound, a spokesman said.