Even as seven Western states that rely on the Colorado River for water hammer out final agreements to protect reservoirs on the river, the two lakes are less than half full. Jennifer Pitt, who works on Colorado River policy for the National Audubon Society, told the Grand Canyon News that without changes to how Lake Mead and Lake Powell are managed,levels could fall below the point where no more water can be released. “If that happened, that would be a catastrophe for this region’s economy,” Pitt said, “For all of the people who depend on the Colorado River and for all of the wildlife that depends on it as well.”
Archive for date: October 22nd, 2018
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For Don Barton, a fourth-generation walnut farmer and the president of the Gold River Orchards, water is everything. That’s why a President Trump-signed memo last week promoting water delivery has Barton and other farmers across San Joaquin County hoping it may stop the so-called “water grab.” “We view this as clearly a positive, the President has intervened directly on an issue that has really been a big road block for California farmers for a number of years now,” he said.
Urban water systems in California and elsewhere face a time of reckoning, warns Richard Luthy, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. Groundwater aquifers are being depleted and rivers are drying up, even as demand for water keeps climbing. Yet cities can no longer meet society’s thirst by importing more water from far away. Luthy, however, is optimistic. As director of the National Science Foundation’s ReNUWIt effort—short for Re-Inventing the Nation’s Urban Water Infrastructure—he helps to develop alternative sources through wastewater recycling, stormwater capture and desalination.
Environmental justice advocates are calling on Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office to spend more money fighting climate change in low-income neighborhoods. According to a report released by the San Diego-based Environmental Health Coalition on Monday, the city has spent little on implementing its 2015 Climate Action Plan and failed to track how much of that funding has gone to disadvantaged communities.
Inside a greenhouse off Champagne Boulevard north of Escondido, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes are being grown in an aquaponic research facility designed to teach others about sustainable farming. The ultimate goal of the center is far loftier: to save the world. The small greenhouse, dubbed the Auqaponics Innovation Center, contains a sophisticated system that uses fish, water and numerous filtration systems. It’s run by Ecolife Conservation, a nonprofit headquartered in Escondido, whose director is Bill Toone, a conservation biologist by training.
When you think about Los Angeles water, what usually comes to mind? The shady history of how the complex system came to be? Or maybe it’s the recent headlines about how certain districts in charge of providing water to local communities have been falling short. Regardless, one thing to note is that L.A.’s water system is big and convoluted and we’re going to attempt to scratch the surface. A KPCC/LAist listener asked: Why does the tap water have such high levels of calcium? Is the water like this in all of Los Angeles County? Let’s dig in.
If it hadn’t been for the salt in the soils beneath his farm near Hotchkiss, Colorado, Tom Kay likely would not have been able to fully irrigate his corn field this past summer. Because he has salty soils, Kay was able to get government assistance to replace an old flood irrigation system with a center-pivot sprinkler system several years ago. Sprinklers place water more precisely where the crop needs it, so less water soaks below the root zone or runs off the fields. That means less salt from the soil gets carried into the Gunnison River and, subsequently, the Colorado River. Salty irrigation water causes crop losses downstream, which is why government money is available to do things like help Kay buy sprinklers.