The Escondido City Council has decided to move forward with building a recycled water treatment plant off Washington Avenue, in the western part of the city in an industrial area where, unlike two other locations, there aren’t any residents nearby to complain. The council on Wednesday unanimously approved spending $3 million for initial engineering, design and pre-construction costs. Director of Utilities Chris McKinney said the expenditure signals the council’s acceptance of the location at 901 W. Washington Avenue near Interstate 15. The plant, which now has an estimated cost of $47 million, is needed to further treat already treated recycled water in order to desalinate it to a point where it can be used to irrigate avocado groves and other crops in the eastern and northern parts of the city.
Archive for date: April 4th, 2019
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The toxic effects of lead—developmental delays, organ damage, even death—are well-known. But millions of Americans still rely on lead pipes to deliver drinking water. In an attempt to make them safer, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are working on a new technology that uses electrical current to rapidly build a protective layer on the insides of the pipes. In early tests they reduced the amount of the toxic metal entering water, but other scientists are skeptical of the method’s potential as a long-term solution.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on March 28 threw its support behind a coordinated statewide approach to ensure that all communities in California have daily access to safe, reliable drinking water. The California State Water Resources Control Board has identified 329 water systems statewide that serve contaminated drinking water or cannot provide reliable water service due to unsound infrastructure or lack of resources. Most of the systems are in rural areas and serve fewer than 10,000 people.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on March 28 threw its support behind a coordinated statewide approach to ensure that all communities in California have daily access to safe, reliable drinking water.
The California State Water Resources Control Board has identified 329 water systems statewide that serve contaminated drinking water or cannot provide reliable water service due to unsound infrastructure or lack of resources. Most of the systems are in rural areas and serve fewer than 10,000 people.
More than a half-dozen bills have been introduced in Sacramento this legislative session to provide safe and reliable water supplies for disadvantaged communities in the Central and Salinas Valleys.
The Water Authority Board supports a plan to combine several measures into a unified legislative package.
“By amending several components of the relevant bills and linking them in a modified single reform package, we would advance a more comprehensive fix to drinking water quality issues throughout the state,” said Glenn Farrel, government relations manager for the Water Authority.
Safe Drinking Water Trust Fund
In addition, the Water Authority Board voted to support Senate Bills 414 and 669, both of which provide alternatives to water tax proposals in the Legislature that the agency helped defeat last year.
- SB 414 would establish the Small System Water Authority Act of 2019 and authorize the creation of small system water authorities that could absorb, improve and competently operate public water systems that are chronically out of compliance with drinking water standards.
- SB 669 would create the Safe Drinking Water Trust Fund to collect federal contributions, voluntary contributions, gifts, grants, bequests, transfers by the Legislature from the General Fund and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, funding from authorized general obligation bond acts, and other sources. Revenues would help community water systems in disadvantaged communities that chronically fail to meet federal and state drinking water standards and do not have the money to pay for operation and maintenance costs to comply with those standards.
A fourth legislative measure, an Administration Budget Trailer Bill: Environmental Justice – Safe and Affordable Drinking Water and Exide Cleanup, would impose a tax on water and agricultural activities to finance safe drinking water efforts. The Board voted to oppose the budget trailer bill unless it is amended, among other things, to remove water tax provisions and instead appropriate $1 billion in budget surplus funds to the Safe Drinking Water Trust Fund.
For years, the desert town of Borrego Springs has been living on borrowed time, drawing more water from the ground than its rains replace. But a reckoning is near. In March, a nearly 1,000-page draft report was released outlining how the community must and will reduce its water use by a staggering 74.6 percent between now and 2040. Borrego Springs is completely dependent on groundwater for survival because there is no economically feasible way to bring water via aqueduct or pipes to the remote area in the center of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the largest state park in California.
Construction starts this month on a $1.5 million test well to show whether desalinated groundwater could supplement the drinking water supply for 86,000 customers of the Olivenhain Municipal Water District. The district serves parts of Encinitas, Carlsbad, San Diego, San Marcos, Solana Beach and neighboring communities, and relies almost entirely on water imported from the Colorado River and Northern California. Like agencies throughout Southern California, it’s looking for ways to diversify its water supply.
In Mendocino County, emergency staffers waited for a supervisor to show up before they warned residents of a growing fire siege in 2017. In Santa Barbara County, officials hesitated to issue blanket evacuation orders before mudslides ripped through Montecito in 2018 because they worried they might trigger a panic. And in Butte County in November, whole neighborhoods in Paradise were never told to evacuate as the Camp fire swept toward town. In each case, local emergency preparedness agencies failed to adequately warn communities that death was approaching. Experts say the failures point to an approach to emergency management — administered by individual counties — that has proved outdated in an era of massive, fast-moving wildfires and other extreme weather events.
Water levels will rise on the Sacramento and Feather Rivers as federal and state authorities release more water from Keswick and Oroville Dams. Thursday morning by 10 a.m., the Bureau of Reclamation will increase releases below Keswick Dam from 20,000 cubic feet per second to 30,000 cfs. Sacramento River levels are expected to increase downstream of Keswick Dam. The increased releases are necessary to meet flood space regulatory requirements within Shasta Reservoir.
The ghost of Josh Newman haunts the state Capitol, sending shivers through certain politicians’ spines at the mere mention of the scary word “tax.” The former lawmaker’s fate will make it difficult for the Legislature — even with supermajority Democratic control — to pass one of Gavin Newsom’s top priorities: a so-called water tax. The governor says the tiny tax is needed to raise enough money to clean up toxic drinking water throughout California, particularly in low-income farmworker communities of the San Joaquin Valley.