Chula Vista, Calif. – On Wednesday, April 24, the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Governing Board was presented with the California Associataion of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) EPIC Award for excellence in public relations and communications. The Authority received the award earlier this month at the CAPIO Annual Conference for its strategic and comprehensive outreach campaign surrounding the 2018 five-year rate study titled “Security Our Water Future.”
Archive for date: April 25th, 2019
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A new report paints a grim future for birds that rely on the Salton Sea habitat. Audubon California-released report uses bird-monitoring data from several different sources to show just how the destruction of the Salton Sea ecological habitat has decimated the populations of both pelicans and cormorants endemic to the area. As the Salton Sea recedes, the body of water’s salinity increases, which kills off its tilapia population. Without tilapia, the birds starve.
Following a pretty dry 2017-18 season, the storms came back with a frenzy this season across the Southwest, helping to propel many places to above-average precipitation. It was a fast transition in California in November from the destructive Camp and Woolsey fires in the first half of the month to storms, flooding and mudslides by the end of the month. December had extended dry periods, and most places ended up with below-average precipitation for the month. As a stormier pattern led to frequent storms and atmospheric river events as 2019 started, the heavy precipitation events caused flooding, mudslides and heavy snow.
After pressure from the Defense Department, the Environmental Protection Agency significantly weakened a proposed standard for cleaning up groundwater pollution caused by toxic chemicals that contaminate drinking water consumed by millions of Americans and that have been commonly used at military bases. Standards released by the agency on Thursday eliminated entirely a section that would have addressed how it would respond to what it has described as “immediate threats posed by hazardous waste sites.” Those short-term responses, known as removal actions, can include excavating contaminated soil or building a security fence around a toxic area.
Spray irrigation emits water in an overlapping pattern, while drip irrigation delivers water directly to the roots of plants. How do you decide which meets the needs of your landscaping?
The case for spray irrigation
Spray irrigation can be an efficient way to irrigate large landscapes with groundcover or uniform plant materials like lawns or meadows.
Spray systems apply water in gallons per minute (GPM), so if you know the application rate of each spray head, the distance between the heads, and the pressure of your system, it is relatively easy to figure out how much water is applied every time you run your irrigation.
Low volume spray heads apply water at about one-third the rate of conventional spray heads. Newer spray irrigation heads have improved spray with heavier droplets more resistant to wind. Landscaping with grade changes using spray heads should have check valves installed to prevent water flowing out of the lower point heads.
Challenges of spray irrigation include narrow areas surrounded by hardscape, or irregular patterns. Irregular patterns are particularly challenging, because spray irrigation requires head-to-head coverage to be efficient. Odd-shaped areas may be under or over watered. High-volume spray heads that emit water at a much higher rate than soil can absorb should be replaced.
The case for drip irrigation
Drip systems apply water in gallons per hour (GPH), so they often need to run for longer periods of time than spray systems. But the actual run time must always account for precipitation rate and runoff.
Installing subsurface systems (under at least two inches of mulch) is the most efficient way to irrigate nearly every type of garden area. Since the tubing is flexible, it can accommodate a variety of irregular shaped areas or rectangular areas when laid in a grid pattern, and in rings you can easily expand as trees or shrubs grow.
Challenges of drip irrigation include application of water too quickly for your soil to absorb. This needs to be considered when dripline grids are installed. Drip irrigation operates the most efficiently at low pressure (between 15 and 30 PSI). To achieve optimal performance, pressure regulation either at the valve or at the point of connection of the dripline to the buried lateral lines must be used. It is also essential to install some type of filtering system to keep the emitters from getting clogged.
This article was inspired by the 71-page Sustainable Landscapes Program guidebook available at SustainableLandscapesSD.org. The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including free WaterSmart classes at WaterSmartSD.org.
Citing long-running efforts to secure a new Monterey Peninsula water supply and the state-imposed deadline for reducing unauthorized water usage, the county Planning Commission approved California American Water’s desalination plant north of Marina on Wednesday. By a 6-4 vote, the commission backed a use permit for the proposed 6.4 million gallon per day desal plant. The plant is designed to provide about 40 percent of the Peninsula’s planned new water supply to offset the state’s Carmel River pumping cutback order set to take full effect at the end of 2021, as well as reduce pumping from the Seaside basin. The commission’s approval can be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.
Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility has won a statewide award. It was named the California Water Environment Association’s 2019 “Small Plant of the Year” at the association’s annual conference on April 12. “OMWD is gratified to have CWEA confirm what we’ve known for years, our 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility is second to none,” said Christy Guerin, the district’s director. “The facility produces over a million gallons of recycled water each day through advance treatment processes. Almost every drop of wastewater is reclaimed and converted into a drought-resilient, sustainable water supply.”
A former Public Utilities Department leader is accusing the city of San Diego of illegally diverting $1 million in water and wastewater funds to other city services and firing her for refusing to conceal the activity, according to a claim she filed with the city on Monday. Susan LaNier, a former deputy director and internal auditor for the utilities department, was one of five utility leaders the city fired in February, following public outcry over billing errors and accusations of mismanagement within the department.