EL CENTRO, Calif. – A growing number of Imperial Valley residents said the area is in serious danger, threatened by a possible change in how water rights are implemented locally, giving just a few people the power to do with water as they please. Alex Cardenas, IID Director Division 1, said, “If they were able to sell water or transfer water out of here it would be absolutely devastating to our economy.”
Archive for date: April 26th, 2019
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The San Diego County Water Authority is hosting a social media photo contest during Water Awareness Month in May to celebrate how safe and reliable water supplies fuel the region’s local farms and food production. The “San Diego Grown Photo Contest” on Instagram and Twitter highlights the significance of agriculture to the regional economy. As one of the nation’s top producers of avocados, ornamental trees and shrubs, flowers, succulents, lemons, and other agricultural products, San Diego County’s farms generate nearly $4.8 billion in total annual economic activity on some 250,000 acres.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday joined a multistate comment letter objecting to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Army Corps) directive to weaken states’ oversight of projects impacting water quality. The Army Corps’ directive would drastically shorten timeframes for state water quality certifications under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). This abbreviated timeframe would prevent states from adequately assessing the water quality impacts of proposed federal projects to ensure states’ water resources are protected.
In 2016 the Colorado health department announced the presence of cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water in Fountain, Colo., just outside Colorado Springs. Tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered that nearby military bases had been leaching toxic chemicals, including substances known as PFASs, into drinking water for decades, potentially contributing to higher-than-normal rates of cancer. The Department of Defense has since admitted their responsibility for at least 55 drinking-water site contaminations worldwide, and the EPA has announced new plans to set drinking-water limits for PFASs by the end of the year.
The unusual event prompted U.S. Geological Survey researcher Emily Montgomery-Brown and her colleagues to look back through 33 years of seismic and water records for the region. They found that rates of shallow seismicity were about 37 times higher during very wet periods versus dry periods. Although scientists have linked earthquakes to heavy rainfall or heavy runoff before this, the evidence connecting the two has been relatively weak or ambiguous, says Montgomery-Brown. In the Long Valley Caldera case, she says, “we’re seeing phenomenal correlation between the seismicity and the stream discharge, and we are seeing about 37 times the number of earthquakes during the wet season as during the dry season.”