Our public health relies on wastewater management to treat sewage and remove pollutants coming from our homes and businesses. This system is fundamental to protecting our health. In California, treated wastewater also is a critical source of water for the environment, and, increasingly, a source for recycled water. Climate change is worsening water scarcity and flood risks. Advancements in engineering and technology can help prepare wastewater agencies for a changing climate. But significant shifts in policy and planning are needed to address these challenges. Wastewater agencies must reliably remove pollutants even as the quantity and quality of the water they treat declines during droughts, and when large storms push their equipment to the breaking point.
Archive for date: May 9th, 2019
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom threw some more money into the environmental pot Thursday as part of the state’s May budget revision. The new funding includes about $250 million for climate-related programs, thanks to the state’s cap-and-trade program, and $75 million to fund an assessment of wildfire protection plans. The update of his January budget proposal, required by the state constitution, reflects tax revenue collected through April 15. The record $213.5 billion spending plan includes about $4 billion in additional revenue above his January budget. The Legislature now has until June 15 to pass a budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
When it rains in California, it pours. But when it doesn’t, California’s drought years can have a devastating impact on the state. California’s water experts are looking for ways to better store water during rainy years like 2019 so the state can have it during years when the rain and snow inevitably dry up. “The reality is our system was built for a significant snowpack. It was modeled on a snowpack that probably is not as reliable and won’t be in the future,” Public Policy vice-chairman Ed Manning said. Manning is one of the leaders on water police for this year’s Capitol-to-Capitol program, pushing lawmakers for more funding and better solutions for water storage.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget leaves several Camp Fire-beleaguered agencies hanging, including a water district that has requested a $22 million state bailout while it deals with mass contamination of the Paradise drinking water. Newsom, in his announced budget Thursday, said he would provide $10 million in one-time funds to support Butte County “communities in their recovery from the unprecedented devastation of the Camp Fire.” That amount, though, is considerably less than the $30 million-plus requested by a handful of local governments who say they are struggling to maintain basic services in the wake of the November fire that destroyed most of Paradise, Concow and Magalia, and sent thousands of refugees to temporarily live in Chico, Oroville and other nearby towns.
Even as stakeholders in the Colorado River Basin celebrate the recent completion of an unprecedented drought plan intended to stave off a crashing Lake Mead, there is little time to rest. An even larger hurdle lies ahead as they prepare to hammer out the next set of rules that could vastly reshape the river’s future. Set to expire in 2026, the current guidelines for water deliveries and shortage sharing, launched in 2007 amid a multiyear drought, were designed to prevent disputes that could provoke conflict.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will be replacing the filter valve gear boxes for Module 7 of the Robert A. Skinner Water Treatment Plant. The MWD board authorized the replacement of the filter valve gear boxes April 9. The board decision also found the project to be categorically exempt from California Environmental Quality Act review although the work will include environmental documentation.
Poseidon Water might be fighting for its desalination future in Huntington Beach, but the corporation’s representatives will be in front of the California Coastal Commission for an entirely different matter on May 9: the restoration and conversion of a 90.9-acre salt pond to tidal wetlands and 34.6-acrer Otay River floodplain site in San Diego.
It’s a mistake nearly every farmer has made when something breaks down on the farm. You try to patch it up as best you can. And then you do it again. And then maybe again before you finally decide to stop throwing good money after bad and actually fix what’s wrong.
When California embarked on its quest to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as a global model to stave off climate change, its first target was the state’s electric power industry. A series of ever-tightening decrees required utilities to shift from coal, natural gas and other carbon.based sources to a “renewable portfolio,” eventually reaching 100 percent non-carbon sources by mid-century.
A pesticide that growers use on crops from apples to walnuts, in the face of evidence that it can harm the farmworkers who spray it and the children who eat foods that contain it, is about to be outlawed in California. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration said Wednesday that it would ban the agricultural use of chlorpyrifos, an action from which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency backed away on a nationwide scale once President Trump assumed office.