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OPINION: No, We Shouldn’t Pump Desert Groundwater Near Joshua Tree To Help Store Electricity

For years developers have tried to figure out how to repurpose Kaiser Steel’s former open-pit iron mine at Eagle Mountain in Riverside County. One idea: Use it as a massive landfill, a proposal that fortunately never came to fruition. The current owners of the site now want to convert it into an immense, $2.5-billion hydroelectric battery, using daytime power to pump water from a lower-elevation pit to a pit 1,400 feet farther up the mountain, then running the water downhill at night through turbines to create energy.

Aberdeen To Buy Desalination Plant For More Than $1 Billion

An affiliate of Aberdeen Standard Investments has agreed to buy the Carlsbad desalination plant in Southern California for more than $1 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter. A transaction could be announced as soon as this week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, named for a former mayor, is owned by Orion Water Partners LLC, the joint venture between Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield Infrastructure Partners affiliate Poseidon.

Water Authority Bill Aims To Boost Water Industry Jobs For Veterans

A new bill in the California Legislature would provide a path for veterans transitioning to civilian employment to receive credit for their military experience and education toward certifications in the water industry. Assembly Bill 1588 was introduced February 22 by San Diego Assemblymember Todd Gloria and Central Valley Assemblymember Adam Gray. The bill, which may be heard in committee this month, is co-sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Otay Water District in hopes of helping the state’s industry replace a wave of retiring Baby Boomers.

Thirsty Silicon Valley Water Agency Might Buy A Central Valley Farm. Why Agriculture Is Worried

Once again, a big thirsty metropolis is looking at buying Central Valley farmland with an eye toward boosting its water supplies. And once again, neighboring farmers are nervous about it. Silicon Valley’s main water agency, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, confirmed Wednesday that it’s considering buying a 5,200-acre Merced County ranch. The district would build a groundwater storage bank beneath the ranch as a buffer during drought conditions.

An 800-Acre Reservoir Could Be Coming To Stanislaus County, But What Are The Risks?

A federal bill promising $14 million in funding for water storage projects for the Central Valley and Northern California served to place more attention on a proposed reservoir in Stanislaus County. Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, got the millions included in a massive energy and water infrastructure bill in the House of Representatives. It includes $6 million for the Sites Reservoir near Colusa favored by agribusiness, $4.1 million for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program, $2.1 million for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir expansion in Contra Costa County, and $1.5 million for Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir near Patterson

Rights To Water Stored By Willamette Dams Up for Grabs; Cities, Farmers, Fish compete

Billions of gallons of water have been hidden behind the Willamette River Basin’s 13 dams since they were constructed starting in the 1930s. For 30 years, powerful interests including cities, farmers and industry have been slugging it out for access to that water, which has yet to be designated for a use. Fisheries and environmental groups also want a say in how the water is distributed from the dams, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Drone View Of Proposed Del Puerto Canyon Reservoir

The area west of Patterson Calif. along Del Puerto Canyon Road is pictured on Wednesday afternoon May 29, 2019. A proposal for an 800 acre reservoir that would include a lake in the scenic canyon in the foothills west of Patterson is underway.

Liability Law Could Burn Water Districts

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is in bankruptcy largely because of wildfire costs. Now, water districts are seeking protection against California’s fire-related liability law, believing their financial stability is at risk even if their actions and operations had nothing to do with causing a fire.

Escondido, Tribe Reach Agreement On Easement For Water Pipeline

A plan to underground about 2.5 miles of the Escondido Canal through and near the San Pasqual Indian reservation has moved forward with an agreement reached recently for Escondido to pay the tribe for an easement through its land. The 14-mile-long Escondido Canal transports water from Lake Henshaw to Lake Wohlford where it is stored for use by Escondido and Vista Irrigation District consumers. Back in 1969, a lawsuit was filed by the federal government and five local Indian tribes along the San Luis Rey River contending that Escondido and Vista had stolen the tribes’ water by construction of the canal. After nearly 50 years of litigation, a complicated settlement was finally reached a few years ago.

RMWD Considers Water And Sewer Service Rate Increases

Proposed water and sewer rate increases for Ramona Municipal Water District customers will be discussed, with possible action taken by the board of directors, at a public hearing set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, in Ramona Community Center, 434 Aqua Lane. The RMWD last reviewed and adjusted water rates in 2015 and sewer rates in 2017. Rising costs were considered by the RMWD Board of Directors May 14 when they voted 3-0, with directors Jim Hickle and Bryan Wadlington absent, to notify the public of proposed five-year rate increases. The notices to affected property owners are required to be postmarked 45 days in advance of the public hearing under Proposition 218, “The Right to Vote on Taxes Act.”