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California Native Garden Wins Helix’s 2019 Landscape Contest

Matt and Lauren Kirkpatrick of La Mesa are this year’s winner of the Helix Water District’s ‘WaterSmart Landscape Contest,’ an annual competition recognizing outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, design, efficient irrigation and appropriate plant selection and maintenance. Compared to the thirsty turf in the Kirkpatricks’ previous landscaping, the growing, colorful and entirely native new landscaping requires much less water and creates a place of inspiration and peace for these outdoor enthusiasts. Over the two-month billing period ending this April, the home used just 13 units of water, which is almost 40 percent less than the average water use of other Helix customers. One unit is 748 gallons.

Report: Carlsbad Desalination Plant Bought For $1B

The massive desalination plant in Carlsbad that accounts for about 10 percent of the drinkable water in San Diego County is reportedly about to be sold for more than $1 billion to a subsidiary of an investment company based in Scotland, but the San Diego County Water Authority it does not expect a potential sale to affect customers in the area. Bloomberg News on Thursday quoted “people with knowledge of the matter” who said an affiliate of Aberdeen Standard Investments, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is about to buy the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant and the deal may be announced as soon.

Trenchless Technology Saves Ratepayers Time, Money, And Inconvenience

A method of replacing sewer pipe without digging or removing the old pipe – trenchless pipe repair – is saving Vallecitos Water District ratepayers money and reducing traffic delays. It’s another example of how water agencies in San Diego County are tapping cost-effective technology. The district is using the trenchless method to extend the life of its service pipelines while avoiding the disruption of excavation trenches and traffic rerouting around work areas on public streets. Instead of digging the pipeline up to replace it, the sewer line is rehabilitated from inside the pipe.

1 million Californians Use Tainted Water. Will State Pass A Clean-Water Tax?

José Hernández has two plastic barrels in his front yard, filled to the brim with water collected during the recent rains. Half a dozen buckets, a trash can and a cooking pot sit close by, nearly overflowing. It should be enough for Hernández to tend to his garden for the next few weeks  and slight relief for a water bill that sets him back $130 to $170 each month. A retired farmworker, Hernández, 64, supports his wife and two daughters primarily on a $950 monthly Social Security check.

Coming Together For The Potter Valley Project

Last week three local entities California Trout, Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission (IWPC) and Sonoma Water  announced that they will be signing a project planning agreement with the hopes of looking at pathways to relicense the Potter Valley Project. The Potter Valley Project is a hydropower project that sits in the middle of the Eel River and Russian River watershed basins and is integral in providing water to both Mendocino County and northern Sonoma County.

California Cold: Record-Breaking Chilly And Wet Weather Settles In, Along With A Hefty Snowpack

Any Californian who has simply had it with May’s gray, soggy chill had to hate the Memorial Day weekend. Rending asunder holiday plans of grilling at the park, or maybe some beach time, the final days of the month continued a statewide stretch of unseasonably cold, wet weather. On Sunday and Monday, precipitation fell and temperatures dropped, establishing daily records across the southern two-thirds of the state, from Modesto to Death Valley (0.04 inches of rain Monday).

OPINION: Changes In Climate Continue To Make Surveying Watersheds Tricky. ‘But We Can Change That’

In April 2015, I escorted then-Gov. Jerry Brown to Echo Summit, where we ceremoniously plunged a metal pole onto the dry, bare earth that typically would have been covered by snow but wasn’t that year. That spring, we were in the depths of a record-setting drought. If you’re among the many Californians who remember the photo of that survey, you’ll probably recognize me. I’m the one wearing a ball cap with “DWR” plastered on the front. Until my retirement last December, I’d been measuring snow in California for nearly 40 years.

Opinion: San Diego’s Climate Goals Require More Investment in Energy Storage

Last year, California raised the stakes in the fight against climate change, instituting a goal of reaching 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2045, with at least 60 percent of that power coming from renewable sources such as wind and solar.

And more than a year before the state did so, the city of San Diego made a pioneering commitment to achieving its own goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, as outlined in the city’s Climate Action Plan.