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Bill To Help Eagle Mountain Hydroelectric Storage Project Outside Joshua Tree Derailed

Despite the efforts of a handful of Riverside County lawmakers, a controversial bill that would pave the way for a massive hydroelectric energy storage project on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park has been shelved for now, leaving the Eagle Mountain project still without a clear path forward.  The project would use abandoned iron mining pits to store billions of gallons of groundwater, pumped from the Chuckwalla Valley aquifer. Once operational, the facility would use abundant daytime solar power to pump water from a lower retention area to a higher elevation.

OPINION: Enjoy Our Agricultural Bounty

The northern San Diego County region plays a big part in making California the nation’s leading agricultural state. Locally grown crops that include avocados, citrus, strawberries, grapes and cut flowers have put San Diego in the top tier of the nation’s agricultural counties. According to the San Diego County Farm Bureau, San Diego is the 10th largest farm economy out of more than 3,000 counties nationwide.

Naturalists Say Changing Water Levels At Lake Hodges Are Disrupting Nesting

A coalition of wildlife and conservation groups has contacted the City of San Diego with concerns about sudden changes in water levels at Lake Hodges that are destroying spring nesting sites for Western and Clark’s grebes. Lake Hodges is a city-owned water storage facility that has become a prime nesting location for the large aquatic birds. Spring nesting season attracts birders from all over to monitor and observe the courting, nesting and rearing of chicks. Grebes build their nests on partially submerged sticks and branches at water level. Brian Caldwell is a resident of Del Dios, a neighborhood adjacent to the lake and operator of Lake Hodges Photo Tours.

Feds Dodge Claims Of Violating California Water Law

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Friday successfully dodged claims its management of a California dam violates state law and threatens the survival of endangered steelhead trout, but the legal battle is far from over. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen rejected a move by conservationists to add the United States as a “necessary party” to a state court action involving disputed rights to water from the Twitchell Dam and Reservoir in San Luis Obispo County.

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).