The reality of climate change is properly framed in potentially apocalyptic terms. Without cleaner energy, the atmosphere will keep heating, and extreme weather will be more common, disruptive and deadly. Hence the need for an “all of the above” clean-energy strategy. Yet too many environmentalists oppose hydropower and nuclear power. These energy sources have their downsides — the impact on aquatic life and nuclear waste storage among them — but if climate change is an existential threat, opposing their use doesn’t make any sense.
Archive for date: June 4th, 2019
You are now in Home Headline Media Coverage San Diego County category.
A coalition of environmental groups has sent an urgent request to the San Diego County Water Authority asking for an emergency directive to halt pumping of water from Lake Hodges which has left grebe nests with eggs “high and dry” for the third time this season. The lake is in the city of San Diego, which has advised ECM today that it is taking steps to address the problem. Grebes are famed for “dancing” across the water during mating system, drawing visitors for the spectacle. (View video of dancing grebes and a new video titled “Save the Grebe Chicks of Lake Hodges.”)
Water is a basic necessity of life, but over one million Californians lack access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water, says Gov. Gavin Newsom. Six million Californians receive their water from operators who have been fined for violating the state’s clean water laws in recent years, according to a 2018 investigation by McClatchy. “In many communities, people drink, shower, cook and wash dishes with water containing excessive amounts of pollutants, including arsenic, nitrates and uranium,” according to a Sacramento Bee story by Dale Kasler, Phillip Reese and Ryan Sabalow. Many of those affected by the lack of safe water live in poorer and more rural areas, and a big portion of those communities are here in the Central Valley.
Since 2003, Imperial Irrigation District has conserved almost 4.8 million acre feet of water, mostly through water transfers and agreements. A 1988 agreement between IID and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California near Los Angles has amounted to 1.56 million of that amount since 2003 at the Imperial Dam.
For California bills and their sponsors, Friday was pass-or-die time in the Legislature. It’s an annual rite of spring: If on a certain date proposed bills don’t pass out of their house of origin, be it the Assembly or the Senate, they die for the year. This year, the Legislature considered a slate of new environmental policies. A bill that prohibits California from authorizing new oil and gas infrastructure on state public lands, AB 342, moved on to the Senate. A bill that would require smog checks for semitrucks, SB 210, moved on to the Assembly.
One of the perks of working in trenchless technology is the ability to get outside and get your hands dirty while safeguarding our community’s infrastructure. That holds doubly true when working in sunny southern California in November. Over the course of 23 days, San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) worked with PICA USA to inspect six miles of steel pipeline and ensure its underground assets can be operated safely for years to come. The SDCWA owns and operates more than 310 miles of pipeline serving the San Diego region, conveying water to 24 member agencies. The WA’s pipeline network ranges in size from 39 in. to 120 in. and is comprised of a variety of materials, including PCCP, steel, RCCP and others.
About 1,000 people arrive in Texas every day. The state’s population is expected to double by 2050 to more than 50 million people, according to the Associated Press. With drought a continual threat, water is a big worry in the Lone Star State. “The state is growing so fast that we’re constantly playing catch-up when it comes to building resilient water supplies,” Robert Mace, executive director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, told AP. “The question is: When the bad times come will there be enough water for everybody?”
When the first white settlers arrived in California’s remote eastern Owens Valley, the name given to its indigenous tribes was Paiute, or “land of flowing water” in the local language. But for more than a century, the water in the valley has flowed in just one direction: toward Los Angeles, nearly 300 miles (480 km) away. In the early 1900s, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) quietly bought up broad swathes of ranchland and its associated water rights in the once-lush valley, fringed by snow-capped peaks.
This bipolar weather will have profound implications for the state’s $50 billion agriculture industry and the elaborate network of reservoirs, canals, and aqueducts that store and distribute water. A system built for irrigation and flood protection must adapt to accommodate more conservation. “The effects of climate change are necessitating wholesale changes in how water is managed in California,” the state Department of Water Resources wrote in a June, 2018 white paper.During droughts, farmers and municipalities pumped groundwater to augment sparse surface supplies. After nearly a century of heavy use, many aquifers are badly depleted.
Testimony at a recent Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on solutions to climate change focused on what farmers and ranchers are already doing to lighten their impact on the environment and improve sustainability. They also stressed that solutions must be economically feasible, and that these are difficult times for producers to invest in new conservation practices. But Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and former U.S. secretary of agriculture, took the conversation to another level, pointing out the opportunities that lie in sustainable practices.