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IID Board Hears Plans To Pipe QSA Water Directly To San Diego

After false starts and real stops, the San Diego County Water Authority is once again trying to make inroads into taking their QSA transferred water directly from the Imperial Valley, bypassing its current deliverer, the Metropolitan Water District. Dan Denham, assistant general manager of the SDCWA, proposed several pipeline scenarios for QSA-conserved water at the meeting of the Imperial Irrigation District Tuesday, June 18. Denham proposed several pipeline routes, two southern and one northern from various points in the Valley to San Diego County.

DWR Gives $10 Million Grant To Monterey Peninsula Desalination Project

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced they will provide a $10 million grant to public utility, California American Water. The grant money is destined to help build the seawater desalination component of the Peninsula Water Supply Project. “We are extremely grateful to DWR for supporting our project,” said California American Water president Rich Svindland. The Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project is a $329 million project featuring a portfolio of water supply components to address the area’s water needs. Since 2005, DWR has completed three rounds of funding using Proposition 50 funds.

Make Room For More June Gloom

Summer heat is coming. Eventually. But for the next few days, cool, cloudy and perhaps drippy weather is in store for much of San Diego County. June gloom will get gloomier.
A trough of low pressure moving over the West Coast is expected to beef up the marine layer Thursday through Saturday. The coast should see little or no clearing on Friday, and light rain or drizzle is possible during the morning from the beaches to the mountains. Strong winds are expected in the mountains and desert, where gusts could reach 50 mph this afternoon and Friday afternoon. Blowing dust could reduce visibility in the desert.

OPINION: Broad Opposition To Trump Tariffs — From Almond Growers To Toilet Makers — Is No Surprise

President Donald Trump’s depiction of U.S. tariffs as a painless way to help U.S. exports get fair treatment has never jibed with reality. Now California’s almond farmers, who provide 80% of the world’s supply, are taking another hit as a result. India — the world’s leading importer of almonds — has imposed a retaliatory tariff of 70% on U.S. almonds and other U.S. imports. China — another major importer of almonds — imposed a 50% tariff on U.S. almonds last July.

Sweetwater Authority Approves $46 Million Budget For Next Fiscal Year

The Sweetwater Authority anticipates that it will buy less imported water and supply customers with more from its own water supply in the upcoming fiscal year than in 2018-19, thanks primarily to above-average rainfall. The South Bay water agency estimates that the amount it will spend to purchase water will drop from $15.2 million in 2018-19 to $10 million in the fiscal year that begins in July. The projected decrease is reflected in the $46 million operating budget adopted by the governing board last week. Among notable increases in expenses in the 2019-20 spending plan, the Sweetwater Authority expects an 11 percent increase in employer pension contributions and an 8 percent increase in health insurance costs.

Becerra On Trump Administration’s New Rule For Coal-Fired Power Plants: They’re ‘Backsliding’

The Trump administration has rolled back a landmark Obama-era rule that sought to wean the nation’s electrical grid off coal-fired power plants and their climate-damaging pollution. Its replacement gives individual states wide discretion to decide whether to require limited efficiency upgrades at individual coal-fired power plants. Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler calls it a sign that “fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the mix” in the U.S. energy supply.

Insects Plague Rancho Santa Fe’s Eucalyptus Trees

With the spring and onset of summer comes the return of the lerp psyllid insect to Rancho Santa Fe’s trees, an insect that eats up red gum eucalyptus foliage and leaves behind a big mess. The weather being cold and rainy for the last two winters has helped—the lerp psyllid population dies down in the cold months and that, in combination with the abundant rain, has reduced the overall stress on the trees, they are able to sustain themselves a bit better, said Caitlin Kreutz, RSF Association Parks and Recreation assistant manager. But with the return of warmer weather, the lerps are back.

Newsom Catches Heat For Using Climate Funds On Drinking Water Plan

California lawmakers are poised to fund the cleanup of dirty drinking water in the state’s poorest communities — a problem most everyone agrees needs to be addressed. Not everyone, however, agrees on where the money should come from to pay for it.The issue? The Legislature wants to use revenue from California’s  cap-and-trade climate change program, which was created to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by making companies pay for the right to emit them.

Groundwater Pumping Has Significantly Reduced US Stream Flows

Groundwater pumping in the last century has contributed as much as 50 percent to stream flow declines in some U.S. rivers, according to new research led by a University of Arizona hydrologist. The new study has important implications for managing U.S. water resources. Laws regulating the use of groundwater and surface waters differ from state to state. Some Western states, Arizona among them, manage groundwater and surface water separately.

OPINION: California Wildfires Threaten Water Supply. Here’s How

The fire was started by a car on the side of the freeway–a fluke which gave the fire its name, the Freeway Complex Fire.Ten years later, while firefighters and communities are gearing up for another wildfire season, California’s lawmakers are grappling with tough questions over how to assign financial responsibility for wildfire damages. The Freeway Complex Fire holds important lessons for all. Among the many victims of the fire was a public drinking water supplier that serves about 80,000 residents in Orange County, the Yorba Linda Water District, where I work as general manager. Of the hundreds of structures damaged by the Freeway Complex Fire, one was the water district’s facilities needed to pump water through portions of the system.