Sunday is the end of the 2018-19 rainfall season in California, and you may have heard that the season’s precipitation totals were extraordinary. The figures show that the season was good — above normal — but not in the top 20% of wettest seasons. With the exception of a brief, early-June heat wave, Southern California has been relatively cool and moist with a thick marine layer through most of the month. The heat wave was more pronounced in Northern California, where the Bay Area experienced record heat, and those records will lift the state to warmer-than-average status for June 2019.
Archive for month: June, 2019
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Success has hardly gone to the heads of the San Diego rock band Switchfoot, as they showed Saturday at their 15th annual Bro-Am surf and music festival at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The musicians mingled with youngsters flown in from across the country by the nonprofit Challenged Athletes Foundation, and with guests and lifelong friends, including professional surfer Rob Machado, a co-sponsor of the event. “It’s the best day of the year,” said Chad Butler, the band’s drummer. “We grew up here. Music and surfing kept us out of trouble. We wanted to give something back to the community that we love.”
A Coastal Commission hearing on whether California American Water and others can appeal the Marina city denial of a key permit for the proposed desalination project is set for July 11 in San Luis Obispo. Cal Am, two members of the Coastal Commission and two local appellants are challenging the Marina city Planning Commission’s March 7 denial of a coastal development permit for the $329 million desal project, including seven slant source water wells and associated infrastructure proposed for the CEMEX sand mining plant, and segments of a source water pipeline to the desal plant and transmission main pipeline from the desal plant located inside both the city’s jurisdiction and the Coastal Zone under the Coastal Commission’s jurisdiction.
The 2018-19 California water year will close with some good and some great news. June 30, 2019, marks the end of the California water year, which began July 1, 2018. The water year got off to a slow start, but then ramped up around January and February throughout California. In particular, the Sierra Nevada mountains saw a big increase in snow during February. The snowpack is an important part of the California water cycle, serving as our above ground savings account for water. During the warmer months, this snow melts providing water downstream to the rest of the state.
The San Diego County Water Authority officially celebrated it 75th year at a board meeting Thursday, while also approving a record $1.7 billion, two-year budget. On June 9, 1944, San Diego voters approved the Water Authority’s formation. Three years later, water from the Colorado River began arriving to support the growing post-war population of San Diego. “It is a pleasure to celebrate the San Diego County Water Authority’s 75th anniversary. We share a common history and a common vision for water-supply reliability that has been essential to the economic vitality and prosperity to all San Diegans.
In a recent ruling, Superior Court Judge John S. Meyer awarded an injunction against the City of San Diego after the City Council, last year, voted to exclude non-union contractors from bidding on the Pure Water project. In his ruling, Judge John S. Meyer, rightfully stated that the City’s action “is puzzling because it appears to be an attempt to amend or repeal SDMC 11.4401 (Prop A), et seq., which is precluded under the Ordinance. ‘This Ordinance shall not be amended or repealed except by a majority vote of the voters of the City of San Diego.”
In 2012, former California governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Human Right to Water Act, recognizing that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water.” At least 1 million Californians are still waiting to exercise that right, according to Brown’s successor, Governor Gavin Newsom, who has called the state’s water crisis a “moral disgrace and a medical emergency.”
The Lower Colorado River Basin does not avoid a shortage in 2020 despite the plentiful snowpack on the Rocky Mountains this past winter. Why? Well, the new Drought Contingency Plan defines different “tiers” of shortage. The Lower Basin will not drop into a Tier One shortage next year because Lake Mead will almost certainly remain above 1,075 feet in elevation. At the same time, Mead will likely remain under 1,090 feet. That triggers a Tier Zero shortage.
Some San Diego beaches are among the cleanest in the state, according to a water quality report card by a Southern California environmental group. Each year, Heal the Bay releases its Honor Roll and notorious “Beach Bummers” list ranking the bacteria levels found in water at beaches throughout the state. San Diego County had the most beaches on the honor roll with 12 this year — more than Orange County’s 10 and Los Angeles’ two.
The San Diego County Water Authority has hired the executive search firm William Avery & Associates to manage the recruitment and selection of the agency’s next general manager. The Los Gatos-based Avery & Associates has decades of experience recruiting candidates for public and private sector positions. After a competitive selection process, a work group of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors chose the firm to fill the position vacated in March by the retirement of longtime Water Authority General Manager Maureen Stapleton.