Archive for date: July 3rd, 2019
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A soon-to-be-created citizens advisory committee will provide the Sweetwater Authority governing board with input on issues related to the operations of the South Bay water agency. The goal is for the seven-member governing board to be in a position to “make better, more informed and well-rounded decisions” by allowing ratepayers to be involved in the decision-making, said Steve Castaneda, chair of the board. “It’s something that I think will enhance the process and hopefully make us more responsive to the needs of the folks we serve,” Castaneda said. The board last week instructed staff to draft a policy to govern the composition and work of the committee.
Dave Patterson’s letter to the editor in the June 6, 2019, issue of the Ramona Sentinelopens with the claim that “there is something in the water at the (RMWD) ….” Two articles written by Julie Gallant in the same issue provide evidence that “something” is a lack of candor. At the RMWD board meeting on May 14, 2019, Director Tom Ace asked if the $240,000 annual increase in San Vicente Sewer Service Area recycled water revenue was taken into account since the Bartle Wells Associates study originally recommended a 3 percent annual increase in the San Vicente sewer rate. The response was that the annual rate increase had been reduced to 1.5 percent (about $50,000).
The U.S. Forest Service estimates 147 million trees in California died following the state’s prolonged drought. New research out of UC Merced suggests a culprit: Extremely dry soil.
Not all California droughts have led to massive forest die-offs. The difference this time, according to an article published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, was the drought’s intense heat and longevity.
Three years ago, presidential candidate Donald Trump got right to the heart of Central Valley agriculture’s fight over its most precious resource. “We’re going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane,” Trump told a campaign audience at Selland Arena in May 2016. “It is so ridiculous where they’re taking the water and shoving it out to sea.”
Trump said the seemingly endless grind among agricultural, urban, and environmental interests over water resources would be simple to fix.
Weather conditions that make this a landmark year, like more rain, could be part of the reason for the algae blooms in Horseshoe Lake, putting the upper Bidwell Park lake off limits for use for the foreseeable future.
Swimming in the lake, for humans or dogs, is warned against, and new city signs say exposure to the algae can kill animals. Those who fish need to take special steps in preparing their catch.
Based on two weeks of research into the probable future of water supplies in the American West, it’s pretty clear that no water expert or journalist truly believes Colorado is likely to become a lifeless, waterless desert, within the lifetime of anyone currently alive.
California’s political leaders have made the long-overdue decision to clean up the Central Valley’s contaminated drinking water, and help cash-strapped rural water districts.
The catch: rather than assess a fee on water users or tapping into the state’s budget surplus, Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Legislature relied on cap-and-trade money to pay for a portion of the operation.