For years a million Californians have watched tainted, dirty water flow from their taps. These residents, overwhelmingly poor, Hispanic and living in small Central Valley towns, drive long distances to load up on bottled water for everyday basics. It’s shameful that in a state this rich, people still have to share shower water and schools have to plug up their drinking fountains. Thanks to overdue political attention, legislative horse trading and a dose of budget legerdemain, that situation is finally changing. Gov. Gavin Newsom showcased the final step with a bill signing in the aptly named hamlet of Tombstone in Fresno County.
Archive for date: July 26th, 2019
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San Diego plans to boost the city’s already thriving biotech and craft beer industries by reducing their costs for sewer and water service, which are typically high because those businesses are water-dependent. The city plans to create California’s first “capacity bank” for water and sewer, which would allow breweries and biotech firms to cheaply buy excess capacity from former factories that have transitioned to other commercial uses. A companion proposal would geographically expand and soften the qualifying requirements for the city’s “guaranteed water” program, which ensures local firms access to water during droughts or other kinds of shortages.
Escondido Water employee Joseph Lucero won an award from the California Water Environmental Association for his innovative device that improved efficiencies and safety at the City of Escondido’s Hale Avenue Resource Recovery Facility. City of Escondido Plant Maintenance Technician Joseph Lucero won third place in the “Gimmicks/Gadgets” category in the 2019 California Water Environmental Association Awards competition. His innovative safety device turns a difficult two-person job working on wastewater pumps into a safer process one person can complete alone.
When California adopted the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in 2014, it became the last Western state to regulate its groundwater. If local groundwater agencies fail to submit plans to the state by 2020, the law says state water agencies could take over management of groundwater, a resource that’s critically important to Valley agriculture. Moderator Kathleen Schock got an update on how the work is progressing locally from Gary Serrato, executive director of the North Kings Groundwater Sustainability Agency, Christina Beckstead, executive director of Madera County Farm Bureau, and David Orth with New Current Water and Land.