The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors last week approved a contract to study the viability of a new regional water conveyance system that would deliver water from the Colorado River to San Diego County and provide multiple benefits across the Southwest. The $1.9 million contract was awarded to Black & Veatch Corporation for a two-phase study. The engineering firm conducted similar studies for the Water Authority dating back to 1996 but looked at “single use” in those studies.
Archive for date: July 30th, 2019
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The impact of an earthquake will not respect borders. Much less, a quake that will be registered in the fault of the Rose Canyon. For the past five years, researchers and authorities on both sides of the border have been preparing a seismic and damage scenario for the San Diego-Tijuana region, the findings of which will be presented to the population next March. The purpose is to know what would happen if there is an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 in this fault that passes through the center of the city of San Diego and is projected to Tijuana.
The clock is ticking. Gov. Gavin Newsom has until Wednesday to decide on a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to require water suppliers who monitor a broad class of toxic “forever chemicals” to notify customers if they’re present in drinking water. “A decision will come tomorrow,” a spokesman for Newsom said Tuesday. He declined to say what it would be. The PFAS chemicals, which have been widely used in everything from firefighting foam to Teflon pans, Scotchgard products and even some dental floss, have been linked in some research to cancers, developmental problems and thyroid and liver disease. They’re known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment or in human bodies.
Considering it’s been long known that El Niño conditions often bring about flooding precipitation to California, a ripe field for study would be a thorough examination of the damage wreaked. And who knows catastrophic damage better than insurers? Their specialized knowledge prompted a pair of San Diego researchers to compare 40 years of insurance data against climate and water data to quantify the effect of El Niño on flood damage in the western United States. The findings of Tom Corringham and Daniel Cayan, both of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, confirm the connections between extreme weather events and El Niño, which is the periodic warming of equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean.
Portions of the interior western United States will be at risk for localized flash flooding and isolated severe thunderstorms this week. Just about every state west of the Great Plains and east of the Pacific coast will be at risk for thunderstorms in the pattern. However, some of the most dangerous storms may target the desert areas. As July ends and August begins, a surge of humid air from Mexico is forecast to bring a significant uptick in the amount of shower and thunderstorm activity over the deserts and mountains. The weather pattern is no stranger to the region during the summer and is considered to be routine during the North American monsoon season that extends from June to September.
Earlier this month, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) released the California Water Plan Update 2018. Update 2018 outlines state strategies and actions for managing California’s most precious resource in every region of the state. Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot highlighted the importance of the Water Plan, “Water management in California is a grand exercise in partnerships…State government and our many partners achieve more when we work together…Perhaps most importantly, Update 2018prioritizes supporting local and regional efforts to build water supply resilience across California. This approach recognizes that different regions of the state face different challenges and opportunities, yet all benefit from coordinated State support.”
Coastal wastewater treatment plants may be a nasty but necessary way to handle the effluent from our cities, but a new study by Stanford University indicates that they could also double as power plants to make them energy independent and carbon neutral. By mixing fresh water from the plants with seawater, the researchers say they have the potential to recover 18 gigawatts of electricity worldwide.
New calculations of changes in the water cycle over the United States pinpoint several areas that could become increasingly dry over the next few decades, a new study says. They also showed areas that could see more flooding.
The water cycle is the movement of water on the planet — from falling as precipitation, such as rain, ice or snow, to being absorbed in the soil or flowing into groundwater and streams and then being evaporated to start all over again.
A research paper, The role of energy storage in deep decarbonization of electricity production, by University of Michigan scientists mixes energy storage types and pricing, carbon taxes, unique power grids in Texas and California, and adds 60 gigawatts of wind and solar to to model CO2 reductions and curtailment in economic markets.
The biggest finding of the research suggests that California will much sooner gain benefit from energy storage before Texas will because of a mix of flexible and inflexible generation, and types of renewables deployed. In California, the 60 GW deployed would lower emissions 72% – while in Texas 54%. Adding the carbon taxes and energy storage would make emissions fall 90% in California, but only increase to a 57% drop in Texas.
Summer is the center of the growing season for many American crops. But as already warm summers start to heat up with climate change, what impact could this have on crops? As one example, without policy changes, two of the most important crops in the United States—corn and wheat— could see yield declines upwards of 80% in the Midwest.