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Vallecitos Water District contest winners are honored at the July board L to R: Sierra Whiteside, Zofia Dowd. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County Students Inspire Water Conservation Through Art

Three talented fourth grade students in north San Diego County will have their winning drawings featured in the 2020 “Be Water Smart” calendar produced by the Vallecitos Water District. The students were honored by the District’s Board of Directors at its July meeting.

To develop and promote water conservation awareness from an early age, the District holds a calendar contest available to all fourth graders in its service area. The top three drawings go on to represent the District in the regional North County Water Agency calendar for the following year.

Water conservation art features nature themes

Sierra Whiteside is the first place winner and "Viewer's Choice winner in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Sierra Whiteside is the first place winner and “Viewer’s Choice” winner in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Sierra Whiteside from Carrillo Elementary School won first place and also the “Viewer’s Choice” award through a public vote on the District’s social media channels. She wins a froYo party compliments of Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt. Sierra says she will save water by “making an invention that gives you only the water you need.”

Sofia Dowd won second place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Zofia Dowd won second place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Zofia Dowd from Double Peak School received second place for her artwork featuring a whale. Zofia says she will save water by “taking short showers, not running water, taking buckets to fill up water in the rain, and will only use water when needed.”

Lia Van Der Jagt won third place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Lia VanferJagt won third place in the Vallecitos Water District calendar art contest. Photo: Courtesy Vallecitos Water District

Lia VanderJagt, also a student at Double Peak School won third place for her artwork depicting the earth. Lia says she will save water by “doing my best to use less of it and value it more.” She will take shorter showers and only fill her cup to what she can drink.

Skylar Groke from Carrillo Elementary School is the honorable mention winner. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Honorable mention went to Skylar Groke from Carrillo Elementary School for his rainbow artwork.

All winners received Amazon gift cards.

The Vallecitos Water District extends its sincere appreciation to Menchie’s and all of the students who participated in this year’s contest. The contest is held annually with a submission deadline of April 10. Click here for contest rules and entry form. For questions or to receive a free calendar, contact the District’s Public Information Department through email or at (760) 744-0460.

READ MORE: Poster Contest Winners Illustrate ‘Water Is Life’



With Water Supply Dwindling, Water District Plans Advanced Purification Project

Like many communities throughout California, Carpinteria faces sustained and historic drought conditions. By 2030, the Carpinteria Valley Water District estimates that dry years will come with a water deficit that could be as high as 1,550 acre feet—approximately 505 million gallons of water—enough to fill 775 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or serve the average daily use of 6,200 local households.

In response to the shortfall, CVWD proposes a $25 million project to take wastewater that has been cleaned, purify it and then inject it into the groundwater basin to be used for various needs, including potable drinking water.

Central Basin Is Now Charging Even Noncustomers In Southeast LA County

A regional water district on Wednesday approved the equivalent of a $2 annual fee on every household in the southeast area of Los Angeles County — including areas that don’t buy its water.

Kevin Hunt, general manager for Central Basin Municipal Water District, said his agency needs the $600,000-plus the fee will raise to balance its $10 million budget. The water wholesaler has significant money problems because of decreasing water sales.

Central Basin has long been under fire for “poor leadership, violating state law and spending money inappropriately.” as reported in a 2015 state audit.

Judge Orders Westlands To Stop Work On Shasta Dam Raise

A judge has ordered a Fresno-based water district to stop working on plans to raise the height of Shasta Dam.

The Westlands Water District, which provides irrigation water to farmers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, was working on a report assessing the environmental impacts of raising the height of the dam.

But a judge ruled that Westlands’ work violated a state law that prohibited local and state agencies from participating in any projects that would have an adverse impact on the McCloud River.

$50 Billion Worth Of Bay Area Homes At Risk Of Rising Seas By 2050, Says Report

ens of thousands of Bay Area homes worth about $50 billion are at grave risk of chronic coastal flooding by 2050, according to a new analysis by Zillow and Climate Central.

By 2100, the crisis deepens. As the ice caps continue to melt in the wake of global warming, experts project that 81,152 Bay Area homes with a current value of more than $96 billion, may be swamped. If greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked and seas continue to rise as expected, a wide swath of Bay Area real estate will be endangered. Coveted beach houses may well turn into disasters.

Alaska’s Sweltering Summer Is ‘Basically Off The Charts’

Steve Perrins didn’t see the lightning, but he couldn’t miss the smoke that followed.

It was around dinnertime on July 23 at Alaska’s oldest hunting lodge, nestled in the wilderness more than 100 miles northwest of Anchorage. What began as a quiet evening at the Rainy Pass Lodge soon turned frantic as Alaska’s latest wildfire spread fast.

The Alaska National Guard soon evacuated 26 people and two dogs by helicopter from the lodge, which serves as a checkpoint for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

California Farmers Are Planting Solar Panels As Water Supplies Dry Up

Jon Reiter banked the four-seat Cessna aircraft hard to the right, angling to get a better look at the solar panels glinting in the afternoon sun far below. The silvery panels looked like an interloper amid a patchwork landscape of lush almond groves, barren brown dirt and saltbush scrub, framed by the blue-green strip of the California Aqueduct bringing water from the north. Reiter, a renewable energy developer and farmer, built these solar panels and is working to add a lot more to the San Joaquin Valley landscape.

Is That Smell The Salton Sea? Humid Weather Fostering Stinky Air Around Palm Springs

There’s an unmistakable smell in the air. One that creeps into the Coachella Valley during the hot, sticky days of summer.

The sulfuric odor typically shows up when the mercury and humidity are high, and levels of hydrogen sulfide spike in the Salton Sea.

A South Coast Air Quality Management District spokeswoman on Wednesday said the agency hadn’t received any reports of smelly air, and in fact, air quality across Southern California — including Riverside County — was “moderate.” The district, located in Diamond Bar, issues alerts when air pollutants are at levels that could be harmful to humans.

California 1st State To Require Notification Of Toxic ‘Forever’ Chemicals in Water

California on Wednesday became 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. That could include sites from Los Angeles International Airport to military bases across the desert to refineries and other industry in low income neighborhoods.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 756, authored by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, late Wednesday with no fanfare.

Scientists Cook Up New Recipes For Taking Salt Out Of Seawater

As populations boom and chronic droughts persist, coastal cities like Carlsbad in Southern California have increasingly turned to ocean desalination to supplement a dwindling fresh water supply. Now scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) investigating how to make desalination less expensive have hit on promising design rules for making so-called “thermally responsive” ionic liquids to separate water from salt. Ionic liquids are a liquid salt that binds to water, making them useful in forward osmosis to separate contaminants from water.