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OPINION: Why California Needs Energy Storage

Former Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 100 into law Sept. 10, 2018. The ambitious bill commits the state to 100% carbon free electrical energy by 2045. There are key milestones along the way: 50% renewables by 2026 and 60% renewables by 2030. California has been ramping up its renewable portfolio standard since it was established in 2002 with the goal of 20% renewable energy by 2017. Four years later, the target was adjusted to 20% by 2010 and, in 2008, the governor moved the target to 33% by 2020. In 2015, the legislature passed SB 350, setting a new target of 50% by 2030. These incremental changes have made California a world leader in renewable portfolio standard targets.

SJ Sues State Water Agency Over Drilling For Tunnel Project

San Joaquin County has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court asking the state Department of Water Resources to abide by local drilling permit requirements to protect wildlife and water quality in accordance with California law. According to the county, DWR began geotechnical well drilling in San Joaquin and Sacramento counties in June to collect data the agency says it needs for a proposed Delta tunnel project. The controversial tunnel project would carry water diverted from the Sacramento River to the existing state and federal water pumps in the south Delta for export to points south.

Appetite For California Almonds Still Growing, But Farmers Feel Squeeze From New Water Rules

The California almond has proved resilient under fire. During the late years of California’s most recent drought, from 2015 through 2016, the almond came under attack from a variety of sources, including news outlets such as Mother Jones, Forbes and the New Republic, labeling it a horticultural vampire. It was, they said, sucking California’s groundwater reserves dry, leaving behind brittle, drought-stricken trees and causing the dusty land in San Joaquin County to cave in. But the nut and the crop have not just survived, but thrived.

New Research Confirms El Niño Can Have Major Economic Impacts For California

The core findings by Thomas W. Corringham and Daniel R. Cayan from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, confirm when it comes to flood claims and damages, El Niño is a force to be reckoned with. Wading through 40 years of ocean temperatures confirmation of El Niño and La Niña events, the authors discovered flood damage claims can be ten times higher during an El Niño year. El Niño is a phenomena that occurs far from California in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. A change in wind direction can send warmer water from the Western Pacific to the usually cooler Eastern Pacific.

Proactive Partnerships Keep Pipelines In Top Shape

This summer, the Water Authority is partnering with three technology companies to test the condition of the agency’s oldest pipelines forming the First Aqueduct in Valley Center. Technology providers test their new and improved tools on Water Authority and member agency pipes. The tools are then used to assess the condition of those same pipes. This efficient strategy ensures maximum condition assessment accuracy. The strategy also allows for technology to keep up with what water agencies need and minimizes costs. Targeted repairs and maintenance activities maximize the life expectancy of some of the region’s most critical infrastructure.

Farm Bureau Says Goodbye To Longtime Executive Director

The San Diego County Farm Bureau’s longtime executive director Eric Larson retired recently after leading the Bureau for 23 years. He told the newspaper two weeks ago, “I decided 70 was a good age to exit. I will be working through the end of September. My replacement will begin July 22 giving us a good transition.” His replacement is Hannah Gbeh (pronounced bay). Gbeh is an environmental impact report preparer, organic farmer, environmental science teacher and researcher who has served for several years on the board of the San Diego County Farm Bureau.  She is also a commissioner on the County’s Fish and Wildfire Advisory Commission and serves on the Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group.

SANDAG Housing Needs Methodology Questioned By County Leaders

At the July 26 San Diego Association of Governments board of directors meeting, city and county officials voted to advance the proposed draft methodology that it must send to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for approval. If approved, it could mean tens of thousands of additional housing units built in North County in the next decade. Called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), SANDAG’s version of it calls for the building for 171,685 new housing units during the 2021-2028 time period. Yet, not only do some board members see the number as high, some said they viewed the city-by-city allocation of housing requirements as flawed.

San Diego Explained: An Earthquake Could Impact San Diego’s Water Supply

Earthquakes could have a major impact on San Diego’s water supply, even if they happen far away. That’s because San Diego’s water comes from hundreds of miles away, through threads of metal and concrete that connect us to distant rivers and reservoirs. Our biggest source of water is the Colorado River, which is diverted into Southern California from the Arizona border through a 242-mile water system that includes 92 miles of tunnels. On this week’s San Diego Explained, Voice of San Diego’s Ry Rivard and NBC 7’s Catherine Garcia lay out three worst-case scenarios that could affect San Diego’s water when an earthquake hits.

New Delta Tunnel Project Begins Taking Shape

Opponents of the twin tunnels breathed a collective sigh of relief in April when Gov. Gavin Newsom put a formal end to the California WaterFix project, but that action also called for the assessment of a single-tunnel project in the Delta. The first major step in that direction took place last week when the Department of Water Resources (DWR) initiated a series of negotiations with public water agencies that participate in the State Water Project (SWP), to amend SWP contracts to accommodate the construction and operation of a single Delta tunnel, referred to as the Delta Conveyance Project. Of the 29 state contractors, five agencies that operate north of the Delta are expected to opt out of participation in the project.

How PFAS Poses An Emerging Problem For Wastewater

The intrusion of PFAS into source water supplies has grabbed the regulatory spotlight. As more scientists and health professionals raise concerns about the compounds — technically known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — federal and state environmental agencies are under increasing pressure to impose limits for public protection. Now, it seems that municipalities have another looming headache as PFAS is finding its way into wastewater.