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Solana Beach Bans Distribution Of Single-Use Plastic Bottles At City Events

Solana Beach, long a San Diego County leader in environmental stewardship, took another swing at pollution this week by expanding its prohibition on single-use plastics to include water and beverage bottles at city facilities and events. The ordinance approved unanimously Wednesday by the City Council also bans the sale or distribution of single-use straws, utensils such as forks and spoons, stirrers, cocktail sticks and toothpicks made of plastic at any store in the city. Single-use food service ware, such as egg cartons and meat trays made from polystyrene foam, will also be off-limits.

Vallecitos Water District Urges Water Restrictions During Pipeline Repair

The Vallecitos Water District is asking its customers to adopt water restrictions next month, when a major water distribution line will be out of service during repairs. “As a result of the shutdown, the water supplied to the District may be limited,” the district stated. The shutdown is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 9, and will run for about 10 days, but those dates may be adjusted according to the severity of the leak, or hot weather conditions. During that period, the district is asking customers to adopt voluntary restrictions. It also advises them to deep-soak their groves and landscaping by or before Sunday, Sept. 8, in preparation for the shutdown.

New Tool Allows For Faster Water Quality Tests

San Diego County’s Department of Environmental Health announced improvements to its water quality testing program Thursday, just ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend. A new testing tool allows officials to speed up the process of testing water samples for potentially dangerous levels of bacteria. Before implementing the new method at the beginning of the summer, it took up to 96 hours to process test results and alert beachgoers about bacteria levels. Now, the officials have results back within 24 hours. “That gives us the ability to get the information out to the public faster and let people know where it’s safe to swim,” said Lars Seifert, Land and Water Quality Division Chief for the County’s Department of Environmental Health.

State Of California Proposes Plan For Delta Levees

Last week, the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) held a public hearing to review proposed changes to how spending decisions on the maintenance of Delta levees are made, and the plan — known as the Delta Levee Investment Strategy (DLIS) — has drawn criticism from several sources. Among the criticisms leveled at the DLIS is a concern that Delta towns, including Discovery Bay and Rio Vista, were ranked second among the three risk classifications, and heritage towns like Courtland, Hood, Walnut Grove and Locke received the lowest risk classification. Meanwhile, it’s asserted by critics like Deirdre Des Jardins, principal with California Water Research, that islands and tracts related to the export of Delta water via the State Water Project received the highest prioritization.

Mexico Facing ‘Water Zero’

Mexico is one of a growing list of countries deemed most at risk of hitting “Day Zero” when they no longer have enough water to meet citizen needs, according to a new report by global research organization, World Resources Institute (WRI). The nonprofit institute categorized countries into five different levels according to their relative risk of consuming all of their water resources, ranging from “Low Baseline Water Stress” to “Extremely High Baseline Water Stress.” Mexico is one of 44 countries – representing one-third of the world’s population – that fall into the second-highest category, “High Baseline Water Stress,” meaning that the nation consumes between 40 and 80 percent of the water supply available in a year.

Water Harvester Makes It Easy To Drink Water From Thin Air

In a paper appearing this week in ACS Central Science, a journal of the American Chemical Society, UC Berkeley’s Omar Yaghi and his colleagues describe the latest version of their water harvester, which can pull more than five cups of water (1.3 liters) from low-humidity air per day for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of water-absorbing material, a very porous substance called a metal-organic framework, or MOF. That is more than the minimum required to stay alive. During field tests over three days in California’s arid Mojave Desert, the harvester reliably produced 0.7 liters per kilogram of absorber per day — nearly three cups of clean, pure H2O. That’s 10 times better than the previous version of the harvester.

Paso Groundwater Basin Included in High-Tech Stanford Study

A pair of upcoming North County groundwater studies are expected to shed new light on the hydrogeological conditions of two key water sources in the region.

The Paso Robles Groundwater Basin is one of three basins in the state chosen to participate in a Stanford University study that will deploy state-of-the-art aerial electromagnetic technology to better understand its characteristics.

San Diego’s Water Rates Go Up On Sunday

The City of San Diego is reminding its water customers that starting Sunday they will be paying more for water.

The price customers pay will be going up 4.82 percent to help pay for water reliability and infrastructure improvements. When combined with a 1.46 percent increase implemented by the San Diego County Water Authority, the total increase starting Sept. 1 will be 6.28 percent, city officials said.