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OMWD Honored for Government Transparency and Sound Financial Practices

Encinitas, Calif. —The Special District Leadership Foundation recognized Olivenhain Municipal Water District today at California Special Districts Association’s annual conference in Anaheim for a sixth “District of Distinction” biennial accreditation. This recognition celebrates OMWD’s sound fiscal management and commitment to transparency in all areas of its operations.

There are many things we can do during fall to keep our landscapes healthy and ready to collect as much water as they can during the winter. Photo: David Mark/Pixabay

Fall for a New Landscape

Many people forget about fall when it comes to landscape care, especially in Southern California. When we don’t see the leaves change colors, it can be easy to overlook this important season. There are many things we can do during fall to keep our landscapes healthy and ready to collect as much water as they can during the winter.

Plants grow deep roots in the fall

Fall is often the best time to introduce new plants. With the cooler temperatures and rain on the way, it is the perfect time to let plants settle in and grow deep roots.

Pruning existing plants and trees can be beneficial to their health during the fall as well. When the temperatures go down, plants and trees turn their energy away from growing leaves, flowers or fruit. They start to grow roots and develop a stronger system to prepare for next season.

Fall landscape maintenance

Don’t forget the mulch. Mulching is always helpful to prevent water loss, but during the fall it also gives a layer of protection to insulate your landscape during the winter. Even though most areas in Southern California rarely see below-freezing temperatures, there are some areas that would benefit from this layer of protection. When first applying mulch, remember to keep it one to six inches away from plant stems to avoid rot.

Pulling weeds and clearing out debris are also important tasks to perform during the fall. If you pull weeds out now, there will be fewer weeds next season. Getting rid of landscape debris will also help protect your water quality in the long run.

The Water Authority and its partners also offer other great resources for landscaping upgrades, including tips for sustainable landscaping best practices at and free WaterSmart classes at

$100 million desalination project to be led by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

In a effort to widen the use of a nearly limitless — but expensive — source of water for California and other places worldwide that are prone to shortages, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been selected to lead a $100 million project aimed at bringing down the cost of desalination.

The money, announced this week and awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy, will fund a research consortium of 19 universities around that the country that include Stanford, UC-Berkeley, UCLA and others, along with 10 private industry partners and other Department of Energy institutions, like Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee.

The goal, organizers say, is to reduce the cost of removing salt from ocean water to make it a more viable drinking water source for California and other areas. Closely related, planners also hope to clean up other types of water that are being largely wasted or underused so they can be a source for cities, farms and wildlife.

Erosion threatens scenery and real estate along iconic California coastline

This is supposed to be a beautiful beach, but instead it looks like a disaster area because a sea wall built about a decade ago to protect homes has failed. Now property owners are spending millions to fix it.

From Mexico to Oregon, the iconic California coastline runs more than 3,400 miles. “CBS This Morning” correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti drove just over 600 of those miles to see how the state is getting ready for what scientists say is the inevitable future.

Sweetwater Authority’s Governing Board Approves Cost-Saving Measure for Customers

Chula Vista, Calif. – On Wednesday, September 25, the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) Governing Board voted unanimously to approve measures to maintain water affordability and share operational savings with its customers. As a result, the average customer will actually see their bill go down in the future.

The Governing Board, as part of its Strategic Work Plan effort for the year, voted to reduce its Wholesale Water Purchase Rate to offset other increases so that the average Authority customer will see a slight decrease in their water bill next year. The Authority’s new rate structure will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Los Angeles Still Has A Feed-In Tariff. And It’s Growing

It’s odd to be writing about an active feed-in tariff (FiT) in 2019. The policy which accelerated Germany into a 7 GW+ market annually and kick-started the global solar market had its heyday nearly a decade ago, with feed-in tariffs being introduced across Europe and Asia. This led to spectacular market growth but also dramatic crashes when the ambition of the market created exceeded these policies’ political support.

Bill to Blunt Trump Environment Policy Vetoed in California

Engaged in environmental battles with the Trump administration on multiple fronts, California Gov. Gavin Newsom angered some allies on Friday by vetoing a bill aimed at blunting federal rollbacks of clean air and endangered species regulations in the state.

The bill would have made it easier for state regulators to counter the Trump administration’s efforts to change enforcement of the federal Endangered Species Act and other environmental pillars — at least in California.

‘Farming the Sun:’ As Water Goes Scarce, Can Solar Farms Prop Up The Valley?

On the Changala family farm in Tulare County, the past and future are separated by a dirt road and a barbed-wire fence.

On the south side sits a wheat field. On the north, a solar farm, built three years ago, sending electricity to thousands of Southern Californians. Alan Changala sees little difference between the two.

MWD Extends Lake Skinner Lease

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California owns land around Lake Skinner which is leased to the Riverside County Regional Park and Open-Space District. The lease arrangement allows recreational activity on the land with the county park district having responsibility for operations and maintenance. The lease agreement was to have expired in 2030, but a Sept. 10 MWD board vote extended that lease through 2049.

San Diego’s Landmark Water Recycling Program Halted by Dispute Over Union Workers

San Diego’s $4 billion plan to boost the city’s water independence is facing delays and cost increases thanks to a legal dispute over the use of unionized construction workers.

A judge issued an injunction in June that halted the project, a recycling system called “Pure Water” that would purify treated sewage into drinking water and supply one-third of the city’s water supply by 2035.