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California Coastal Commission Staff Asks Cal Am to Postpone Desal Appeal

Coastal Commission staff has recommended California American Water withdraw and resubmit a coastal development permit application involving the company’s proposed Monterey Peninsula desalination project, which would likely postpone a hearing on the desal permit and a pending appeal until September at the earliest.

Acknowledging that further analysis of California American Water’s proposed desalination project won’t be done in time for a planned March hearing, commission staff sent a Jan. 28 letter with the recommendation, which the letter says Cal Am officials requested during conversations earlier this month in order to formalize the staff recommendation.

Some in the Sierra Still Optimistic Despite Below-Average Snowpack

Last month, the state’s snow survey team saw snow levels just shy of average and on Thursday the trend continued downward.

“Seventy-nine percent of an average February and 58% of the April 1 average here at this location,” said Sean de Guzman, chief of the Department of Water Resources’ Snow Surveys and Water Supply Forecasting Section.

Along with measurements taken at the station near Echo Summit, measurements at 260 other locations indicate the snowpack is below average.

Newport Beach Water Wheel Project Moving Forward

The Newport Beach Harbor Commission got an update on the proposed water wheel project at their Jan. 8 meeting, with Newport Beach Department of Public Works Water Quality Senior Engineer John Kappeler telling commissioners city staff is hoping a consultant contract will be awarded in February.

The water wheel would be a floating stationary solar and hydro-powered trash interceptor in San Diego Creek nestled by Jamboree Road Bridge.

City Reports Significantly Fewer Water and Sewer Spills in Past Year

San Diego is experiencing considerably fewer breaks in water mains and sewer lines thanks to continuing replacement of deteriorating cast iron pipes, according to a year-end report released Wednesday.

A total of 38 water main breaks were reported in the city in 2019, a 38% reduction from the previous year. It was the lowest total in 15 years and far less than the peak of 131 breaks in 2010.

With Signing of USMCA, Help is on the Way for Tijuana Sewage

President Donald Trump signed the renegotiated trade agreement with Mexico and Canada Monday that will replace NAFTA.

The bipartisan deal includes $300 million to help address the frequent sewage spills in Tijuana that contaminate beaches in San Diego’s South Bay.

“It’s a huge win for San Diego and it’s a huge win for our cross-border region,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who attended the signing ceremony outside the White House.

‘Our Voices are Not Being Heard’: Colorado Town a Test Case for California PFAS Victims

When Wendy Rash was diagnosed in 2005 with a thyroid disorder, chronic fatigue and other ailments, her doctor couldn’t explain her suddenly failing health.

Soon, other family members became ill. Her brother-in-law contracted fatal kidney cancer. Her father-in-law developed esophageal cancer. Then her 32-year-old son began having severe kidney problems.

Opinion: We Must Fix the Salton Sea. And, Yes, Water Transfer is One Hope

In his recent Your Turn column, Alexander Schriener wrote that we need to focus on viable solutions for the ailing Salton Sea. I’d like to address some of the points made in that column.

“The Salton Sea is going through the natural evolution …,” Schriener wrote. There is nothing natural about farm chemicals. This is an intensely farmed region where the preferred means of disposing of these toxins is to use half as much water as the irrigation required simply to flush these chemicals into the sea, two or three times a year for over 100 years.

Worst Climate Scenario Probably Won’t Happen, Scientists Say

One of the most fundamental questions in climate research asks the following: What will the world look like when we reach a certain point of warming?

How will it change after 2 degrees? 4 degrees? Even warmer?

More than a decade ago, scientists designed a set of hypothetical scenarios to help them model the climate. Their goal was to answer these very questions.

Program Preps Communities for Next Drought

Whether or not you accept climate change as a reality, one thing is for certain – the San Joaquin Valley will have another drought. Throughout recorded history, the semi-arid Valley has had extended dry spells with little precipitation to moisten its fertile soil creating a micro climate of economic crisis. The Valley is still dealing with the effects of an overdrated groundwater basin including abandoned private wells, contamination in remaining rural wells and subsidence in its water conveyance systems.