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Vallecitos Water District HAZMAT Team Ready to Respond

To protect its employees, members of the public, and the environment from any accidental chemical releases or exposure, the Vallecitos Water District has established its own internal Hazardous Materials Response Team or HAZMAT team.

Feds Order Anderson Reservoir to be Drained Due to Earthquake Risk

In a dramatic decision that could significantly impact Silicon Valley’s water supply, federal dam regulators have ordered Anderson Reservoir, the largest reservoir in Santa Clara County, to be completely drained starting Oct. 1.

The 240-foot earthen dam, built in 1950 and located east of Highway 101 between Morgan Hill and San Jose, poses too great of a risk of collapse during a major earthquake, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which regulates dams, has concluded.

“It is unacceptable to maintain the reservoir at an elevation higher than necessary when it can be reduced, thereby decreasing the risk to public safety and the large population downstream of Anderson Dam,” wrote David Capka, director of FERC’s Division of Dam Safety and Inspections, in a letter to the Santa Clara Valley Water District on Thursday.

Rising Temperatures are Taking a Worsening Toll on the Colorado River, Study Finds

Scientists have documented how climate change is sapping the Colorado River, and new research shows the river is so sensitive to warming that it could lose about one-fourth of its flow by 2050 as temperatures continue to climb. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey found that the loss of snowpack due to higher temperatures plays a major role in driving the trend of the river’s dwindling flow. They estimated that warmer temperatures were behind about half of the 16% decline in the river’s flow during the stretch of drought years from 2000-2017, a drop that has forced Western states to adopt plans to boost the Colorado’s water-starved reservoirs.

One Idea, Two Cool Things: Desalinated Water and Renewable Energy

The contraption, reminiscent of Rube Goldberg, would produce two of Southern California’s most precious and essential resources: water and electricity.

The electricity would be renewable. And the drought-proof, desalinated ocean water could prove more environmentally friendly — and cheaper — than the water produced from three other desalters proposed for Southern California.

The idea, developed by Silicon Valley-based Neal Aronson and his Oceanus Power & Water venture, caught the attention of the Santa Margarita Water District. The agency quickly saw the project’s viability to fill a void.

To Bridge the Cultures of Mexico’s Border Region and a Neglected Colorado Neighborhood, Just Add Water

San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico — Under the red girders of a nondescript toll bridge, waves gently lapped coarse sands in a gritty corner of this northwestern Mexican border city.

“There is usually no water and vegetation, and the ground looks like this,” local conservationist Alejandra Calvo-Fonesca said, gesturing toward the dusty shoreline of the Colorado River.

For a few months this winter, residents welcomed an unexpected surge of water in the river – a phenomenon they had not experienced since the spring 2014 “pulse flow,” when the United States released 107,000 acre-feet of water into the Colorado River Delta over a two-month period. That seminal event brought revelers in droves, eager to celebrate the revival of a historic waterway that is not only the city’s namesake, but a source of pride for its people.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to Leave More Than $1 billion in Polluted Rivers, Flood Issues to Successor

Rainstorms routinely flush toxic chemicals, bacteria and even human feces through San Diego’s streets, canyons and rivers — ultimately polluting bays and beaches.

Those same downpours also regularly burst city stormwater pipes and overwhelm clogged waterways, inundating homes and businesses.

Under San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer the city laid out what it would cost to fix the problem — a financial blueprint over two decades for preventing undue flooding and coming into compliance with state mandates under the Clean Water Act.