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SDUSD Approves New Filtered Water Stations Across District

New water filtration stations will be installed at all San Diego Unified School District campuses over the next four years in response to concerns over water quality in the wake of the discovery of high lead levels at several campuses.

Water quality has been a concern for SDUSD since 2017 when NBC 7 Investigates started tracking dangerous levels of lead in schools’ drinking water.

California Bills Tackle Water Contamination, PFAS, Wildfire

California could one day have a quick-strike panel focused on spotting emerging contaminants in drinking water to see if they pose a danger and need immediate attention.

The state also could certify labs to increase the amount of so-called forever chemicals that can be tested for in drinking water, aquifers, lakes, and streams.

The two initiatives are among more than 300 bills relating to energy and environment policy filed by California legislators in the 2020 session. They tackle issues like water contamination, wildfires, recycling, air quality, and other matters affecting the state’s nearly 40 million residents.

Taking a Cooperative Approach to Issues such as Water

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross highlighted the importance of taking a more cooperative approach to address important issues in lieu of an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality between environmental and agricultural interests.  While often the two groups are on opposing sides of a particular issue, both are working toward a sustainable future.  Ross noted that the framework for variable flows is the first step in getting environmentalists and producers on the same page to protect the state’s water.


Drought or Dangerous Flooding? Research Aims to Tame Atmospheric River Risks – and Save California’s Rain

We were flying about 200 nautical miles off the coast of California when a voice over the headset reported a strong smell of fuel in the back of the plane.

I was in the cockpit with the U.S. Air Force’s “Hurricane Hunters,” who spend the summer and fall flying into the eyes of hurricanes. On a Tuesday at the end of January, though, we flew out of Travis Air Force Base in California toward a different kind of storm: an atmospheric river that was moving east across the North Pacific, toward the West Coast.

March Outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued their outlook for March late last week, with a colder month expected ahead for many areas of the nation. Below average temperatures are forecast from the Northeast southward through the Tennessee Valley and Southern Plains to the Gulf of Mexico. Warmer than normal temperatures are favored in the Southwest.

Opinion: Newsom Hopes to Broker a Peace Treaty in California’s Water War. Some Worry He’ll Cave to Trump

Gov. Gavin Newsom may be piloting a lifeboat that will rescue the sinking California Delta. Or he may be in water over his head on a doomed mission.

The governor gets angry with skeptics who say he’s being delusional. But history sides with the doubters.

“I love reading all that, ‘Hey, he’s naive. He’s being misled,'” Newsom recently told a forum sponsored by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, his voice rising with a touch of sarcasm.

“It means we’re doing something a little different.”

D1 Candidates Split on the County’s Role in Addressing the Border Sewage Crisis

Though the flow of millions of gallons of sewage from Tijuana into San Diego has been happening for decades, local officials have been mounting pressure to address the issue over the last year.

Some of the candidates vying to represent District 1 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, which encompasses the areas most acutely impacted by the sewage flows – including Imperial Beach, parts of San Ysidro and near the Tijuana River Valley – think the county should play a larger role in responding to the crisis. Others told VOSD they’d mostly continue the county’s current approach.

San Diego Unified to Consider New Drinking Water Plan Proposal

School board members of the San Diego Unified School District will consider a proposal Tuesday to install filtered water outlets in schools and update standards for lead in drinking water.

The district staff’s recommendation is for San Diego Unified to remove existing drinking fountains and install approximately 2,000 drinking hydration stations district-wide, according to agenda documents.

The proposal also includes changing the district’s drinking water policy so that all drinking outlets “reduce lead in water content to below 1 ppb,” or parts per billion.

San Diego Approved $15M for Golf Course Renovations, Including Torrey Pines

San Diego approved a $15 million contract Monday for upgrades and renovations to the city’s three municipal golf courses, including preparations at Torrey Pines to host next year’s U.S. Open.

The City Council unanimously approved the joint contract with four separate companies that will each perform parts of the work. Individual projects are expected to cost between $250,000 and $2.5 million each.

The city’s municipal courses include the north and south courses at Torrey Pines, 18-hole and nine-hole courses at Balboa Municipal, and the lighted Mission Bay executive golf course.

California’s Snowpack Shrivels, Raising Fears of Future Wildfires

What a difference a year makes.

As the comparison of satellite images above shows, last year at this time California’s Sierra Nevada range was buried in snow. And even as recently as January of this year, snowpack was looking pretty good.

But since then, the jet stream has ferried storms north of California, causing the snowpack to shrivel — from about 150 percent of average last February down to just a little more than 50 percent now.