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SDG&E Has Plans in Place to Maintain Service Reliability

With California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order calling for all individuals living in California to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, San Diego Gas and Electric announced Friday, March 20, several steps the company has taken to protect the health and well-being of its employees, customers and communities and to maintain service reliability.

“We have a special responsibility to continue our operations in challenging times like these and the last thing we want our customers to worry about is having essential services like electricity and natural gas,” Caroline Winn, chief operating officer of SDG&E, said. “SDG&E has robust contingency plans in place to maintain reliable service and our highly skilled and dedicated employees will see our community through this crisis. The energy industry has a lot of real-world experience managing crises, and while COVID-19 is different, we are well prepared and here for you.”

Utilities Aim to Keep Specially Trained Employees Healthy and Working

Some municipal water utilities are taking emergency measures to sequester some employees to assure that they can keep the water flowing as the coronavirus spreads.

In this country, millions of Americans can follow advice to stay at home so long as the electricity stays on and the water and the phone service. Utility workers need to keep moving about. And to stay on the job, they also need to stay safe. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports that some utilities are taking extraordinary measures, including locking in employees at work.

MASTERS: After two weeks, a new group of workers with the same set of skills, who are currently sitting at home, will switch with the current onsite crew. Something similar is happening at a desalination plant in Carlsbad, California, that produces 50 million gallons of water a day. Ten workers are living there for three weeks. Sandy Kerl is general manager for the San Diego County Water Authority.

SANDY KERL: “These are critical services, highly trained individuals, not easily replaceable, so they have to be protected to ensure that water continues to flow.”

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EPA Urges States to Support Water, Wastewater Operations During COVID-19

In a letter to Governors in all 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler asked states to ensure that drinking water and wastewater employees are considered essential workers.

Coronavirus: Is the Drinking Water Supply Safe?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, water agencies across the Bay Area and California are taking unprecedented steps to keep the water flowing that millions of people need for drinking and washing their hands, but which is also critical for fighting fires, serving hospitals, running sewer systems and other vital uses.

California Rules Anger Water Agencies, Environmental Groups

California regulators on Tuesday set new rules about how much water can be taken from the state’s largest rivers, angering water agencies for restricting how much they can take and environmental groups for not making those limits low enough to protect endangered species.

The Future of Water: Onsite Desalination for Hyperlocal Reuse

People have dreamed of turning salty water into drinking water since the early 1960s, when President John F. Kennedy famously said, “If we could produce fresh water from saltwater at a low cost, that would indeed be a great service to humanity, and would dwarf any other scientific accomplishment.” Today this technology is routine worldwide, with about 120 countries operating desalination plants. Now, Peter Fiske wants to take desalination technology even further than Kennedy envisioned.

Colorado River Flow Dwindles as Warming-Driven Loss of Reflective Snow Energizes Evaporation

New USGS research indicates that streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) is decreasing by about 5% per degree Fahrenheit as a consequence of atmospheric warming, causing a 20% reduction over the past century.

The State’s New Delta Water Rules Don’t End Conflict with Washington

When the Trump administration rolled back endangered species protections in the Bay Area delta that serves as the hub of California’s water-supply system, the state decided to go its own way.