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Front-Line Heroes: Austin Casey, San Diego County Water Authority

Front-Line Heroes

County Water Authority system operator

Name: Austin Casey

Job: San Diego County Water Authority system operator

Family: Wife, Mina; three children

Task during the pandemic: “As systems operators we are here to ensure the aqueduct system keeps water flowing safely and reliably throughout San Diego County. We maintain our daily tasks of operating, water quality sampling, and station checks to ensure all equipment is functioning properly. During the pandemic, we have been reminded of how critical it is to be efficient and effective with our normal duties, so we are ready to take on unforeseen challenges.”

How has pandemic changed the job? “I feel our job is the same during the pandemic. It’s more of adjusting to a new normal and being able to staff the department in a way where everyone feels safe.”

How are you keeping safe? “We say the control room and surrounding office has never looked so clean because of all the sanitizing we are doing. We are also getting used to social distancing and being aware of personal space, because we do work in close quarters. Hand washing and sanitizing all our office equipment, field instruments and trucks has been key to staying healthy.”

“The role we play as critical infrastructure operators may go unseen to many, but we are here to ensure the public receives a safe, secure, reliable supply of water without having to worry about it at all.”

Austin Casey-System Operator-San Diego County Water Authority

San Diego County Water Authority System Operator Austin Casey is one of the essential workers keeping the region’s water supply safe, reliable and plentiful. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority

The Union-Tribune wants to recognize workers who are still on the job serving the public during the coronavirus crisis.

As Tijuana Sewage Pollutes South San Diego Beaches, County Asks for Federal Help

South San Diego County’s ocean waters are awash in sewage-tainted runoff coming across the border and local and state officials want action to stop the polluted flows.

Sixty million gallons of sewage-tainted water flows into the U.S. every day.

“The entire sewer system of Tijuana has collapsed,” said Serge Dedina, Imperial Beach mayor. “And it appears there is absolutely no effort underway in Mexico, on the part of the U..S federal government, the Trump administration, to actually move forward and ask for emergency repairs so that we don’t endure an entire summer of polluted beaches.”

Essential IID Employees Living On Job Site to Stay Protected

Essential workers at Imperial Irrigation District, are now living at their job site in order to stay protected from the coronavirus.  According to IID, they will be housing 32 employees who are vital in providing Imperial County residents with water and energy.

What’s Flushed Today Can be a Problem Months from Now Because of Coronavirus Fears

Most businesses across the country and certainly in the Coachella Valley are dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus crisis on a daily basis.

South Orange County Water Reservoir, Dam Project Still Moving Forward

A water dam and reservoir under construction on land acquired from Rancho Mission Viejo has not been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Santa Margarita Water District Deputy General Manager Don Bunts.

Recent rainfall, however, has affected the Trampas Canyon Dam and Reservoir project, which intends to store recycled water. Work on the project restarted on Monday, April 27, after being delayed for a few weeks, Bunts said.

One Way to Monitor a Community’s Coronavirus Infections: Test the Sewage

By now we’ve heard plenty about the difficulty of accessing widespread testing for the coronavirus. However, there is another approach for municipalities who want to know the presence and extent of the COVID-19 virus in their community…

Facing a Drier Future, Water Managers Turn to Science

A growing body of research shows that the Upper Colorado River Basin is growing warmer on average. In fact, the national hot spot centers on Western Colorado and much of the Southwest.

Trump Opens Floodgates, and Acrimony Swamps California

On the campaign trail in 2016, President Trump swung into California’s agricultural hub and vowed to deliver more water to the drought-ridden state’s farmers.

Gardening Community Responds To Growing COVID-19 Food Need

Three days a week, cars line up by the dozens at Kitchens for Good at the Jacobs Center in Chollas View. Drivers open their trunks to receive prepared meals and produce. This is just one of many distribution events in high demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opinion: California Has a Chance for a Green Future After the Coronavirus. Don’t Waste it

Bears are taking over Yosemite meadows, and coyotes are wandering city streets. Hilltop sunsets never looked more pure and bright. Around the world, smog-glazed skies are giving way to blue vistas and fresh air. A deadly pandemic is slowing human activity and boosting wildlife in startling ways.

With oil selling at near giveaway prices and airlines virtually grounded, there are fewer emissions pouring out. More widely, tailpipes from millions of cars and trucks are idled by stay-at-home orders. NASA space shots show far less pollution in familiar population and industrial centers across the country.