Rural communities are grappling with the challenge other parts of Arizona faced in the past: the need to conserve groundwater for future generations.
Archive for date: June 15th, 2020
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The urgent evacuation of 10,000 people from communities below two failing dams in central Michigan last month prevented the loss of life, but the collapsed dams expelled billions of gallons of water from two large lakes, sending them hurtling downstream in a powerful rush of destruction. Water ripped buildings off their foundations, smashed and twisted roads and bridges, damaged or destroyed an estimated 2,500 properties and triggered fears of contamination as it swept by a chemical plant and hazardous waste sites and submerged downtown Midland — a city of 40,000 people — under 9 feet of water.
Water pollution from Tijuana sewage runoff has once again shuttered the Imperial Beach shoreline. The County of San Diego Department of Environmental Health on Saturday extended north the existing beach water-contact closure area at the Tijuana Slough shoreline to now also include the Imperial Beach shoreline.
This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Gary Briant, Olivenhain Municipal Water District Purchasing/Warehouse Clerk, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.
Water is power in California’s Imperial Valley, and a years-long fight over allocations from the Colorado River to the agriculture-heavy region landed back in court on Friday. Attorneys representing local farmers and the Imperial Irrigation District squared off in front of a three-judge panel at the state appellate court level over a water-rights lawsuit expected to be decided in 90 days.
A draft report released today by the San Diego County Water Authority shows that building a new conveyance system to transport regional water supplies from the Colorado River Quantification Settlement Agreement is cost-competitive with other long-term options for meeting the region’s water needs.
The draft Phase A report is under review by water officials across the region. The Water Authority’s Board of Directors is expected to decide whether to move to Phase B at its July 23 meeting.
“By releasing this draft report – along with an independent review of key financial assumptions – we are trying to spark a thoughtful dialogue about our region’s water future,” said Dan Denham, deputy general manager for the Water Authority. “Given the long lead time for major water infrastructure projects, it’s important that San Diego County wrestle with these complex questions today so we can control our own destiny tomorrow.”
The Western drought has continued to expand and intensify, according to U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday.
Wet late-spring weather resulted in a slight decrease in the area deemed to be in extreme drought in Northern California.
Severe drought receded a little in parts of northeastern Utah and southwestern Washington. Unseasonably heavy precipitation, including high-elevation snow, fell in northeastern Utah, the Drought Monitor reported
Editor’s Note: This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Gary Briant, Olivenhain Municipal Water District Purchasing/Warehouse Clerk, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.
Water Utility Hero of the Week: Gary Briant
Job/Agency: Olivenhain Municipal Water District Purchasing/Warehouse Clerk
How did you become interested in working in the water industry?
I spent many years working in the private sector. I noticed that my friends and family that worked in the water industry showed a real sense of pride in what they did. I wanted to stop the “rat race” in the private sector and join a team in the water industry where I could grow, contribute my skills, and be a part of something important. Working at OMWD feels like I’m part of a family, and I am very happy in my new career.
How has your job changed during the pandemic?
One of my duties here is to procure materials and supplies for Olivenhain. We have only had a few challenges finding supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our general manager had the insight to make sure we were prepared very early on, so I was able to secure many items before vendors ran out and/or items became backordered for months. When some supplies were not available, we thought “outside the box” to find solutions. For example, we used the recipe from World Health Organization to make our own hand sanitizer when it was sold out everywhere.
How are you keeping safe?
It’s really important to me that I keep myself safe so I don’t put another team member or family member in jeopardy of getting sick. I’ve been focusing on maintaining social distance, sanitizing, and staying healthy. Safety and education has been the main priority at OMWD since the pandemic began. I make sure all needed safety items are well stocked so everyone at OMWD stays well. We have also transitioned to accepting deliveries in a no-contact manner.
What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?
I look forward to seeing everything go back to as close to “normal” as possible. I understand we will have to modify many ways that we operate regarding socialization and maintaining a safe work environment. But I look forward to the challenge of helping my co-workers stay healthy so OMWD can continue being successful in its mission to deliver safe and reliable water service to the community.
The Water Utility Hero of the Week highlights essential work performed during the COVID-19 pandemic by employees of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies.