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Opinion: Blackouts Expose Need for Expanding Energy Storage

The sad reality is that the blackouts rolling across California this week were both predictable and avoidable. The silver lining is that future blackouts across California are avoidable – if we invest in large-scale energy storage projects to provide on-demand power.

Pipelines Assessed in Record Time with Latest Technology

The San Diego County Water Authority’s asset management team recently celebrated the completion of a comprehensive condition assessment of more than 27 miles of the agency’s oldest pipelines. The assessment was performed in record time over 16 months.

 

 

Nevada Residents Blast Utah’s Lake Powell Pipeline Plan

A group of residents in a southern Nevada town that sits along the Colorado River are organizing a campaign to oppose a proposed pipeline that would divert billions of gallons of river water to southwest Utah, reflecting intensifying struggles over water in the U.S. West.

California Lawmakers Vote to Phase Out Toxic Firefighting Foam

California lawmakers voted Sunday to phase out the sale and use of firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer and have contaminated drinking water throughout the state. The measure, put forward by state Sen. Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), requires municipal fire departments, chemical plants and oil refineries to gradually stop using the foam, replacing it with alternatives that don’t contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of chemicals commonly known as PFAS.

CA Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot on the Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio

Water is central to nearly everything we value in California. Healthy communities, economies, farms, ecosystems and cultural traditions depend on steady supplies of safe water. Those values are increasingly at risk as California confronts more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, overdrafted groundwater basins, aging infrastructure and other challenges magnified by climate change.

Looking to Reopen, Colleges Become Labs for Coronavirus Tests and Tracking Apps

Thousands of students returning to the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York this month are being asked to wear masks in public, register their health status online each day and electronically log classroom visits for contact tracing if a coronavirus outbreak occurs. But the most novel effort at the school to measure and limit virus spread will require little effort and come quite naturally.

Students need only use the bathroom.

At more than 15 dormitories and on-campus apartment buildings, sewage is being tested twice weekly for genetic evidence of virus shed in feces. This provides a kind of early-warning system of an outbreak, limiting the need to test every student for Covid-19. If the disease is found in sewage, individual tests can be administered to identify the source.

Solana Beach Resolution Declares Climate Emergency, Need for More Action

In response to the adverse impacts of heatwaves, wildfires, sea level rise and other issues stemming from climate change, the Solana Beach City Council approved a resolution declaring a climate emergency and calling for accelerated action to address the crisis.

“Solana Beach would directly experience these impacts that include warming temperatures, increased wildfires, sea level rise and variable water supply,” Rimga Viskanta, a senior management analyst for the city of Solana Beach, said during the council’s Aug. 26 meeting.

LAFCO Detachment Committee Discusses CEQA, Conditions, Consultants

The items discussed at the Aug. 3 meeting of the advisory committee on the Fallbrook/Rainbow detachment created by San Diego County’s Local Agency Formation Commission included whether the reorganization was subject to California Environmental Quality Act review, whether LAFCO can place conditions on the detachment, and the use of consultants to address issues on which parties differ.

Water District Fires Nearly All of its Employees After They Refuse to Follow Board’s Illegal Votes

A water district serving 25 cities and 1.6 million residents in southeast Los Angeles County, already waging a battle with customers and the state Legislature over its future, has fired nearly two-thirds of its employees in a last-ditch effort to stabilize district finances.

Nearly 35 Million Households Will Lose Their Utility Shutoff Protections Over the Next Month

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans have relied on emergency orders put in place by state and local governments that bar utility companies from shutting off services such as gas, electricity and water. However, many of these orders will expire by the end of September, leaving 34.5 million households without shutoff protections, according to a new report from energy efficiency startup Carbon Switch.