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Olivenhain Municipal Water District Recycled Water Expansion Project is Project of the Year

Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s Recycled Water Pipeline Extension 153A was recognized September 10 as a 2020 Project of the Year by the San Diego and Imperial County Chapter of the American Public Works Association at its virtual awards event. The pipeline extension connected the Surf Cup Sports youth soccer fields in San Diego to OMWD’s recycled water distribution system. By allowing Surf Cup to convert the irrigation of 55 acres of grass fields to recycled water, OMWD has reduced potable water demands for irrigation by up to 100 million gallons per year.

Risk of Colorado River Shortage is on the Rise, Could Hit Within 5 Years, Officials say

The risks of water shortages continue to grow along the Colorado River, which supplies about 40 million people from Wyoming to Arizona.

Federal water managers released projections Tuesday showing higher odds of shortages occurring within the next five years.

The Colorado River is in the 21st year of a severe drought that’s being compounded by hotter temperatures influenced by climate change, and the river’s flows have increasingly been insufficient to meet all the demands of cities and farms across the region.

Opinion: Five Solutions to California’s Climate Crisis Gov. Newsom Should Implement … Right Now

Like most Californians, I have not seen blue skies for weeks. The dirty air I’m breathing hurts my lungs and stings my eyes. My kids are confined to the indoors to protect their growing lungs, though I’m concerned that even our air indoors contains dangerous pollutants.

While fire crews work to stop more loss of life and officials work to update plans for the next fire season, California must face the toughest challenge of all: How do we slow and ultimately stop the changes in our climate that are making wildfires in California even more dangerous and deadly?

Panel Demands Answers on PFAS Cleanups, Alternatives

House lawmakers pressed top defense officials yesterday for more information on research and cleanup of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. “I represent a community that has a number of PFAS contamination sites,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said during a hearing of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness.

Climate Change Likely to Keep Hammering Colorado River’s Biggest Reservoirs, Model Shows

The Colorado River’s largest reservoirs are expected to keep struggling over the next five years due to climate change, according to the federal agency that oversees them.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s new modeling projections, which include this year’s record-breaking heat and dryness in some parts of the southwestern watershed, show an increasing likelihood of an official shortage declaration before 2026.

If dry conditions like the Colorado River Basin has seen since 2000 persist, the agency’s model shows an almost 80% chance of seeing an official shortage declaration by 2025. The chance of seeing the reservoir drop to a critically low level is about 20% in that same time period.

In a Dry State, Farmers Use Oil Wastewater to Irrigate Their Fields, but is it Safe?

For decades, farmers in California’s Kern County have turned to wastewater from oil production to help irrigate their crops during extended dry spells. The wastewater provides an alternative to groundwater, which has become increasingly scarce as farmers have pumped more than they could replenish.

Outcry from Environmental Groups Prompts San Diego to Retreat from Proposed Merger

Outcry from local environmental groups prompted San Diego officials Tuesday to retreat from plans to merge three longtime advisory boards that are focused on trees, marshland and green energy.

MWD Approves Cost-Cutting Plan

The board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday approve a cost-cutting plan to reduce expenditures in response to lower water sales and concerns about the financial impacts of COVID-19 on its member agencies.

Erin Brockovich says US is Now in a Water Crisis Far Worse Than People Realize

Amid a global pandemic and protests against police brutality, Erin Brockovich is trying to get America to pay attention to yet another issue: water.

“We are in a water crisis beyond anything you can imagine. Pollution and toxins are everywhere, stemming from the hazardous wastes of industry and agriculture. We’ve got more than 40,000 chemicals on the market today with only a few hundred regulated. We’ve had industrial byproducts discarded into the ground and into our water supply for years. This crisis affects everyone – rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat. Communities everywhere think they are safe when they are not,” she wrote in an opinion story for the Guardian.

Lakes Mead, Powell at Risk Again from Drought Despite Major Conservation Efforts

For the second time in two years, federal officials are warning that Lake Mead could drop in five to six years to levels low enough to possibly warrant major Central Arizona Project water cutbacks to Tucson and Phoenix.

These warnings were ratcheted up significantly compared to forecasts made earlier this year. That’s due to the severely hot and dry weather that struck most of the West during the summer, including the hottest two months on record in Tucson and Phoenix in August and July, respectively.