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Veterans Day Salute to San Diego Water Industry Vets

Many of the San Diego region’s 4,500 water and wastewater workers are military veterans. The San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies are recognizing those veteran water industry professionals this week in honor of Veterans Day.

One of those water industry employees with a military background is Sam Pacheco, a field service representative with the Helix Water District. Pacheco served 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, retiring at the rank of Gunnery Sergeant.

Water Utility Hero of the Week-Otay Water District-primary

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Matthew Carriveau, Otay Water District

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. Matthew Carriveau, Otay Water District Customer Pump Mechanic I, is the Water Utility Hero of the Week.

Water Utility Hero of the Week: Matthew Carriveau

Job/Agency: Otay Water District Pump Mechanic I

How did you become interested in working in the water industry?

When I was in the U.S. Navy I worked on distilling units turning seawater into drinking water. I really enjoyed operating and maintaining that equipment so I was open to a career that involved similar work.

How has your job changed during the pandemic?

My partner and I drive separate vehicles and we wear masks. Our meetings involve Zoom and take place on the computer.

How are you keeping safe?

I wash my hands a lot more and try to stay away from other people as much as possible.

What are you most looking forward to after the crisis ends?

I look forward to travelling around the country. I have had to cancel 3 or 4 trips that I had planned due to COVID-19 restrictions. My wife and I want to go back to Kauai and that will probably be our first destination when travelling becomes safer.

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.

San Diego County Water Authority Member Agency Map

County Renews IRWM Agreement

The Integrated Regional Water Management agreement between San Diego County, the city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority was scheduled to expire Dec. 31, but the IRWM will be extended for at least another five years.

The county Board of Supervisors voted 5-0, Wednesday, Oct. 28, to approve a new memorandum of understanding with the city and the County Water Authority. That agreement will cover the period from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2025.

Wildfires Emerge as Threat to Water Quantity Across Parched West

As the largest wildfire in Colorado history spread beyond 200,000 acres, Mark Kempton began to worry it would incinerate so much of the Fort Collins watershed that the city would be unable to guarantee water to its residents.

When the spring rains come next year, ash and debris will pour down the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and clog the city’s water intake on the Cache la Poudre River, said Kempton, interim director of Fort Collins Utilities, which oversees the water supply for Colorado’s fourth-largest city.

2020 Delivers Setbacks For Some Long-Planned Western Water Projects

2020 has been a tough year for some of the Colorado River basin’s long-planned, most controversial water projects.

Proposals to divert water in New Mexico, Nevada and Utah have run up against significant legal, financial and political roadblocks this year. But while environmental groups have cheered the setbacks, it’s still unclear whether these projects have truly hit dead ends or are simply waiting in the wings.

Sempra Funds Salk Institute Project to Capture and Store Carbon in Plants

A project announced Monday by Sempra Energy and the Salk Institute seeks to advance plant-based carbon capture and sequestration research to help address the looming climate crisis. San Diego-based Sempra donated $2 million to the Salk Institute to help fund the five-year project.

Report: Oroville Dam Safe, but Still Vulnerable

It appears that repair work on the Oroville Dam’s damaged spillways has paid off.

A team of experts released their findings Monday, concluding that no urgent repairs are needed right now on the Oroville Dam. The report goes on to say that the largest earthen dam in America is safe to operate. However, the Oroville Dam is not completely in the clear.

State Shares Framework for New Surface Water Quality Protections

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is beginning to draft a set of regulations to protect surface water following the Trump administration’s rollback of the Clean Water Act.

The changes that took effect in June significantly narrow the list of waters that receive federal protection from pollution and contaminants, known as “waters of the U.S.” or the acronym “WOTUS.” And that leaves a big regulatory gap in Arizona, which currently has no surface water protection program.

California’s Climate Agenda Likely to Get Gig Boost from Biden — Look for Reversal of Trump Policies

California’s war with Washington over the environment will soon come to an end.

The legal wrangling that sparked 57 environmental lawsuits against the Trump administration — for loosening policies on everything from automobile pollution to pesticide use and salmon conservation — should turn to consensus and cooperation.

Rainbow to Conduct Pilot Project Test for Cured-in-Place Lining

The Rainbow Municipal Water District will be conducting a test of cured-in-place lining for water transmission pipe.

A 4-0 Rainbow board vote Oct. 27, with Helene Brazier not able to participate in the meeting, approved the professional services agreement with Sanexen Water, Inc., for $74,800 and appropriated that amount from the water capital fund for the project’s budget.