Consuelo Martinez was seated on the Board of Directors on May 27, 2020, representing the City of Escondido. Director Martinez serves on the Imported Water and Legislation and Public Outreach committees for the Water Authority.
Archive for date: December 9th, 2020
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California’s plans to build a new tunnel to move water from the northern Delta to the thirsty, populous south of the state advanced a step Tuesday, when a key partner agreed to help fund some of the effort. The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest treated water supplier in the nation, voted to pay nearly $59 million in 2021 and 2022 to the state Department of Water Resources to help move the project forward.
The latest outlook from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that California’s persistent drought-like conditions could last through the winter and into spring, possibly fueling another grueling fire season in 2021.
Currently, three-quarters of California is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions.
“Keep in mind, we’re coming off the driest May-through-October period, statewide at least, across California, Arizona and New Mexico,” said Mark Svoboda of the National Drought Mitigation Center in Nebraska.
Forecasting three to four months out is a dodgy proposition for scientists, but NOAA’s modeling shows the likelihood of relatively dry weather through February.
While deciding the final allocation for growers who gather their water from the Friant-Kern Canal is months away, things early on are not looking good. The California Department of Water Resources announced on Dec. 1 an initial state water project allocation of 10% of requested supply for the 2021 water year. Initial allocations are based on conservative assumptions regarding hydrology and factors such as reservoir storage.
The Ramona Municipal Water District Board of Directors hopes to appoint a candidate early next year to fill a vacant Division 3 board seat for the next two years. The board is on a fast track to find a replacement for incumbent Director Thomas N. Ace, one of two candidates who was running for a four-year seat.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday released a draft guidance that interprets a Supreme Court decision in a way that may exempt some facilities from needing permits to pollute groundwater. In April, the court decided that a permit is required for both direct discharges of pollutants into federally-regulated rivers and oceans as well as their “functional equivalent” in groundwater that flows into regulated waters.
On Tuesday, Congressman John Garamendi, a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure whose district includes 200 miles of the Sacramento River and is adjacent to several major ports, secured key provisions in the “Water Resources Development Act of 2020” for the California Delta and Central Valley. The legislation passed the House Tuesday and is expected to pass the Senate with strong bipartisan support and become law this year.
Scientists with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography will soon have a deeper insight into how Santa Cruz waves impact local flood events, thanks to a coastal buoy installed on Sunday. The wave buoy will track wave height, direction, speed, as well as water and air temperature.
In the San Joaquin Valley, agricultural runoff from fertilizer and manure leaches into groundwater, contributing to some of the highest levels of nitrate pollution in community water systems in the country. Residents in Tipton were warned months ago not to drink or cook with tap water because of dangerous levels of nitrate. For two years, Estella Bravo, 78, has been advocating for her neighbors to get free bottled water.
Editor’s Note: This feature highlights new members of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 36-member Board of Directors. Each of the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies appoints at least one representative to the Board, which sets policy for the Water Authority.
Welcome to the Board: Consuelo Martinez, City of Escondido
Who: Consuelo Martinez was seated on the Board of Directors on May 27, 2020, representing the City of Escondido. Director Martinez serves on the Imported Water and Legislation and Public Outreach committees for the Water Authority.
Background/Education: Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies from CSUSM. Deputy Mayor, City of Escondido
Water Industry Affiliations:
*SDCWA Citizens Water Academy Graduate (2019)
*WELL 2019 Training Participant (Water Education for Latino Leaders)
Q & A
Q: How did you get interested in water issues?
A: I was a political science major at California State University San Marcos when I first learned of a book that was dedicated to the politics of water. I was surprised that water could be so political. A few years later, friends and colleagues from the nonprofit MANA de San Diego graduated from the San Diego County Water Authority’s Citizens Water Academy and they recommended that I also enroll. It took a few years for timing to work out, but I am so glad I graduated through the program. It was eye-opening and very helpful in my new role was policy maker.
Q: What are your priorities or interests as a Board member?
A: To learn and help our residents (rate payers) understand how precious our water is and empower them as informed stakeholders. I would like our region to be a leader in safe, reliable and affordable water.
Q: Besides maintaining safe and reliable water supplies, what do you see as the top three issues facing the San Diego region?
A: Income inequality, housing affordability, and climate change.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not working?
A: Spending time with my partner, Patrick, trying a new restaurant or discovering a new street food vendor, and taking care of my plants.
The Water Authority’s Board of Directors typically meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. The Board invites the public to attend its monthly meetings and to comment on agenda items or other matters before the Board. For meeting times, agendas and documents, go to www.sdcwa.org/board-directors.