The Water News Network top stories of 2020 reflect the San Diego region’s interest in water conservation, the environment and efforts to diversify water supply sources. But the year was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, which impacted water infrastructure and operations.
Archive for date: December 29th, 2020
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A Monday storm that dumped much-needed rain and snow across San Diego County was expected to peter out overnight into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in San Diego.
Monday’s storm brought the county’s first significant traces of precipitation since the first week of November, when a North Pacific storm dropped several inches of snow in the mountains and some rain off to the west.
A $3 billion pumped-water energy storage project has been proposed along Isabella Lake that would help even out power delivery from California solar and wind farms at a volume and longevity dwarfing the large battery installations envisioned for eastern Kern.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is reviewing a Walnut engineering company’s plan to create a new reservoir above the lake then use pumps and underground pipes to turn it into a rechargeable dam and hydroelectric generator putting out a whopping 2,000 megawatts of power for up to 12 hours at a time.
Adam Young spent the last three years firing a laser from the back of his truck at Del Mar’s cliffs which are crumbling into the Pacific Ocean.
Cliff collapses along the California coast killed three Encinitas beachgoers in 2019. That same year, another bluff collapse in Del Mar destabilized a set of train tracks regularly carrying passengers between Los Angeles and San Diego. Policymakers need to make big decisions about how best to reckon with earth that seems to fall at random, but scientists still don’t understand what truly causes them to fall.
That’s what Young, a coastal geomorphologist (the study of how the earth’s surface formed and changes) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, wants to know: If we know how ocean waves and winter rains eat away at a cliff face, can we eventually predict where and when it will collapse?
With the dry start to the winter rainy season, the probability of the Pass area entering a multi-year drought is increasing. But that isn’t such a bad thing here due to the fires scorching vegetation, creating instability if it rains and possible flooding said San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency General Manager Lance Eckhart.
The proposed federal spending bill for 2021 includes funding for the Oroville Dam, Sites Reservoir Project and new snow measurement technology. If passed by Congress, part of the massive omnibus spending bill would allocate $1 billion towards restoration projects and drought relief efforts.
The Port of San Diego has approved a pilot project with FREDsense Technologies Corp. to develop a portable five-in-one field-testing sensor device to provide real-time metals analysis for stormwater monitoring. FREDsense will utilize their pre-existing titration platform optimized for the environmental remediation industry to produce an automated testing system for stormwater analysis, which will test the levels of various metals in San Diego Bay including aluminum, copper, lead, zinc and nickel, all of which are currently manually monitored under the Port’s stormwater programs.
The twin smokestacks of the Moss Landing Power Plant tower over Monterey Bay. Visible for miles along this picturesque stretch of the Northern California coast, the 500-foot-tall pillars crown what was once California’s largest electric power station — a behemoth natural gas-fired generator. Today, as California steadily moves to decarbonize its economy, those stacks are idle and the plant is largely mothballed.