Eric Heidemann was seated on the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors on May 8, 2020, representing the City of Poway. Director Heidemann serves on the Imported Water and Engineering and Operations committees for the Water Authority.
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The City of San Diego plans to develop more than half of its water locally under a plan introduced by Mayor Todd Gloria.
The plan intends to develop more than 50% of the city’s locally by 2045. A major factor in this goal will be the city’s Pure Water recycling program, which purifies recycled water to be used as safe drinking water. The project is expected to be fully implemented by the end of 2035 and have the capacity to create 83 million gallons of water daily.
As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year. However, observations in the U.S. show that as temperatures have risen, snowpack melt is relatively unaffected in some regions while others can experience snowpack melt a month earlier in the year.
The winter storms that dumped heavy snow and rain across California early in 2021 are likely not enough to negate what will be a critically dry year, state water officials believe.
California’s Department of Water Resources on Tuesday recorded a snow depth of 56 inches and water content of 21 inches at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. The water content of the overall snowpack was 61% of the average for March 2 and 54% of the average for April 1, when it is historically at its maximum.
The Department of Water Resources today conducted the third manual snow survey of the season at Phillips Station. The manual survey recorded 56 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent (SWE) of 21 inches, which is 86% of average for this location. The SWE measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a key component of DWR’s water supply forecast.
“As California closes out the fifth consecutive dry month of our water year, absent a series of strong storms in March or April we are going to end with a critically dry year on the heels of last year’s dry conditions,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “With back-to-back dry years, water efficiency and drought preparedness are more important than ever for communities, agriculture and the environment.”
Anyone who has hosted a good dinner party knows that the guest list, table setting and topic of conversation play a big role in determining whether the night is a hit or the guests leave angry and unsatisfied.
That concept is about to get a true test on the Colorado River, where chairs are being pulled up to a negotiating table to start a new round of talks that could define how the river system adapts to a changing climate for the next generation.
San Diego announced Tuesday that the system it’s building to purify wastewater well enough for drinking will provide enough water to cover half its population. That’s a significant increase over previous messaging that touted the Pure Water program would cover one third of the city’s water supply by 2035.
The Helix Water District Board of Directors last week unanimously approved funding for the district’s first financial customer assistance program, which will help East County residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing the San Diego region’s limited local water supplies with innovative ideas is something the San Diego County Water Authority has become known for. Using expertise gained from decades of successful planning and projects, the Water Authority is developing strategies to reduce the future cost of water that sustains the economy and quality of life across the county.
A disappointingly dry February is fanning fears of another severe drought in California, and cities and farms are bracing for problems. In many places, including parts of the Bay Area, water users are already being asked to cut back.