Cecilia Bernal came looking for a career. Essie Mae Horne was focused on occupational advancement. Michaela Maddox-Gomez wanted to explore her options before she graduates from Mt. Carmel High School. Bernal, Horne and Maddox-Gomez were among the approximately 250 people packing the Center for Water Studies 2nd annual Women in Water – Exploring Career Pathways symposium on Jan. 17 at Cuyamaca College. The event included nearly two dozen speakers, a half-dozen panel discussions, inspirational messages from water and wastewater industry administrators, a day’s worth of networking opportunities and a bevy of information tables.
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When it’s time to inspect facilities, such as water tanks, or survey the topography of its properties, the Otay Water District now turns to technology it has embraced in the past year: drones. The water agency, which serves more than 225,000 customers in eastern and southern San Diego County, uses two camera-equipped drones to get a bird’s-eye view of its vast and mostly remote sites and facilities, which include 40 potable water reservoirs, more than 20 pump stations and a treatment plant.
Coastal flooding and beach erosion are possible through Monday during the annual ocean phenomenon known as king tides. Waves carrying sand and rocks are likely to wash over The Strand in Oceanside, the parking lots at Tamarack Avenue beach in Carlsbad and Cardiff State Beach in Encinitas, and other low spots along the coast. Parts of Highway 101 have been closed temporarily to clean up debris and repair damage left by the seasonal tides and waves in recent years.
The new Escondido City Council majority flexed its muscle Wednesday by reversing a decision made two years ago to build a recycled water desalination plant in the middle of the city near businesses, a retirement complex, and homes. The Washington Avenue and Ash Street site was strongly opposed by residents and business owners in the area when the council voted in 2017 to build the $15 million plant there. The facility is badly needed to divert used water from being dumped into the ocean and to bring less expensive, higher-quality water to avocado farmers in the eastern and northern parts of the city.
A Poway landowner has filed a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the city for allegedly failing to adhere to water pollution control permits in the Lake Poway area along the trails leading to Mount Woodson and Potato Chip Rock. Poway City Attorney Allen Fenstermacher on Tuesday said the city denies all claims made in the suit and will file a response next month. He said the plaintiff, Kevin T. Kelly, filed the suit after the city rejected his request to purchase his property.
Jimmy Cliff’s 1971 song “I Can See Clearly Now” should be appropriate on Friday and well into next week. After a series of storms, gone will be the dark clouds – and the rain. Friday is gonna be a bright, bright, bright, sunshiny day, according to the National Weather Service. An “atmospheric river” of moisture that drenched counties to the north on Thursday barely brushed San Diego, which had a gray and misty day but only 0.05 of an inch of rain by late afternoon. The North County was far wetter, with some spots registering several tenths of an inch.
While this week’s rains forced mandatory evacuations for parts of the city of Lake Elsinore, it’s also brought good news for the lake itself. Canyon Lake dam upstream of Lake Elsinore is overflowing for the first time in two years, sending healthful water to Southern California’s largest natural freshwater lake. The lake periodically experiences dead fish on its shores and closures to people because of high levels of bacteria and algae as well as low oxygen levels in the water.
At local mountains, where snowfall was plentiful at the start of the week, raindrops started falling from the sky Thursday. It’s not the best news for those planning on hitting the slopes, as the rain turns the snow to mush. But there’s a bright side to all this wet stuff: For lakes that have suffered from low levels in recent years, it means reservoirs are filling up. Around the state, snowpacks are near normal levels and local rain totals have surpassed what’s expected this time of year. And when the rainstorms move out and blue skies replace the clouds starting Friday, it could be a great weekend for a snowy holiday getaway.
Gloria D. Gray has added another “first” to her extensive public service career, as she becomes the first African American elected to chair the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California. Her two-year term, which began Jan. 1, marks only the second time that a woman has led the 90-year-old agency that, together with its member agencies, delivers water to 300 cities and unincorporated areas in Southern California.
A final round of precipitation, possibly the heaviest of the week, is expected in San Diego County Thursday along with high winds in the mountains and high surf at the beaches. As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, the wet weather over the past four days had brought the least rain to San Ysidro — at 0.63 of an inch — while Julian received the brunt of the storms — with 2.24 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. Along the coast, Oceanside received 1.35 inches over the four-day span while Brown Field airport in Otay Mesa got 0.65 of an inch, Carlsbad received 0.88 of an inch and the San Diego International Airport was doused by 0.67 of an inch.