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Opinion: San Vicente Hydroelectric Project a Smart Way to Make Power Grid More Resilient

The state government’s decision to provide $18 million to fund preliminary work on state and federal approvals for the long-anticipated San Vicente Energy Storage Facility — advocated by the San Diego County Water Authority and the city of San Diego — makes the $1.5 billion project significantly more likely to come to pass. The great news is that the “pumped hydro” facility at the San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside will strongly shore up available energy supplies at night after solar power is no longer directly available.

San Diego Radio DJs Promote WaterSmart Lifestyles

Well-known local radio DJs Geena the Latina from Channel 93.3, Beto Perez from Jam’n 95.7 and Tati from Star 94.1, are teaming up with the San Diego County Water Authority this summer to thank San Diegans for using water wisely and are encouraging residents to keep our region drought-safe.

Oceanside Launches Ratepayer Relief Program On August 2

The City of Oceanside announced the Oceanside Ratepayer Relief Program in response to financial hardships of the pandemic. The program will launch Monday, August 2, 2021, and will offer a one-time credit to eligible customers who are behind on their utility bill.

At the start of the global pandemic, Oceanside suspended late fees and water shutoffs; the Ratepayer Relief Program is going one step further to support customers. Funding for the program comes from a $2.3 million settlement received by the City as a result of litigation between the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District that challenged rates charged for the delivery of water from 2011 to 2014.

Long Troubled Salton Sea May Finally Be Getting What it Most Needs: Action – and Money

State work to improve wildlife habitat and tamp down dust at California’s ailing Salton Sea is finally moving forward. Now the sea may be on the verge of getting the vital ingredient needed to supercharge those restoration efforts – money.

The shrinking desert lake has long been a trouble spot beset by rising salinity and unhealthy, lung-irritating dust blowing from its increasingly exposed bed. It shadows discussions of how to address the Colorado River’s two-decade-long drought because of its connection to the system. The lake is a festering health hazard to nearby residents, many of them impoverished, who struggle with elevated asthma risk as dust rises from the sea’s receding shoreline.

San Diego’s Water Desalination Efforts Could Get Boost in Federal Funding

Desalination projects in the San Diego area could get millions in federal funding under a bill Rep. Mike Levin introduced Tuesday.

The Desalination Development Act would provide $260 million over five years for desalination projects across the country, including the City of Oceanside’s Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility, which converts brackish flows into potable water, said Levin, D-San Juan Capistrano.

It also sets environmental standards for projects that get federal funding, with requirements for energy efficiency, wildlife protection and water conservation.

First Steps Taken to Make Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project at San Vicente Reservoir a Reality

With an $18 million boost from the state, a major energy storage project using hydroelectric power is taking shape at the San Vicente Reservoir, nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountains near Lakeside.

The long talked about San Vicente Energy Storage Facility — proposed by the city of San Diego and the San Diego County Water Authority — received the funding earlier this month when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state budget. The $18 million will be spent to tackle some of the preliminary work needed to make the “pumped hydro” project a reality, such as initial design, environmental reviews and federal licensing.

“We believe the project is a critical component to meeting the state’s needs for integrating renewables” into the power grid, said Gary Bousquet, deputy director of engineering at the County Water Authority.

Little Action on Border Sewage Crisis Since $300M Announcement

Rain fell on San Diego Monday. It wasn’t a lot of rain – an Accuweather forecast called for “a brief morning shower or two” with an anticipated rainfall of 0.01 inches.

But it was enough to prompt a beach closure at the Tijuana Slough, just south of Imperial Beach. That section of the beach is closed whenever the Tijuana River is flowing.

Cross-border sewage spills have been an issue in South County for decades.

Water Conservation Helps San Diego Regional Supply During Drought

Water conservation is a way of life in the San Diego region, whether during drought periods or wet years. While the region is in drought like much of the Southwest U.S., San Diego County is not experiencing a water shortage. That’s because the Helix Water District, and the other water utilities serving the region, have worked together for 25 years to conserve water and invest in new water resources.

‘The Air is Toxic’: How An Idyllic California Lake Became a Nightmare

Just to be safe, Noemí Vázquez keeps inhalers in almost every room of her house. She stashes them in her kitchen cupboard, a couple in her purse, one in the bathroom, and, of course, by her bedside.

And then there’s the large, black Puma knapsack where she keeps her nebulizer, several inhalers, and the montelukast pills she takes to treat her wheezing. Her four-year-old granddaughter has her own asthma kit – a neon pink and purple Trolls-themed lunch box that holds a small, child-sized nebulizer and a few inhalers. “She’s smart! She knows: this is her bag,” Vázquez said.

Helix Water District Moving Forward With Water Shutoffs

Helix Water District, which provides water for much of East County, will reinstate late fees starting in August and renew water shutoffs on Oct. 1.

The utility’s governing board voted 4-1 on Wednesday to support staff’s decision to bring back late fees and shutoffs for nonpayment. Customers suffering financial hardship had been given a grace period during the pandemic.

The district currently has 546 accounts in arrears for a total of more than $470,000. Helix officials say that 475 of those accounts are residential.