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San Diego County Water Authority Developing 2020 Urban Water Management Plan

SAN DIEGO, CA, JAN 27, 2020 – The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors authorized work on the 2020 Urban Water Management Plan last week. The Board approved a contract with the firm Woodard & Curran to provide support services for preparation of the plan, which documents the region’s approach to ensuring a safe and reliable water supply.

Rain Brings Urban Runoff to Beaches

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall, Jan. 21. Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria Levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions.

Toxic PFAS “Forever Chemicals: Found in Water Supplies Across U.S., But Trump Threatens to Veto Regulatory Bill

The 2019 movie “Dark Waters” alerted the public to health hazards posed by perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, also know as PFOA and PFOS) that contaminated water and groundwater around manufacturer DuPont’s facility in Parksburg, West Virginia. The chemicals have been linked to deaths, cancer and more–and they are pervasive, found in 97% of Americans tested, PBS reports, citing a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination study in 2015.

Escondido Water Quality Lab Leads by Example

California’s 600 certified water quality testing labs will face strict new accreditation standards in the near future. While final hearings still need to take place on the draft regulations before adoption, the City of Escondido Water Quality Lab isn’t waiting. Escondido is working now to adopt the anticipated regulations.

Escondido is one of only two California labs already compliant with the draft regulations, which require more stringent quality controls.

Opinion: We Must Focus on the Most Viable Solutions for the Ailing Salton Sea

Talk about the Salton Sea, its possible effects on the surrounding communities, and solutions is ofttimes heavy in emotion but lacking a grounding in fact and science.

Here are a few facts that are often missed:

The Salton Sea lake is going through the natural evolution of a landlocked body of water, with minimal inflow, located in an arid environment. These lakes turn into salty lakes (think Great Salt Lake) and eventually turn into a salt flat or playa (think Bonneville Salt Flat).

IID Approves Controversial Land Deal Near Salton Sea for Construction of ‘Inland Port’

The Imperial Irrigation District board of directors voted this week to approve an option to sell 2,880 acres near Niland and Calipatria to a Moreno Valley-based developer for the construction of an “inland port.”

The board postponed action on the deal in December and called for more information and new terms, which IID staff presented before Tuesday’s vote. By a 4-1 vote, the board approved the amended deal, with President Norma Sierra Galindo as the lone vote in opposition.

Wildlife Protected for New Underground Reservoir Project

One by one, small mammals and amphibians living within a construction zone in Mission Trails Regional Park are being relocated to safe areas. Protecting sensitive species is one part of the Mission Trails Project.

A team of biologists from the San Diego County Water Authority, AECOM, and the San Diego Natural History Museum began surveying for and relocating the wildlife in preparation for a new underground reservoir. The reservoir will be constructed in the western portion of the park. The habitat surveys and wildlife relocation program span 15 acres of the park and are designed to protect sensitive species in the project area from construction activities.

Opinion: Cross-Border Sewage Spills Are an Emergency – It’s Time for the County to Treat Them Like One

We all know what rolls downhill and smells bad. Nowhere is it more true than in the Tijuana River Valley in southern San Diego County, where for years toxic cross-border sewage spills have created the biggest ongoing water pollution and environmental justice crisis in the United States. While some progress has been made in recent negotiations with Mexico to fund solutions, it could take years to realize significant improvements.

Water District Elects Officers, Approves Million-Dollar Contracts

A new slate of officers were ushered in to the Ramona Municipal Water District (RMWD) Jan. 14 just before its board of directors approved two construction contracts estimated to cost more than $1 million apiece.

RMWD Board President Jim Robinson was an easy choice to serve a second term as the board’s president. He quickly received unanimous support among the four directors present, with Vice President Jim Hickle absent.

California Needs Clean Energy After Sundown. Geothermal Could be the Answer

After years of playing third fiddle to solar and wind power, geothermal energy is poised to start growing again in California.

Three local energy providers have signed contracts this month for electricity from new geothermal power plants, one in Imperial County near the Salton Sea and the other in Mono County along the Eastern Sierra. The new plants will be the first geothermal facilities built in California in nearly a decade — potentially marking a long-awaited turning point for a technology that could play a critical role in the state’s transition to cleaner energy sources.