Fourteen months after Environmental Protection Agency inspectors quietly notified the operator of the Desert View Power Plant that it had repeatedly emitted illegally high levels of mercury and other dangerous pollutants upwind of the low-income east Coachella valley community of Mecca, federal regulators will meet with residents and community groups on Tuesday night.
President Joe Biden’s administration has agreed to investigate how California manages its water after some Native American tribes and environmental groups complained the state’s policies are “rooted in white supremacy.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week it would investigate the California State Water Resources Control Board.
Helix Water District received recognition from The Climate Registry as a Water-Energy Leader Gold organization after the district reduced its electric use by 15% and greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
The Climate Registry is a nonprofit organization that helps companies, governments, and institutions reduce their emissions. Its Water-Energy Nexus Registry is sponsored by the California Environmental Protection Agency and allows utilities and cities to measure, track, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions associated with California’s water system.
The University of San Diego Energy Policy Initiative Center, or EPIC, confirmed the district’s 2019 and 2021 total greenhouse gas emissions are 40% lower than those in 2009. EPIC’s findings were verified by a third party. The Climate Registry made the announcement this month based on this verification.
“This award is a testament to the fact you can be a good steward of the environment while also making sound financial decisions,” said Helix Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg. “We found that energy efficiency is very similar to water conservation. You take advantage of every opportunity to save a little bit because there isn’t one thing that will get you to the finish line. But together they have an impact.”
Retrofits, upgrades, and sustainability savings add up
Helix achieved its most recent emission reductions through multiple efforts, including a comprehensive lighting retrofit program, new lighting management system, and an upgrade to the HVAC system at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant.
Helix also transitioned its diesel fleet to 100% renewable diesel fuel.
Previously, the district installed solar panels at its operations center, initiated load shifting at its Levy Water Treatment Plant and pump stations to off-peak periods, and obtaining grants to install electric vehicle charging stations at its facilities.
Have you heard? @theclimatereg has named Helix Water District a Water-Energy Leader Gold organization! Learn more about this recognition at https://t.co/jB7NSjrVQ6. #elcajon #lamesa #lemongrove #cawater #sustainability pic.twitter.com/uf22UKzLhR
— Helix Water District (@helixwater) July 26, 2023
In 2021, the San Diego County Water Authority earned Climate Registered gold status from The Climate Registry for verifying and publicly reporting its greenhouse gas emissions.
(Editor’s note: The Helix Water District is one of the San Diego County Water Authority’s 24 member agencies that deliver water across the San Diego County region.)
Following nearly two years of litigation regarding Trump-era water policy, the federal government has until Oct. 14 to come up a plan to balance competing needs for the precious resource.
A minute order from District Judge Dale A. Drozd from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California extended by two weeks the due date for the status update that was originally expected to be delivered Sept. 30.
There could be lead in your tap water. There could be PFAS in your bottled water. Microplastics might be in both. Do you choose neurotoxic heavy metals or carcinogenic “forever chemicals?”
That’s the predicament facing Americans every time they take a drink of water.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law last week a bill that will require the state’s Environmental Protection Agency to create a Watershed Action Plan for the Tijuana River Valley.
If you were building an electrical grid from scratch (with no regard to regulations or finance), then long-duration energy storage would be a requisite. It just makes sense — store energy when it’s cheap and/or abundant, and discharge when the price is high, or the energy is needed by the grid. Use it to load-shift, peak-shift and smooth; to replace fossil-fuel-fired peaker plants; and to integrate intermittent renewable resources onto the grid.
Long-duration storage fits in with what utilities, independent system operators, and regional transmission operators understand. “Most utilities seem to want much longer-duration storage systems, with 6 to 12 hours discharge, to do serious load-shaping over the day,” suggests an analyst at a U.S. energy think tank. Some of these expectations are being driven by the performance of pumped hydro, once the only source of grid-connected storage.
Economically viable long-duration energy storage could accelerate solar and wind penetration, grid resiliency, and serve to stabilize volatile energy prices. But, long-duration energy storage will not become pervasive until regulators adapt to the capabilities of the technology.
Every year, nearly 40% of California’s water used for drinking, agriculture, and irrigation comes from groundwater sources located in Northern California. During droughts, as much as 60% of water in California is sourced from groundwater. In addition, large quantities of California’s surface water (water found in lakes, rivers, stream, and reservoirs) provides a resource to citizens and farms in the state. However, since the 1922 Colorado River Compact, California is also able to draw up to 4.4 million acre feet per year from the Colorado River.
California Environmental Protection Secretary Jared Blumenfeld lauded House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Diego County’s congressional delegation Thursday for their successful efforts to include millions in funding in a new multi-national trade deal to mitigate toxic sewage flows in the Tijuana River Valley.