Orange County’s Pioneering Wastewater Recycling System Embarks on Major Expansion

Orange County’s wastewater recycling program, a pioneering idea that’s already touted as the largest of its type in the world, is about to get bigger.

Big enough, in fact, to serve the tap water needs of about 1 million residents, according to the Orange County Water District and Orange County Sanitation District. Dubbed the Groundwater Replenishment System, the project produces water that is half the price of imported water, and is virtually immune to both drought and reductions in imports.

OPINION: Californians Should Favor Dam Expansion Plan: Tom Campbell

The Public Policy Institute of California, one of the most respected, neutral research institutes in our state, reports that more than a third of all the water that falls on California in the form of rain or snow flows to the Pacific Ocean.

This constitutes a greater percentage of our water than agriculture, industrial and urban uses combined. The next largest destination for California’s water is environmental, which also exceeds all that is consumed by agriculture, industrial and urban use combined. Together, water going to environmental uses and water flowing to the ocean make up two-thirds of all California’s water.

PFAS Toxins Found In Drinking Water Throughout Southern California

Wells of nearly two dozen Southern California water agencies have reportable levels of PFAS, a chemical family increasingly linked to cancer, liver and kidney damage, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, low fertility, low birth weight and ulcerative colitis. Six of those agencies have shut down wells in the past year because of the presence of those chemicals and two more plan closures, an investigation by the Southern California News Group found. The state only this year began ordering testing for the chemicals, and a state law requiring that customers be notified about the presence of those chemicals won’t kick in until next year.

Irvine Lake Is Rebounding After Seven Years Of Drought Conditions

What a difference a year – and a whole lot of rain – can make for a reservoir. Irvine Lake was created in 1931 with the completion of the Santiago Dam just west of the Santa Ana Mountains. While it can hold as much as 25,000 acre feet of water (an acre foot is enough to cover a football field at one foot deep), through California’s punishing seven-year drought it often held much less. Just a year ago, the water level was at 2,700 acre feet and large swaths of parched dirt were left exposed….

As One Storm Moves Out Of Southern California, Two More Are Moving In

This week’s storm, which drew added moisture from an atmospheric river out of Hawaii, doused L.A. County valley areas early Thursday but is on its way out of the region, forecasters said. “After the spectacular lightning show early Wednesday morning and the periods of heavy rain that lingered into Wednesday afternoon, the weather across Southwestern California has quieted down quite a bit in most areas,” noted an NWS statement.

Orange County Water Study Updated, Poseidon Desalination Plant Still Scores Low

South Orange County is far more at risk for future water shortages than the rest of the county, according to the final draft of a water-needs forecast received Wednesday by the Municipal Water District of Orange County’s board. The Poseidon desalination plant planned for Huntington Beach continues to rank lowest in cost effectiveness, with questions also raised about the need for the $1 billion project. The 261-page report updates MWDOC’s 2016 forecast, reflecting the increased likelihood that the California WaterFix tunnels will improve the reliability of flows imported from northern California.