Concerns are growing over the fate of a sprawling water infrastructure package, even as staffers in both chambers insist negotiations are fruitful and moving forward.
Despite a seemingly endless era of upheaval – a surging pandemic, contentious election cycle and racial strife – we still have the responsibility to address pressing issues that cannot wait for calmer times. The future of California’s water is one of those issues. While collaboration and relationship building have been made even more challenging due to distancing required by COVID-19, we believe that water is an issue where we can rise above party lines and entrenched perspectives.
Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s leadership in the development of water reuse as well as its strong workplace culture received national recognition with a 2020 Utility of the Future Today award. The award honors substantial excellence in the operation of water sector services.
“We are honored to be recognized as a groundbreaking agency in the area of water reuse,” said Allen Carlisle, Padre Dam general manager and CEO. “This distinction highlights our ongoing commitment to innovative improvements in service of our customers.”
How should power over water decisions in San Diego be divided?
Should the city of San Diego, which represents almost 40 percent of the region’s water consumers, have the most sway?
Or should smaller cities be on equal footing when the outcome of a decision could harm towns with less people and money?
That is the question facing San Diego County Water Authority once again, after the latest vote over a $5 billion duplicate pipeline to the Colorado River. Directors voted down spending $1.7 million more to study the project further, in raw numbers. Twenty of the agency’s 36 directors said no to the pipeline, and 14 said yes.
In a letter to President-elect Joe Biden last week, the American Water Works Association urged the incoming administration to prioritize COVID-19 relief for water utilities and investment for the overall water infrastructure sector.
The letter, authored by association president Melissa Elliott, cites AWWA research that revenue shortfalls at U.S. drinking water utilities may reduce economic activity by $32.7 billion and cost 75,000 to 90,000 private-sector jobs. Drinking water utilities are expected to see revenues from customer payments drop by nearly $14 billion, according to AWWA estimates. This is the result of the elimination of water shutoffs for non-payment, increased late payments due to high unemployment, reductions in non-residential water demands, and the addition of fewer new customers due to economic stagnation.
Things got a little wild at the San Diego County Water Authority meeting last week when its 36 directors argued over whether they should spend more money studying a controversial $5 billion pipeline to the Colorado River.
Outrage after leaders apparently skipped over female directors waiting to add comments during a discussion period sparked some to change their vote on the matter.
Lake Miramar, a longtime recreational oasis celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is about to become a key part of San Diego’s new $5 billion Pure Water system that will boost the city’s water independence by recycling treated sewage.
The last of San Diego’s nine city reservoirs to be built, Lake Miramar attracts an estimated 100,000 people a year for jogging, biking, fishing, boating, picnicking and other activities.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors authorized staff to launch the next phase of a study assessing options for long-term water deliveries to sustain the region’s economy and quality of life.
The decision follows months of community dialogue about Phase A of the Regional Conveyance System Study, which was released in August. The study demonstrated the technical viability and economic competitiveness of two routes for an aqueduct to transport the Water Authority’s independent, high-priority Colorado River water to San Diego County.
A top State Water Resources Control Board administrator is “strongly encouraging” California American Water to “resolve disputes” and pursue both short-term and long-term water supply solutions for the Monterey Peninsula while pointing out that the Carmel River aquifer pumping cutback order deadline at the end of next year is approaching with no additional water supply project expected to be operational by then.
The Poway City Council approved several initial steps at Tuesday night’s meeting which could lead to a massive water improvement program for the city. The improvement program, if completed, would be the largest capital improvement program Poway has ever undertaken, said Shadi Sami, principal civil engineer for the city.
The program consists of several parts, but would ultimately replace the city’s existing, decades-old clear well with new storage reservoirs. It would also connect the city with the San Diego Water Authority’s treated water, creating treated water pipelines, a pump station and forebay. Currently, Poway only receives raw water from the SDCWA.