Plans for Urgent South Bay Wastewater Plant Repairs Revealed

As calls to fix the sewage crisis in the South Bay continue to intensify, there were some heated moments inside Wednesday morning’s Regional Water Quality Control Board meeting.

“We continue to be woken up by the smell of chemicals and sewage in the middle of the night,” said Paloma Aguirre, Imperial Beach’s mayor, as she read an emotional letter from one of her constituents to the board.

Water Quality Expected to Decline as Extreme Weather Becomes More Common, New Study Says

The increasing frequency of droughts, heatwaves, storms and floods is threatening the availability of water and its quality across the world, a study released Tuesday said, heightening scientist’s existing concerns that climate change poses a severe threat to human health.

The World’s Largest Dam Demolition Has Begun. Can the Dammed Klamath River Finally Find Salvation?

Oshun O’Rourke waded into the dark green water, splashing toward a net that her colleagues gently closed around a cluster of finger-length fish.

The Klamath River is wide and still here, making its final turn north to the coast as it winds through the Yurok reservation in Humboldt County. About 150 baby chinook salmon, on their long journey to the Pacific, were resting in cool waters that poured down from the forest.

San Diego Researchers Work on Forecasting Tool for Ocean Pathogens

California is investing $3 million in an effort to allow researchers to predict when and where ocean waters near Imperial Beach may be contaminated.

The ocean off the coast of Imperial Beach has suffered decades of contamination which includes trash, toxic chemicals and untreated sewage runoff.

Feinstein, Padilla Ask Senate for $310 Million to Address Border Pollution

California Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla Tuesday called on U.S. Senate leadership to include $310 million in an upcoming emergency supplemental bill — money that would be used to repair infrastructure to treat raw sewage spilling across the border from Mexico.

Federal Judge Denies Request for Temporary Block of Water Testing Rules in California

Two associations that represent the interests of wastewater treatment and water reclamation plant operators are unlikely to succeed on their claims challenging the federal government’s approval of California’s new water quality standards, a federal judge in the state ruled Monday. On May 22, Clean Water SoCal and the Central Valley Clean Water Association — groups with member agencies that own and operate wastewater treatment and water reclamation plants — sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Tomas Torres, director of EPA’s Region IX, over the approval of California’s new water toxicity provisions.

Supervisors Declare State of Emergency on Cross-Border Pollution, Sewage

San Diego County supervisors unanimously approved a proclamation Tuesday declaring a state of emergency due to pollution and sewage flowing across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Board Chairwoman Nora Vargas and Vice Chair Terra Lawson-Remer introduced the proclamation, which asks Gov. Gavin Newsom and President Joe Biden to issue similar declarations, “suspend red tape that may hinder response efforts, and expedite access to federal resources for San Diego County.”

Supreme Court Scales Back Clean Water Protections. What Does It Mean for California?

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision scaling back federal protections for many wetlands and streams has drawn criticism from scientists and environmental advocates, who say the gutting of safeguards will jeopardize water quality throughout the arid West.

California’s water regulators say the ruling will be harmful for protections nationwide, but the more stringent state protections of wetlands won’t be affected.

A student at the science fair showcases her project board. Innovation-technology

Students Showcase Innovation in Water Technology

Middle and high school students from San Diego and Imperial counties showcased their creativity and innovation in water technology at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair.

Winning students at the March event presented multi-faceted water technology designed for use in agriculture, water conservation, safety and treatment, creating solutions to some of the San Diego region’s most pressing water issues.

For decades, the San Diego County Water Authority has partnered with the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair to inspire students to pursue water industry careers and experiment with sustainable water designs.

High school students invent next-generation water technology

Kyle Tianshi and Sarah Gao tied for first place in the senior division for their development of water purifying technologies. Tianshi, an eleventh grader at The Cambridge School, focused on water pollutant identification through light scattering. Tianshi said the project used fluorescent emissions and lasers to detect microplastics in drinking water.

Gao’s work with wastewater treatment experimented with plant seeds as flocculants for water purification. A Canyon Crest Academy sophomore, Gao was also named an ISEF finalist for her work and will compete in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas in May.

Srija Sengupta from Westview High School took home the second-place senior award for her project, “Good on Land and Bad in Water: Effects of Fertilizer-Rich Runoff on Algal Growth.” Sengupta’s research tested the effects of fertilizer runoff in Dixon Lake and the subsequent impact on marine life, finding that phosphorous-rich fertilizers contributed the most to algae growth.

Middle school students ‘wow’ with work in water technology

In the junior division, Ryan Richardson was awarded first place for his automatic faucet invention. When tested, Richardson’s faucet was found to save more than 50% of water in a household of four, prioritizing water conservation. He is already pursuing a patent for his invention.

From Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School, seventh graders Joaquin Revilla Harker and Tyler Rowe earned the second-place junior division title. Harker and Rowe’s research tested the growth capabilities of different water on grass, finding that gray water was the most suitable for growth, which can help conserve drinking water.

Caleb Raagas, who is also a seventh grader at Saint Gregory the Great Catholic School, was awarded the junior division’s third place award for his research on the effects of salinity levels on the production of hydroelectricity.

“This year’s winners all developed projects that address or could help solve a critical issue related to water, such as water quality, water supply management, and water purification,” said Sami Sweis, Engineer P.E. at the Water Authority. “Our industry needs bright young people like these students to use cutting-edge technology and innovation to help maintain safe and reliable water supplies for generations to come.”

Welcoming future environmental innovators

There are more than 2,800 professionals in the water and wastewater industry in San Diego County, who work hard to provide safe and reliable water supplies to the region. The Water Authority’s continued partnerships with the community work to guarantee a future of opportunity for students interested in being a part of this industry.

DWR Testing Water Quality at Lake Oroville

The California Department of Water Resources began the process of monitoring the water quality at Lake Oroville on Thursday. According to a press release issued Thursday by DWR, the process consists of placing sondes, a type of monitoring device, into Lake Oroville as well as the Thermalito Diversion Pool.