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Opinion: Drink More Recycled Wastewater

Drinkable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Population growth, pollution and climate change mean that more cities are being forced to search for unconventional water sources. In a growing number of places, drinking highly treated municipal wastewater, called ‘reused water’, has become the best option — and, in some cases, the only one (see ‘What is reused water?’).

IID Ratifies Revised Water Order

EL CENTRO — The Imperial Irrigation board Monday, ratified revising its 2019 water order to resolve a longstanding issue between the district and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation over the 2010 pre-delivery of water to the Salton Sea.

IID’s revised 2019 water order was submitted last week and now includes an additional 46,546 acre-feet of conserved water. This water will remain in the river to build elevation at Lake Mead to benefit all Colorado River water users.

Opinion: California Can Solve its Water Shortage With the Water We Have. Here’s How

California is at a water crossroads.

We can continue our costly, 100-year-old pattern of trying to find new water supplies, or we can choose instead to focus on smarter ways of using – and reusing – what we already have.

The cheapest water is the water we save.

Opinion: California Rejects Federal Water Proposal, Lays Out its Vision for Protecting Endangered Species and Meeting State Water Needs

California’s water policy can be complex, and—let’s be honest—often polarizing.

Water decisions frequently get distilled into unhelpful narratives of fish versus farms, north versus south, or urban versus rural. Climate change-driven droughts and flooding threats, as well as our divided political climate, compound these challenges.

We must rise above these historic conflicts by finding ways to protect our environment and build water security for communities and agriculture. We need to embrace decisions that benefit our entire state. Simply put, we have to become much more innovative, collaborative and adaptive.

 

California Gov. Newsom Makes Move to Halt Trump Water Grab

California’s water wars escalated Thursday, as state leaders vowed to fight the Trump administration over plans to ship more water to Central Valley farms.

Gov. Gavin Newsom and members of his administration announced that they were preparing a lawsuit against the federal government to prevent California’s rivers and wildlife from being cheated out of vital supplies.

State leaders said boosting agricultural deliveries, a longtime campaign promise of the president, could upend fragile watersheds and threaten such protected fish as the iconic chinook salmon and delta smelt

Mark Watton, Who Helped Pioneer Historic Pact To Protect Region’s Water Supply, To Retire

Longtime Otay Water District General Manager Mark Watton, regarded as one of the architects of the historic water-transfer agreement with the Imperial Irrigation District, will retire next year.

Watton, who has represented the water interests of Otay, the county and the state for more than 30 years, said he intends to step down in late February.

“Looking back on my career, I’m fully satisfied,” he said.

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.

Why Desalinating Water is Hard — and Why We Might Need To Anyway

In places like San Diego and Dubai, where freshwater is scarce, humans turn to machines that pull the salt out of seawater, transforming it into clean drinking water.

(L to R): Sandy Kerl, San Diego County Water Authority acting general manager; Cynthia Koeler, WaterNow Alliance executive director; Paula Kehoe, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission director of water resources; and California-Nevada Section of AWWA Executive Director Tim Worley. Photo: Water Authority

‘Big Ideas’ Diversify San Diego Region’s Reliable Water Supply

Ensuring water for future generations requires investing and investigating big ideas, according to Sandy Kerl.

Kerl, acting general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, shared some of those ideas today in San Diego, as she delivered the opening remarks at the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association annual fall conference, which runs through Thursday at the Town and Country Hotel Convention Center.

“Big ideas” diversify water supply portfolio

The theme of the conference is “Re/Source: Sustaining Life Through Diversity of Water.”

The Water Authority has worked for three decades to increase San Diego County’s water supply reliability through supply diversification in a region with few natural water assets.

“While we’re proud of the progress we have made, we know that we can’t stand still,” said Kerl.

She described three of the “big ideas” the Water Authority is exploring to increase its water portfolio to meet the needs of 3.3 million people and a $231 billion economy:

Conservation plays key role in sustaining water supply

Kerl also said San Diego County residents play a big part in making water conservation a success.

“I’m proud to say that our 2019 public opinion survey shows that virtually every resident believes in water-use efficiency as a civic duty,” she said.

During a panel discussion, Kerl talked about the importance of supply diversification.

“Creating new sources of supply is critical, but sustainability is really about having a balanced water portfolio approach to ensure a safe, reliable supply,” said Kerl. “Potable reuse is another piece of the puzzle, but you can’t recycle what you don’t have, so we need to look at creating new sources of water supply, such as desalination.”

Tap into resilience

The theme of resilience and sustainability was echoed by the other panelists.

Cynthia Koehler, executive director of WaterNow Alliance, said the organization’s “Tap into Resilience” initiative offers support for projects to enhance water resources now and for future generations.

“The initiative is a unique and comprehensive set of resources for water decision-makers, but also for utility staff and managers to help them implement sustainable water systems,” said Koehler.

Paula Kehoe, director of water resources for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said drought, climate change, and, in particular for the utility, pending environmental regulation, could cause significant issues for water supplies.

“Conservation has been key to increasing our local water supply,” said Kehoe. “We also are pumping groundwater to increase local supply, and we have a groundwater storage and recharge program to build up groundwater supplies for future droughts.”

Blog: ‘Big Ideas’ Diversify San Diego Region’s Reliable Water Supply

Ensuring water for future generations requires investing and investigating big ideas, according to Sandy Kerl.

Kerl, acting general manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, shared some of those ideas today in San Diego, as she delivered the opening remarks at the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association annual fall conference, which runs through Thursday at the Town and Country Hotel Convention Center.