GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

San Diego regional water news roundup Jan 1-5, 2011

Posted by George J Janczyn on January 6, 2011

(click headlines to see sourced stories)

UC San Diego Begins Construction On 2.8MW Fuel Cell / Solar Thermal Magazine : “UCSD has announced that the construction of a 2.8MW fuel cell with enough capacity to power 2,800 homes has begun on its campus as part of a renewable-energy project with the City of San Diego and BioFuels Energy to turn waste methane gas from the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant directly into electricity without combustion. Waste heat from the plant also is used as a power source for a water chiller that fills a 3.8-million-gallon storage tank at night with cold water, which allows the university to reduce its peak daytime energy requirements by about 14%.”

Up, up and away with water rates / North County Times : “Just as most of Southern California’s water is delivered in bucket-brigade style from a series of importers, cost increases get passed along at each step of the way. These agencies include Metropolitan Water District, Southern California’s main importer; the San Diego County Water Authority, the county’s main importer; and local water agencies that sell directly to customers.”

Carlsbad desal project faces big tests in 2011 / North County Times : “The fate of a proposed ocean desalination plant in Carlsbad appears to hinge on whether the city reaches a deal with the county’s major water wholesaler, the San Diego County Water Authority. Carlsbad has told the water authority it wants financial guarantees in return for allowing the project to proceed.”

More geothermal found in Imperial Valley / EarthTechling : “The sun-splashed Imperial Valley, east of San Diego County along the U.S.-Mexico border, is a well-known target for solar development. Geothermal there gets less attention, but the area up near the Salton Sea is home to 10 generating plants, and now an energy developer has turned up a site that it says could produce 8-10 megawatts (MW) of power.”

WATER: Covering pools, one molecule at a time / North County Times : “San Diego-based Aquatain Solutions sells an additive it says slows evaporation from pools, ponds, lakes, and reservoirs by half or more. The California Urban Water Conservation Council is studying whether these liquid pool covers work and are cost-effective compared to other conservation methods.”

Padre Dam takes measures to safeguard against future sewage spills / Santee Patch : “Padre Dam Municipal Water District is working to safeguard itself from a repeat of the Dec. 23 sewage spill which led to beach closures along Ocean Beach. Rainstorms which saturated Southern California four days before Christmas have been named the primary culprit.”

Wet weather highlights city’s aging infrastructure / KPBS : “Bill Harris is with the city’s storm water department…he said his department is dealing with aging pipes throughout the city, record breaking winter storms that have created emergency situations and a budget that gets smaller every year.”

San Diego council considers rain emergency / SignOnSanDiego : “The damage from December’s pounding winter storms is estimated to cost the City of San Diego between $3 million and $6 million, prompting the City Council to hold a special meeting Tuesday to seek a state of emergency.”

Buoys strung on border canal to prevent drownings / AP via NPR : “A government agency on the front lines of the immigration debate has begun installing lifesaving buoys in a fast-moving canal along the U.S.-Mexico border where migrants drown each year as they sneak into the country illegally. More than 500 people have drowned in the All-American Canal since the waterway was built…Twelve people died in 2009.”

[Water] agency spends $400,000 on travel while rates rise / SignOnSanDiego : “The [Metropolitan Water District] board has 30 members who submitted expenses, including $150,000 for lodging, $61,600 for airfare, $49,740 for conferences and $22,200 for meals, among other things.”

EDITORIAL: Open the tap / North County Times : “If ever a region outside the Middle East, northern Africa or western Australia screamed for widespread use of desalination to provide drinking water, it’s Southern California.”


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