GrokSurf's San Diego

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

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

Posted by George J Janczyn on March 6, 2011

(Click headlines to see full stories.)

Solana Beach entrepreneur shifts his focus to sustainability efforts for water conservation and the creation of solar farms / Del Mar Times : “Starting in 2004, with local stakeholders, Sharman created the Borrego Water Exchange (BWX), the first independent “water bank” in the state of California whose goal was to achieve water sustainability in Borrego through the issuance of water credits based on agricultural, commercial and residential water-usage rights that could be sold and exchanged.”

Getting control of border pollution / KUSI : “It’s pretty much a given that when big storms hit San Diego waste water and tons of debris floods across from Mexico ends up in the ocean near Imperial Beach. Hardly anything has been done about it, but thanks to a professor from UCSD that may be about to change.”

Drought fades as water supplies continue improving / SignOnSanDiego : “Officials at the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles, the San Diego County Water Authority and two dozen local water sellers are expected to make decisions about drought status and water allocations for 2011 by June.”

Ramona residents are invited to water district budget workshops / Ramona Patch : “The Ramona Municipal Water District board has approved a draft budget for fiscal year 2011-2012. Staff has proposed that four workshops with the board of directors take place between March 8 and May 10.”

County wants San Diego, Coachella to pay mitigation for water transfer / Imperial Valley Press : “The Imperial County Counsel’s Office recently filed a brief saying the Quantification Settlement Agreement does not protect public health. A renegotiated QSA should require San Diego and Coachella to pay environmental mitigation…”

Don’t let the Salton Sea become a toxic dust bowl / : “A grassroots group of 550 Imperial Valley residents known as Citizens for a Reliable Water Supply has challenged the basic assumptions made in a landmark 2003 water deal…the Quantification Settlement Agreement…”

Lawyer: Imperial Irrigation District mitigates only impacts as a result of Quantification Settlement Agreement / Imperial Valley Press : “The QSA is a water conservation and transfer pact that sells conserved water to San Diego and Coachella water districts. Because of the transfer, environmental impacts will be sustained. IID is required, under state approval of the QSA, to put certain volumes of water into the Salton Sea to compensate the sea, Garber said. But that is only for impacts caused by the water transfer and only until 2017…”

Overhaul of water policy proposed / SignOnSanDiego : “Councilwoman Sherri Lightner introduced the proposal at the city’s Natural Resources and Culture Committee meeting to revamp decades-old policies that sometimes contradict one another and to account for new water-efficiency strategies.”

Lightner calls for revised city water policies / La Jolla Light : “Councilwoman Sherri Lightner unveiled a plan at Wednesday’s meeting of the council’s Natural Resources and Culture Committee to overhaul the city’s policies for maintaining a sustainable and affordable water supply.”

Tax hawks take wing, set sights on Helix Water benefits / East County Magazine : “Members of the newly formed East County Tax Hawks swooped in to address Helix Water District’s Board this afternoon, demanding changes to the District’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding public employee pensions and benefits.”

DeMaio seeks to lower water rates 15 percent / SignOnSanDiego : ““This is completely undoable and Carl knows it,” mayoral spokesman Darren Pudgil said in a statement. “What’s he going to do next: dress up like a Leprechaun and pass out gold coins to everyone?””

Helix Water holds public scoping meeting Mar 8 on environmental aspects of El Monte Valley mining, reclamation, and groundwater recharge project / East County Magazine : “The project is intended to provide a new local water source in an era when outside water supplies have become increasingly scarce due to restrictions on Delta pumping and drought on the Colorado River.”

PB construction is hazardous for some bicyclists / KSWB : “The ongoing water main construction in Pacific Beach is proving hazardous for some pedestrians while others are taking the much-needed projects more in stride.”

FALLBROOK: Water district lifts restrictions on irrigation / North County Times : “Fallbrook and Bonsall residents can again water their lawns whenever they like now that the Fallbrook Public Utilities District’s board of directors has lifted restrictions that have been in place for two years.”

San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration enters home stretch / Carmel Valley News : “The San Dieguito Wetlands Restoration Project has entered its final phase of construction with the dredging of 85,000 cubic yards of sand currently clogging the San Dieguito River channel.”

VISTA: Water district considers fee hikes, but not for water / North County Times : “The Vista Irrigation District may raise fees for engineering, construction and customer service in an effort to increase its revenue and recover what it spends on materials and labor, officials said this week. Water fees are not included in the proposed increases.”

MWD execs wine and dine while rates rise / SignOnSanDiego : “Receipts and expense forms examined by The Watchdog show that in 2009 and 2010, Metropolitan’s five top managers crisscrossed the country and spent just over $160,000 in the process.”

ESCONDIDO: Outdated pipes jeopardizing dreams for downtown / North County Times : “City leaders dream of having high-rise condominiums and office buildings in downtown Escondido, but such ambitious projects face a little-known hurdle: the city’s oldest neighborhood has outdated sewer and water pipes.”

EXCLUSIVE: Seven former North County landfills leaking contaminants / North County Times : “Seven former North County dumps are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater as the decomposing remains of decades’ worth of waste seep out of the unlined soil beds, water officials said in a series of recent interviews.”

ESCONDIDO: City launches $200M plan to upgrade sewer, water / North County Times : “Facing increased scarcity of water and dwindling sewer capacity, Escondido officials have decided to launch a roughly $200 million, multipronged effort that would recycle sewage into drinking water and irrigate much of the city with reclaimed water.”

It never rains (enough) in San Diego / SignOnSanDiego : “It’s tempting to think this winter’s deluges have a silver lining as the answer to our water needs. But relying on captured rainwater in the San Diego region is a bit of a Catch-22. It can help, but the amount of rain and captured runoff varies constantly and will never be enough.”

Smelly water bottles inspired Carlsbad inventor / SignOnSanDiego : “Chris Hotell was sick of smelly water bottles, so he designed one that was easier to clean, and his invention won “Best in Category” last month in the housewares industry’s premier design competition. “

Otay Water District launches student film contest / East County Magazine : “The Otay Water District today announced its first ever water conservation video contest, “Make Every Drop Count.” The District will recognize the top three student-submitted videos that highlight the importance of water conservation and encourage the community to use water more efficiently.”

Water board approves salary for assistant GM / Ramona Sentinel : “Ramona Municipal Water District directors have approved a salary of $165,443 for David Barnum, the district’s chief financial officer (CFO) who recently assumed the new post of assistant general manager.”


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