GrokSurf's San Diego

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

San Diego regional water news roundup May 22-31, 2012

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 1, 2012

A selected roundup of news related to San Diego regional water issues. Click headlines for the full story at originating website.

Recycled water getting another look / U-T San Diego : “Expanding facilities to recycle about 100 million gallons of wastewater per day could create a major drought-proof water supply for San Diego, according to a new two-year study being reviewed today at City Hall. Options outlined in the latest plan would reduce wastewater outflows from Point Loma by roughly half and slash the cost of “secondary” upgrades by more than 37 percent, according to city figures.”

OCEANSIDE: $116.3 million spending plan tentatively set by council / North County Times : “The council…tentatively agreed to a nearly $54 million water and a $30.4 million sewer budget, which Water Utilities Director Cari Dale said included a tentative 7 percent increase in water rates and a tentative 3.5 percent increase in sewer fees. Dale said water and sewer fees, which were last raised in January, were going up because of rate increases the city is getting from its suppliers, the Metropolitan Water District based in Los Angeles and the San Diego County Water Authority.”

More water to be shipped to California; good news for avocado growers / North County Times : “In a rare piece of good news for water-short California, the state has raised this year’s estimated water shipments from the State Water Project to 65 percent of normal, up from 60 percent announced on April 16. The project is one of two main sources of water for Southern California. Its water is especially sought after by farmers because it is lower in salt than the other main source, the Colorado River. Southern California avocado growers cannot use undiluted Colorado River water because it contains too much salt.”

Carlsbad desal plant needs more public workshops, board told / North County Times : “Two or three months should suffice to wrap up negotiations over a proposed Carlsbad desalination plant, board members of the San Diego County Water Authority were told this week.”

Final draft of San Diego water-reuse scheme published / Desalination & Water Reuse Quarterly : “The fundamental focus of the study was to develop water-reuse alternatives and weigh these against other options – with particular focus on the water-supply benefits and the cost savings through reduced wastewater systems operations and improvements.”

Water rate hike hearing set for June 28 / North County Times : “San Diego County Water Authority will hold a public hearing on June 28 regarding a proposed 9.6 percent rate increase. The Water Authority says about half the increase pays for a rate hike from one of its suppliers, Metropolitan Water District. The rest it attributes to a need for increased payment on its debt, along with increased imports of water from the Imperial Valley.”

Improving the flow to use recycled water / U-T San Diego : “Every year California dumps enough wastewater into the ocean to fill Lake Oroville, one of the state’s largest sources of drinking water. Even thirsty San Diego pours thousands of gallons of wastewater into the Pacific off Point Loma every day. The reasons this supply-starved state wastes so much wastewater are both simple and substantial. And that’s where legislation carried by Assemblyman Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, comes in.”

San Vicente Dam Raise Project – tensile strength testing on existing dam and trial placement / Proceedings of the 2012 United States Society on Dams : “A full scale RCC trial placement was constructed using the same aggregate used to construct the existing concrete dam. Several 6-inch-diameter cores were extracted for direct tensile and unconfined compression strength testing. This paper presents the results of that coring program and how these results were used to confirm the RCC mix design for construction.”

Ocean desal backers exaggerate permit burden / DC Bureau : “In late April, backers of a bill to create a state task force with the goal of streamlining the process claimed desalination plants require up to 30 permits in California to gain approval. However, Sara Kristie, legislative director for the California Coastal Commission, one of the agencies needed for approval, told lawmakers that claim was a gross exaggeration.”

Water-reuse bill to be debated in California assembly / D&WR : “Bill AB 2398, proposed by San Diego’s Democrat assemblyman Ben Hueso, would establish a statewide goal to recycle a total of 1.5 million acre-feet (1,850 million m³) of water per year by the year 2020 and 2.5 million acre-feet (3,085 million m³) per year by the year 2030…Potable reuse through public water supplies via raw water augmentation would be allowed under permits issued by the Department of Health.”

SB&O weighs in on storm water mitigation / Building Industry Association of San Diego : “Storm water mitigation has become one of the biggest costs to land development, and unfortunately, it is not fully understood by all developers…Below are a couple of things that may be useful in considering the realm of storm water mitigation…”

EPA funds training program at Mexican border treatment plants / U-T San Diego : “Wastewater treatment plant operators in Tijuana and Mexicali are slated to receive training in coming weeks through a new program funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”

County lien puts RMWD solar project in jeopardy / Ramona Sentinel : “What appeared to be a win-win, no-cost energy-savings proposition to the Ramona Municipal Water District board two years ago has left the directors in a no-win situation. The solar project for the San Vicente wastewater treatment plant cannot proceed due to a county lien on the property and, with a California Solar Initiative (CSI) deadline looming, the district could lose its $10,000 rebate reservation refund.”

San Diego Coastkeeper launches smart phone app to help beachgoers find healthy beaches in San Diego County / Scoop San Diego : “San Diego Coastkeeper launched San Diego County’s version of the interactive Swim Guide, an online and smart phone app to help beachgoers, swimmers, surfers and boaters find healthy stretches of sand and coastal waters along the region’s coastline. The new app also includes access to water quality data for more than 400 beaches in California and more than 1,300 beaches in North America.”

ENCINITAS: Grand jury faults storm drain strategy / North County Times : “The San Diego County Grand Jury on Tuesday urged the city of Encinitas to create a comprehensive plan to improve storm drains in flood-prone Leucadia. “Leucadia’s existing storm water infrastructure is inadequate to handle the chronic rainwater flooding along Highway 101,” the jury said in a press release announcing its latest report.”

Water reclamation: managing our water inventory (PDF) / San Diego County Grand Jury : “How can San Diego County reservoirs get refilled without water imports and without rain? Currently over 85 percent of our water is imported from Northern California and the Colorado River. Our demand has grown as our needs have steadily increased. The question of future supply has plagued local water officials for decades. Conservation programs throughout the region have been in place for some time. The City of Carlsbad has been developing a desalinization plant for direct conversion of seawater. But another idea has come forward in recent times.”

High-profile panel starts to rethink city water strategy / U-T San Diego : “A newly minted group of tourism officials, lawyers, scientists and others today will start trying to fashion San Diego’s water future. The 11-member board, approved last week by the City Council, was designed to put into action recommendations outlined in the Comprehensive Water Policy adopted unanimously by the council in October.”

Assembly approves bill on water recycling / Association of California Water Agencies : “A bill that would make sweeping changes to state regulation of recycled water was approved on the Assembly floor on May 29. AB 2398 by Assembly Member Ben Hueso (D-Chula Vista) would enact the Water Recycling Act of 2012 and… [would] simplify and standardize recycled water permitting in California, including criteria for the Department of Public Health to permit potable reuse projects, to reflect current scientific understanding and advances in treatment technology.”

Sewage leak at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park / San Diego Reader : “Over the Memorial Day weekend, park visitors to the hillside section of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park found one of trails closed, with yellow caution tape and signs that indicated a sewage leak had occurred. The trail is located below the Loop Road and above the Multi-Use Trail (“sludge line trail”), east of “the Badlands.”

Sandy Kerl, San Diego County Water Authority (video interview) / KPBS : “Sandy Kerl, Deputy General Manager for the San Diego County Water Authority, talks to KPBS about water rates.”


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