GrokSurf's San Diego

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

San Diego regional water news roundup: Feb 23-Mar 2, 2014

Posted by George J Janczyn on March 3, 2014

Lake Cuyamaca last week the day before our rain event began. Stonewall and Cuyamaca Peaks in the background.

Lake Cuyamaca last week the day before our rain event began. Stonewall and Cuyamaca Peaks in the background.


Storm far from a drought buster / U-T San Diego : “The Pacific storm that blew ashore Friday has temporarily reduced the risk of wildfires across San Diego County, but the system did little to alleviate the region’s long-term drought, says the National Weather Service…”

Rain poses threat to San Diego’s water quality / KFMB Channel 8 : “In this Earth 8 video report, Natasha Stenbock talks to Kristin Kuhn of San Diego Coastkeeper about how the rain is affecting the water quality off the coast…”

Floods force 3 families out of homes / NBC 7 San Diego : “San Diego’s heavy rainfall has flooded several homes in San Carlos, forcing three families to evacuate. The storm waters rose throughout the weekend in the 7900 block of Beaver Lake Drive…”

Winter storm runoff washes pollution into San Diego waters / KPBS : “The winter storm moving through San Diego County is likely washing billions of gallons of pollutants into local waterways…”

Sewage contamination prompts beach warnings
/ San Diego 6 : “Sewage-contaminated runoff in the Tijuana River has been entering the Tijuana Estuary due to this season’s rainfall and is still flowing, according to county health officials. Observations made Saturday indicated northward moving ocean currents, and authorities suspected contamination of the ocean waters at Silver Strand and Coronado…”

California drought: Why state’s big cities aren’t in crisis mode (+video) / : “As cattle languish on dried-out grazing lands, kids splash in fountains in Los Angeles and San Diego. The difference? One issue is water storage. Many cities invested heavily in infrastructure after the last drought…”

Addressing the drought with more than a drop in the bucket / Voice of San Diego : “Here’s a roundup of some recent news that emphasizes why the drought could affect our region for a long time to come…”

Can San Diegans save more water? / U-T San Diego “Between 2007 and 2013, the region’s residents, businesses and other institutions cut per-capita water use by 27 percent — from 211 gallons per day to 153. Now we’re being asked to dry out some more. But is it possible to wring more savings? …”

Utilities ordered to tell customers to save water / San Diego 6 : “The California Public Utilities Commission said in a statement issued that the agency had voted Thursday to order investor-owned water companies to request voluntary conservation from customers in order to reduce consumption…”

Rancho Santa Fe water district customers asked to conserve water / Rancho Santa Fe Review : “In an acknowledgement of tight water supplies throughout California caused by an ongoing drought, the Santa Fe Irrigation District is asking its customers to cut back on their water use with a goal of reducing district-wide usage by up to 10 percent…”

The drought’s effect on your grocery trip / NBC 7 San Diego : “Farmers are feeling the pinch from the drought and the proof is evident at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. One farmer told NBC 7 he worries if this drought continues into next year, he could go out of business…”

Drought helping insects to thrive / NBC 7 San Diego : “It’s not just the lack of rain stressing your plants out: now, so are bugs. County of San Diego scientists say the drought is weakening trees, gardens and farms, making them more susceptible to insects…”

Avoiding pollution, drought’s evil twin / Chance of Rain : “Drought means changing not only our outdoor water use, but also the way we tend our gardens, parks and schools. If you are a facilities manager, homeowner or invested tenant accustomed to fertilizing lawn and roses every spring, don’t do it this year…”

The search for drinking water in California has led to the ocean / NPR : “California is getting some much needed rain this week, but more than two-thirds of the state is still in extreme drought conditions, and that has the state thinking about alternative ways of getting water. On the coast in Carlsbad, Calif., construction workers are building what will be the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere…”

California will tap its water bank, even as Mead shrinks / Las Vegas Review-Journal : “Punishing drought in California could force that state to make a sizable withdrawal from a virtual water bank in Lake Mead this year, even as the reservoir shrinks closer to an all-time low and an unprecedented shortage declaration. California’s largest municipal water supply agency, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, took about 80,000 acre-feet from its water savings account in the lake last year. Now the agency is contemplating a withdrawal at least twice that size…”

American aqueduct: the great California water saga / The Atlantic : “The Delta, then, is not only a 700,000-acre place where people live and work, but some of the most important plumbing in the world. Without this crucial nexus point…many cities, including the three largest on the West Coast—Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose—would have to come up with radical new water-supply solutions…”

Making history / San Diego County Water Authority : “[Video] Hear from current and former board chairs who helped the San Diego region reach milestones in water reliability…”

San Diego County wins round in battle with water district / Los Angeles Times : “In a court battle with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, the San Diego County Water Authority won a round Tuesday versus its archenemy: the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California…”

San Diego wins key water ruling / U-T San Diego : “The San Diego County Water Authority won a key ruling Tuesday in its bitter and lengthy court fight claiming the region has been overbilled for deliveries from the Metropolitan Water District…”

Judge rules for San Diego in major water dispute / Imperial Valley Press : “The San Diego County Water Authority, Metropolitan’s largest customer, sued in 2010 over the transportation costs, claiming Metropolitan was using a windfall to subsidize millions of other customers in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties…”

Unnecessary rules, at a cost of $4 billion / U-T San Diego : “According to an October 2013 report by the city of San Diego’s independent budget analyst, rates for the stormwater portion of residential and commercial water bills will have to rise 1,000 percent just to cover increased costs over five years…”

Steep cost of water main breaks / NBC 7 San Diego : “San Diego’s oldest and most vulnerable pipes – the cast irons installed roughly between 1900 and 1950 – long ago passed their service life. They are breaking at a pace faster than the city can replace them, according to city officials – an average of 105 breaks a year…”

Recycling gray water an option in California drought / NBC 7 San Diego : “Every time you wash a load of laundry, you use roughly 45 gallons of water. But what if you could use those gallons of water again? …”

Rebates for high-efficiency toilets / U-T San Diego : “For a limited time, eligible residential homeowners can get rebates of up to $50 to offset the cost of select toilets certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense label…”

San Diego Council votes to close La Jolla beach in seal pupping season / Los Angeles Times : “Delving gingerly into one of the most contentious issues in local politics, the City Council voted 6 to 3 on Monday to close the beach at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla during the annual five-month pupping season of harbor seals…”

San Luis Rey Downs golf course could revert to wetlands / KPBS : “It’s not the first time a golf course in San Diego has fallen on hard times. Increasing water rates and falling membership has made some courses prime targets for developers. But in this case the idea is not to develop the land…”

Climate conference explores water and power / U-T San Diego : “In California water and power are intimately linked through the State Water Project, the state’s single largest electricity consumer…”

Rancho Santa Fe water board cuts own pay, benefits / Rancho Santa Fe Review : “Santa Fe Irrigation District directors cut their own pay and benefits at their monthly meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20…District officials have said they are in “belt-tightening mode” in an effort to cut costs as rates have risen in recent years…”

Per diem increase rejected at RMWD; proposal was to increase from $150 to $300 / The Fallbrook Village News : “The Rainbow Municipal Water District board considered doubling the per diem payment Rainbow directors receive for attending meetings before rejecting the increase on a 3-2 vote Jan. 28…”


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