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SCWD Board Approves Path to By-District Elections – California

The South Coast Water District Board of Directors approved an interim settlement agreement Thursday that clears the way for the agency to transition to by-district voting in 2022.

If the directors approve the new voting system next year, SCWD would join the hundreds of other public agencies to move away from at-large voting under threat of lawsuits authorized by the California Voting Rights Act.

In January, SCWD received a demand letter from Newport Beach attorney Philip Greer who claims to represent a number of SCWD ratepayers concerned that at-large elections stymie candidates who represent the district’s racial and socio-economic diversity. District leaders immediately signaled their acquiescence to avoid a costly lawsuit.

(LINK).

Corpus Christi applies for $222 million loan for desalination plant in port’s Inner Harbor – Texas

The city of Corpus Christi is exploring securing $222 million in loans to pay for its first seawater desalination plant.

The City Council on Tuesday authorized its staff to apply to the Texas Water Development Board for the money.

The funds, if approved, would cover costs to both the design and build the facility in the Port of Corpus Christi’s Inner Harbor.

(LINK).

Antioch approves $27 million water rights settlement – California

The state has agreed to pay Antioch $27 million in a settlement that guarantees the city’s 150-year old rights to pump water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta for the long term and will help pay for a planned desalination plant.

In return, the city will ditch a provision in a 1968 water rights deal that required the state to reimburse it for one-third of the cost to buy substitute water from the Contra Costa Water District when the Delta water gets too salty, which has been occurred more frequently in recent years.

The Antioch City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the settlement from the lawsuit it filed in 2017 against the California Department of Water Resources.

(LINK).

12-Hour Shifts, Sleeping in RVs: Carlsbad Desalination Plant Gets New Crew – California

A 10-person crew is in the midst of a three-week shelter-in-place shift at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, relieving an initial crew that self-quarantined on site for three weeks to continue producing clean drinking water for county residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting March 19, the first crew of 10 “mission-critical employees” was stationed at the plant to continue operations, working two 12-hour shifts each day and sleeping in RVs in the plant parking lot, according to Poseidon Water, which manages the plant. Food and other supplies were delivered on a daily basis.

The crew was relieved last Thursday and the current crew will remain at the plant until April 30.

(LINK).

Antioch to receive $27 million settlement from California’s Department of Water Resources – California

On April 14th, the Antioch City Council will consider the adoption of a resolution approving a historic settlement agreement between the City and California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

The agreement pays Antioch $27 million, which guarantees that they will be able to utilize its 150-year old water rights and remain in the Delta for the long-term. 

The $27 million, in addition to $43 million in State grants and loans, completes the financing for the $70 million brackish water desalination plant.

(LINK).

Carlsbad desalination plant running at full capacity with ‘shelter in place’ – California

When your business is water, your business is essential. Over at the Desalination Plant in Carlsbad, it’s anything but business as usual.

“We’ve had 10 people on the job for about 21 days. Each one of those people is a specialist and volunteered to be here. We’re doing something unique. We’ve brought in separate trailers for each one of the workers and groceries are delivered every couple days.

We also have washer and dryers so they can wash their clothes,” says Jessica Jones of Poseidon Water.

(LINK).

Unsung Heroes: Carlsbad’s desalination plant workers – California

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant turns seawater into clean safe drinking water.

In an effort to keep delivering 50 million gallons of fresh water to the county daily the plant has gone on complete lockdown.As of March 19, 10 workers volunteered to quarantine themselves inside the Carlsbad plant for the next three weeks.

The company said workers will continue to monitor and adjust gauges and switches, watching for leaks – doing whatever is needed to safeguard San Diego County’s only significant local source of drinking water.

(LINK).

Major southwestern city water supplies – Colorado

For Phoenix, it’s water is supplied through surface water sources. The northern end of the city gets water from the Central Arizona Project, which is supplied by the Colorado River and Lake Mead. The southern end gets its water from the Salt River Project.

Las Vegas gets 90% of its water from the Colorado River and Lake Mead and 10% from groundwater sources. The groundwater supplies up to 25% during the hot summer months when demand is high. In 1971 Las Vegas with a population of 126,000 residents began getting water from Lake Mead.

Today, Las Vegas has swelled to 2 million residents and increases on weekends by an additional 3 million people. Las Vegas gets a 300,000-acre feet allotment from the Colorado River each year. They only use about 240,000-acre feet and bank the rest in the groundwater table.

(LINK).

Midkiff farmer, Encore Green team on produced water project – Texas

Amid talk of trying to expand the market for the water that’s produced alongside crude oil and natural gas beyond the oil patch, one company is putting its words into action.

Wyoming-based Encore Green Environmental had visited the Produced Water Society Permian Basin’s conference last August to promote its idea of pairing the oil and gas and agriculture industries, sparking the interest of Cody Wilson and his S&S Wilson Farms in Midkiff.

Today, the two are moving forward with a project that will treat produced water for use in irrigating the cotton on Wilson’s farm as well as producing electricity that can be sold back into the electric grid.

(LINK).

Poseidon desal plant gets fresh analysis, but coronavirus delays Friday meeting – California

A water board staff report prepared for the meeting provides apparent justification for the board to approve the project, but it also notes the board may disagree and request a revision.

Poseidon Water needs just two more permits to go forward — one from the water board and then one from the Coastal Commission

The workshop planned for Friday was to follow up a similar session held in December. At that meeting, several key issues continued to concern some board members, who requested additional information on whether the desalinated water was needed and whether the proposed mitigation was adequate for the environmental damage expected.

(LINK).

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