Facing drought, Southern California has more reserve water than ever – California

The cracked and desiccated shoreline of Lake Mendocino made a telling backdrop for California Governor Gavin Newsom’s message at a news conference  last week: Drought conditions are here, and climate change makes the situation graver.

But water supplies vary across regions, which is why the governor limited a drought emergency declaration to just two northern counties.

In fact, highly urbanized Southern California has a record 3.2 million acre-feet of water in reserve, enough to quench the  population’s needs this year and into the next.


Poseidon wins key permit for desalination plant in Huntington Beach – California

Poseidon, which has been working on the project for 22 years, now needs a permit from the state Coastal Commission before it can negotiate a final contract with the Orange County Water District to buy the water.

And, in the wake of the regional board’s decision, there’s likely an additional obstacle, as opponents of the project said they plan to appeal.

Proponents view desalted ocean water as insurance against worsening droughts brought on by climate change and the possibility that Orange County might get less imported water from northern California and the Colorado River.


Environment Report: Tijuana and San Diego Share a Sewage Problem But Not a Solution – California

Vicente Calderon from Tijuana Press and I spend a lot of time picking our way around the sewage-laden Tijuana River, asking ourselves: How is it still this bad?

Our latest story from the cross-border sewage crisis plaguing Tijuana and San Diego illuminated that the current approach to solving the problem is a lot like putting a Band-Aid on the stomach flu.

The Band-Aid in this case is $300 million that Congress has charged the Environmental Protection Agency with deciding how to spend. But really, and here’s the flu part of the allegory, a lot of Tijuana’s infrastructure is just old and broken, or was never even built to support the neighborhoods that popped up on its hillsides.


Water Authority Offers to Help Parched Areas of California with Stored Supply in Central Valley -California

The San Diego County Water Authority’s board has directed its staff to explore opportunities to help other water districts weather an emerging drought across California.

The authority said that because of three decades of investment in supply reliability, along with a continued emphasis on water-use efficiency, the San Diego region has sufficient water supplies for multiple dry years.

Those investments include high-priority Colorado River water from the Imperial Valley, seawater desalination, and access to the Semitropic Original Water Bank in Kern County, where the authority has stored about 16,000 acre-feet of water — enough to supply more than 30,000 homes for a full year.


Water Authority Fears Santa Barbara County at Disadvantage by Failing to Approve Amendments – California

Leaders of the Central Coast Water Authority fear that Santa Barbara County is at a disadvantage in obtaining state water because of the county’s failure to adopt an amendment to the State Water Project that allows local water districts to buy and sell water supplies outside the county.

The CCWA is an umbrella organization for all of the State Water Project members in Santa Barbara County.

The CCWA has requested that the Board of Supervisors approve Amendment 21, which allows State Water Project purveyors to buy and sell water outside of the county, three times with no luck, Jim Youngson, principal at Terrain Consulting, told Noozhawk.


Permit terms might kill Poseidon desalination proposal in Huntington Beach – California

Recommended terms for a permit to build Poseidon Water’s controversial desalination plant in Huntington Beach would make it impossible to get financing for the $1.4 billion project, according to the developer.

Regulators question that claim, although they acknowledge that the requirements could create financing obstacles.

Poseidon’s three-year effort to win a permit from the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board is scheduled to culminate within the next month, with a vote as soon as the board’s April 23 meeting.


California looks to Saudi Arabia for desalination expertise – California

As water shortages become a reality across the globe, authorities in drought-prone areas are looking to Saudi Arabia’s desalination industry for inspiration.

The Kingdom produces more desalinated water than any other nation, with 27 plants transforming sea brine into five million cubic meters of fresh water a day. The industry has grown rapidly in recent years.

In January, the Kingdom announced plans to invest more than $500 million (SR1.874 billion) to build nine plants in Jeddah.


SoCal Desalination Plant Inches Towards Approval – California

In a rare and commendable display of political courage and common sense, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been working to finally grant permits to construct a second major seawater desalination plant on the Southern California Coast.

But don’t count on this new water source just yet. Despite clearing major hurdles, self-described environmentalists and their allies in the media haven’t surrendered.

The Los Angeles Times is doing everything it can to derail the project. In a February 26 article, the Times reports that “environmentalists” have serious concerns about the proposed plant, set to be constructed in Huntington Beach and using a design similar to one already successfully operating about 60 miles south in Carlsbad. There’s just one thing: in a supposedly objective look at the Huntington Beach plant, the only sources quoted are self-declared environmentalists opposed to the plant.


Column: This desalination plan stinks all the way from Orange County to Gov. Newsom’s office – California

You’d need a scorecard, a good set of reading glasses and a special prosecutor to stay on top of it all.

The botched vaccine rollout, mixed messaging and delivery inequities are enough to keep anyone busy. And when the state introduced the My Turn vaccination scheduling system, which was supposed to straighten things out, nobody was surprised to learn that it’s full of bugs, or that people of means managed to get vaccinations intended for low-income communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

On top of that, we’ve had one of the greatest boondoggles in state history, with billions of dollars scammed from the Employment Development Department by prison inmates and others, while needy, out-of-work people were left penniless and waiting for months to get hold of anyone in Sacramento who might help.

San Diego’s Successful Desal Plant Should Be a Model for California Water Policy – California

Often the value of a plan or project can best be judged by its opposition. In the case of the proposed Poseidon desalination plant in Huntington Beach, the forces lined up against it are clear indicators that it’s a worthwhile enterprise.

The Sierra Club calls the plant “rather pathetic,” “the most expensive and environmentally damaging way to secure Orange County’s future water supply.”

A research paper co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the California Coastkeeper Alliance, the California Coast Protection Network, and several other groups says that “given the significant energy, climate, and financial costs of desalination, California should prioritize water conservation, water use efficiency, stormwater capture, wastewater recycling, and renewably powered groundwater desalination.”