San Diego’s waterways are a source of pride for many of us, but there is a spot in Carlsbad that is providing much more than pretty views. They provide mussels and oysters. Millions and millions of them.
Federal officials have announced an additional $1.7 million grant for the construction of Pure Water Oceanside, a project that will turn wastewater into a new local source of drinking water beginning in 2022.
The Desalination Development Act would provide $260 million over five years for desalination projects across the country, including Oceanside’s Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility, which converts brackish flows into potable water, said Levin (D-San Juan Capistrano).
The 2021 California drought is as bad if not worse as the one in 2014, which endured for five long, dry years. As of Friday, 33 percent is in a state of “exceptional drought,” the most severe drought category given by the federal U.S. Drought Monitor.
Farmers in the Central Valley are ripping up almond trees, according to Bloomberg. Those living along the headwaters of the Russian River in Mendicino County have been told to use no more than 55 gallons per day – enough to flush a toilet six times, according to CalMatters.
The plan highlights how a regional commitment to a “water portfolio approach” to supply management means San Diego County will continue to have reliable water supplies through 2045, even during multiple dry years.
The board approved the final plan following a public hearing on March 25 and a 60-day public comment period which ended May 6. The final plan will be submitted to the California Department of Water Resources by the July 1 deadline.
After experiencing a severe drought in the early 1990s, San Diego County officials went to work on diversifying its water supply. At the time, the region was hit with 50 percent supply reductions because it relied almost entirely on a single source.
Since then, however, the San Diego County Water Authority has taken a varied approach. According to the authority, the region has added a new transfer of conserved agriculture water from Imperial Valley and completed the All-American and Coachella Canal lining projects to receive conserved water from the Colorado River.
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.
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.
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.”