San Diego

Despite a Punishing Drought, San Diego Has Water. It Wasn’t Easy – United States

In many parts of California, reminders abound that the American West is running out of water.

“Bathtub rings” mark the shrinking of the state’s biggest reservoirs to some of their lowest recorded levels. 

Fields lie fallow, as farmers grapple with an uncertain future. A bed-and-breakfast owner spends $5 whenever a tourist showers.

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Sustainability takes top priority at Carlsbad Aquafarm – California

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.

In this Earth 8 report, News 8’s Neda Iranpour learns about oysters and what makes them so sustainable.

The Carlsbad Aquafarm sits between the Pacific Ocean and I-5, in the calm and fairly clear waters of the Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

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Teams from Unified Command Test Water, Soil at San Onofre in Response to OC Oil Spill – California

Officials said Sunday that no oiled wildlife has been located in San Diego County from last weekend’s massive oil spill off the coast of Orange County.

Meanwhile, San Diegans can expect to see shoreline cleanup assessment teams and contracted crews in protective gear monitoring, inspecting and cleaning San Diego County beaches.

On Sunday, they also conducted water and soil sampling along San Onofre Beach.

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Pure Water Oceanside gets $1.7 million construction grant – San Diego – California

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 recycling project is expected to provide more than 32 percent of Oceanside’s water supply, or between 3 million and 5 million gallons per day.

It would be the first operating project of its type in San Diego County, though others are planned or being built.

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San Diego’s water desalination efforts could get boost in federal funding – California

 Desalination projects in the San Diego area could get millions in federal funding under a bill Rep. Mike Levin introduced Tuesday.

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).

It also sets environmental standards for projects that get federal funding, with requirements for energy efficiency, wildlife protection and water conservation.

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San Diego Is Relatively Drought-Proof – and Has Prices to Prove it – California

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.

Santa Clara Water District voted this month to place 15 percent water reduction targets on residents countywide, according to San Jose Inside.

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San Diego County Water Authority Board Approves Urban Water Management Plan – California

The San Diego County Water Authority’s 2020 Urban Water Management Plan was approved Thursday by its Board of Directors for submission to the state.

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.

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San Diego County mitigation efforts aid in California drought battle – California

As the drought deepens throughout California, San Diego County has postured itself to make it through dry spell conditions as a result of planning and mitigation efforts.

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.

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.

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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.”

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