US

$20 million funding opportunity to strengthen America’s water infrastructure – Washington

A federal funding opportunity was announced on June 30th to improve the water and wastewater treatment infrastructure.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy is providing $20 million for innovations that “strengthen America’s water infrastructure and enable advanced water resource recovery systems that have the potential to be net energy positive.”

Over the next 10 years, 40 states expect water shortages in some areas, according to the DOE.

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Area citizens unite against desal plants – Texas

Corpus Christi’s controversial seawater desalination plants have been in the works since 2014 and in May took another step toward completion with the Corpus Christi City Council approving action to apply for financial assistance. 

The city began evaluating potential future water supplies in 2014 as a result of the drought conditions experienced in 2010-2013. After intensive evaluation by a multi-disciplinary group during the first phase, the conclusion was reached that seawater desalination was feasible as a new source for some of the region’s’ water supply needs.

The two plants will be located at the Inner Harbor Ship Channel in Port Aransas next to the ferry landing and the other in the vicinity of La Quinta Channel in San Patricio County.

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Montecito Water District Board Approves New Rates, Supply Agreement with Santa Barbara – California

The Montecito Water District took a major step forward to improve long-term water supply security and reliability during a special meeting on Thursday.

The water district Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a 50-year water supply agreement between the MWD and the City of Santa Barbara. 

The Santa Barbara City Council will consider approval of the final water supply agreement next week and in July, according to MWD consultant Clean Energy Capital.

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Montecito Water District Signs Up for a 50-Year Supply from Santa Barbara- California

In a historic move, the Montecito Water District board voted unanimously on Thursday to “drought-proof” the wealthy enclave by importing a large supply of Santa Barbara water every year for the next 50 years, rain or no rain. The initial annual cost will be $4.6 million.

The vote comes on the heels of the severe drought of 2012 to 2018, in which Montecito, a community of one-acre lots, big estates, and luxury hotels and golf courses, faced heavy fines for over-watering.

Montecitans cut their water use by as much as 50 percent, but between 5 and 10 percent of property owners, including the San Ysidro Ranch and the Biltmore, chose to pay the fines instead.

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Monterey Peninsula water district board opposes Cal Am desal project – California

For the first time, the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District has formally expressed opposition to the California American Water desalination project, backing the proposed Pure Water Monterey recycled water project expansion instead as a replacement and not just a backup.

At the same time, the water district took another step toward a potential acquisition of Cal Am’s Monterey water system with the release of a draft environmental impact report on the proposed public buyout effort.

In a split vote, the water district board on Monday approved a letter to Coastal Commission executive director John Ainsworth calling for the commission to deny Cal Am’s desal permit bid, arguing that the Pure Water Monterey expansion is a “feasible alternative” to desal that could produce enough water to meet the Carmel River pumping cutback order based on the district’s own analysis at lower cost and less environmental impact.

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Corpus Christi coalition to host drive-by petition protesting planned desalination plants – Texas

A coalition of seven Corpus Christi groups will host a weekly drive-by public petition against any desalination plant plans in the Coastal Bend. 

The drive-by will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays at Oleander Point. The group, called, Save the Bay for the Greater Good, is also mailing out more than 25,000 petitions.

The coalition expects enough signatures to require the city of Corpus Christi to hold an election to allow Corpus Christi residents to vote on a charter amendment restricting the city from building desalination plants, according to a coalition news release. 

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Decades in the making, Buena Vista Lagoon restoration plan finally approved – California

A long-sought compromise has been approved that will open the stagnant, reed-filled Buena Vista Lagoon to the sea and restore its native coastal marine habitat, but years of work remain before the transformation begins.

Disagreements over whether the lagoon at the border of Carlsbad and Oceanside should remain freshwater or be restored to saltwater have stalled the project for decades.

The final decision allows the removal of the weir, a low wooden dam at the mouth of the waterway that keeps out the ocean and holds back runoff from rain and irrigation.

Santa Barbara’s Water Outlook Foresees Sufficient Supply to Meet Demands Through Fall 2022 – California

Santa Barbara’s water supplies are on the way to recovery followed by three average or above-average rainy seasons.

The city’s water-supply forecasting shows there’s sufficient supply to meet demands through fall 2022, while allowing groundwater basins to slowly recover and rest, water supply analyst Dakota Corey told the city’s Water Commission at Thursday’s special meeting.

The availability of water from Gibraltar Reservoir, upstream on the Santa Ynez River, in the past few years as well as Santa Barbara’s desalination plant operation and water conservation have enabled the city to accumulate a significant amount of stored water in Lake Cachuma, Corey said.

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The US Demands Israel Takes its Side in the New Cold War with China – America

CTech – In Israel, defense has always been the number one item on the agenda, so when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a rushed visit to Jerusalem at the height of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, most people assumed it had to do with matters of defense or Israel’s recently announced plans to annex the West Bank. But, as opposed to Israel, where defense reigns supreme, for Americans it is always about the money.

Israelis were surprised to find out that the reason Pompeo exited lockdown and took a plane to Israel at this time was to warn Jerusalem against extending its economic cooperation with China.

The warning was particularly meant to address a desalination plant, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. The unusual visit was meant to signal to Israel that the war is already here and it will soon have to pick a side.

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Online-Only Public Comment for Poseidon Desalination Plant Public Hearing Draws Criticism – California

A state regional water board is drawing public criticism in Orange County for holding meetings on a controversial  desalination plant in Huntington Beach, while public participation can only be done virtually amid the coronavirus health crisis.

The Santa Ana Regional Quality Control Board is meeting this morning to hold a public hearing on Poseidon Water’s request for a permit renewal for their facility, which would be built on 12 acres of a power plant and produce 50 million gallons of water per day, according to water district staff.

The project has remained controversial for years over what critics say will be drastic environmental damage and increased water rates. The approval process for Poseidon Water’s proposal has been marked by legal disputes, permit crusades and lobbying campaigns paid for by the company.

(LINK).

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