Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Photo essay: California island and tourist hotspot copes with drought

Walking south along the coast of Catalina Island, the noises of bustling tourists and the crashing Pacific waves quickly give way to a steady whir. This is the sound of Southern California Edison’s energy plant that not only powers the entire island, but also provides it with potable water through its desalination system.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

How California’s South Coast is still coping with severe drought

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that less than 2 percent of California is still experiencing severe drought impacts, but that small area is concentrated in southern Santa Barbara County and parts of neighboring Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

Aquafornia news Long Beach Press-Telegram

Recent rain helps Catalina’s reservoir. But is it enough to ease rationing?

Thanks to recent rainstorms, the water level in Catalina Island’s main reservoir is now above the critically-low level that triggered extreme rationing requirements last summer. The island is unique in that Southern California Edison controls the water supply.

Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Monday’s Top of the Scroll: Desalination of aquifers offers drought-weary California new hope

California’s historic drought may be winding down. But water officials across the Golden State are increasingly exploring a hidden but promising way to add to the state’s water supply: removing salt from the billions of gallons of brackish — or distastefully salty — water that lies deep below the Earth’s surface.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Monterey County Officials Wanted Marina Coast Out of Regional Project

From the Monterey County Herald:

Top Monterey County officials met in early 2011 to discuss ways to dump the Marina Coast Water District from the regional desalination project, raising questions about the county’s efforts to make the three-pronged project partnership work and potentially affecting civil litigation aimed at unraveling the failed proposal.

Read more


Aquafornia news Santa Cruz Sentinel

Science Backs Moss Landing Desal Proposal

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

“Newly released environmental studies show a proposed desalination plant in Moss Landing would have a limited impact on the Monterey Bay.”

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Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Ex-water Board Member Files Federal Lawsuit Against Monterey County, Cal Am Over Desal Project

From the Monterey County Herald:

“Former Monterey County water board member Steve Collins has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county, California American Water and top officials in connection with his dual role on the failed regional desalination project.”

Read more


Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Studies Examine California Water Agencies Drought Mitigation Plans

From Capital Public Radio:

“Timothy Quinn is with the Association of California Water Agencies, or ACWA. He says planned Central Valley water recycling projects and a water desalination project in San Diego are welcome, but he says conservation is equally important.”

Read more, or listen to the story


Aquafornia news Riverside Press-Enterprise

Lake Elsinore: Water District Considering Desalination Plant

From the Riverside Press-Enterprise:

“Faced with increasing salt content in the region’s water supply, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District administrators are looking at desalination as a possible solution.”

Read more


Aquafornia news Contra Costa Times

Antioch Explores Building Desalination Plant

From the Contra Costa Times:

“City officials are exploring whether Antioch can turn the salty Delta water off its shoreline into a true liquid asset by building a desalination plant.”

Read more


Aquafornia news San Jose Mercury News

Nation’s Largest Ocean Desalination Plant Goes Up Near San Diego; Future of the California Coast?

From the San Jose Mercury News:

“The crews are building what boosters say represents California’s best hope for a drought-proof water supply: the largest ocean desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. The $1 billion project will provide 50 million gallons of drinking water a day for San Diego County when it opens in 2016.”

Read more


Aquafornia news CNN

How Oceans Can Solve Our Freshwater Crisis

From CNN:

“Thanks to improved technology, turning ocean water into freshwater is becoming more economically feasible. And a looming global water crisis may make it crucial to the planet’s future.

‘Whenever a drought exacerbates freshwater supplies in California, people tend to look toward the ocean for an answer,” said Jennifer Bowles, executive director of the California-based Water Education Foundation.’”

Read more from CNN, or watch the video


Aquafornia news Associated Press

California City Looks to Sea for Water In Drought

From the Associated Press:

“This seaside city thought it had the perfect solution the last time California withered in a severe drought more than two decades ago: Tap the ocean to turn salty seawater to fresh water.”

Read more from AP

Aquafornia news Bureau of Reclamation

News Release: Bureau of Reclamation Seeks Proposals

From the Bureau of Reclamation:

“The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking proposals from universities, water utilities, private industry and others to address a broad range of desalting and water purification needs. Reclamation is interested in research that will have national significance and where the benefits of the technology will be widespread.”

Read more from Reclamation’s news release


Aquafornia news McClatchy

Israel No Longer Worried About Its Water Supply, Thanks to Desalination Plants

From McClatchy:

“Israel has gone through one of the driest winters in its history, but despite the lean rainy season, the government has suspended a longstanding campaign to conserve water. …

“The reason: Israel has in recent years achieved a quiet water revolution through desalination.”

Read more from McClatchy


Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Solar Desalination Plant Shows Promise

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Quietly whirring away in a dusty field in the Central Valley is a shiny solar energy machine that may someday solve many of California’s water problems.

“It’s called the WaterFX solar thermal desalination plant, and it has been turning salty, contaminated irrigation runoff into ultra-pure liquid for nearly a year for the Panoche Water and Drainage District.”

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle


Aquafornia news Associated Press

In a Dry California, Some Water-saving Efforts

From the Associated Press:

“With California facing a drought emergency, some communities have taken steps to increase their local water supplies.”

Read more from AP


Aquafornia news

Desalination: Aquafornia Water Word of the Week

Aquafornia’s Water Word of the Week from sister site Aquapedia is Desalination. Aquapedia, the Water Education Foundation’s interactive online water encyclopedia, contains vetted information from an objective source.

According to an excerpt from the Aquapedia entry, “Recurrent droughts and uncertainties about future water supplies have led several California communities to look to saltwater for supplemental supplies through a process known as desalination.
Aquafornia news Monterey County Herald

Judge: Monterey County Must Take Lead in Challenging Failed Desal Project Agreements

From the Monterey County Herald:

“A judge ruled the failed regional desalination project agreements can still be challenged, but only by the Monterey County Water Resources Agency and not California American Water.

“Marina Coast Water District, a former regional project partner with Cal Am and the county, has alleged its partners should pay its project costs, estimated at $15 million to $18 million, because they backed out of valid project agreements.”

Aquafornia news

Commentary: Fourth Term for Gov. Brown Needs Bold Ideas

From the Los Angeles Times, in the Capitol Journal column by George Skelton:

“Gov. Jerry Brown enjoys a unique position that no California governor has been in for 68 years. He is a virtual shoo-in for reelection.

“That gives him an extremely rare opportunity to rise above conventional political rhetoric and open a substantive dialogue with voters about the state’s future direction.