“If you’d like to know more about what the Monterey County government staff did to help get a desalination plant, or what they might have done to make the project fail, well you can forget about it. You may be paying for their work, but what they did is none of your business.
“That’s how the Public Utilities Commission sees it.”
From the Salinas Californian, in a commentary by Jim Bogart:
“I have briefed readers of this column about the many complex issues confronting agriculture — farm labor availability and immigration reform, food safety, water quality, crop protection, worker safety, and labor and employment law compliance are just a few that come immediately to mind.
“The county’s water resources director said Tuesday costly expansions of a Santa Cruz water treatment plant and a San Lorenzo River diversion site have the potential to provide significant winter supply to a district facing critical overdraft in its groundwater basin.”
“Maintaining the state’s water resources, restoring water habitats and concerns about recycled water were topics the California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird touched on Saturday at the Louden Nelson Community Center.
“Organized by the Santa Cruz Water Department, officials invited Laird to the event to discuss California’s water problems with locals, address their questions and spread information.”
“An advisory committee brainstormed over potential projects aimed at using a decades-old Salinas River water permit Thursday, but not before a heated debate over the latitude of the permit.
“Monterey County Water Resources Agency officials and Salinas Valley agricultural interests squared off over whether the permit should be changed in the aftermath of a battle with the state water board to retain it.”
“A Marina Coast Water District official is floating an idea to purchase Salinas River water to supply future development on former Fort Ord, a move that could mean millions of dollars a year in revenue for the county.
“Marina Coast District Interim General Manager Brian Lee will be pitching the idea during committee meeting of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency today [Oct. 31] in Salinas.”
“Access to source water for a proposed recycled water project remains uncertain even after months of formal talks over availability and as environmental review is poised to begin.
“Officials from the Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency and the Monterey County Water Resources Agency have been conducting confidential ‘meet and confer’ sessions since August to try to reach an agreement on using Peninsula wastewater for the sewage treatment agency’s groundwater replenishment project.”
“Two months after the state water board approved rules for agricultural water quality, a panel of experts discussed a slew of ways the Salinas Valley could address the issue at a public forum at CSU Monterey Bay on Thursday.
“Officials from Ventura County and the Central Valley outlined their methods for dealing with ag water quality regulations, including a cooperative approach with regional water board officials, use of best management practices and a farmers-only coalition.”
“One of the impediments to improving Salinas Valley groundwater quality is, ironically, the regulatory process established to protect it, a consensus of experts said Thursday during a panel discussion at California State University, Monterey Bay.
“The panel was composed of a Ventura County water expert, a groundwater coalition official from the Central Valley, a Central Coast wetlands conservation expert, a leading water quality scientist from CSU Monterey Bay, and a consultant experienced in Central Coast agriculture water quality issues.”
“With the hum of heavy drilling machinery in the background, elected officials from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties Wednesday celebrated the beginning of construction of a water project that will help stabilize the depleted Nipomo groundwater basin.
“The Nipomo Community Services District has begun construction of a $17.5 million pipeline under the Santa Maria River that will eventually bring 3,000 acre-feet of water a year to the Nipomo Mesa for the next 70 years.”
“The Salinas Valley is good at growing things, including innovative new farm technology.
“Many, if not most, of the technology being developed within a few miles of Salinas City Hall flies under the radar of the public. But talk to the scientists and innovators of this cutting-edge science and engineering and they will tell you the research being conducted has international implications.”
“The Tribune has won a top state award for its five-part investigative series on wine and water that documented the precipitous drop in the North County’s main groundwater source and the risks that poses for residents and the county’s economy.”
“A decades-old Santa Cruz law makes it illegal to paddle a canoe or wade in the lower San Lorenzo River. …
“Some city officials would like to change course and open the waterway to recreation — kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and canoeing among others — in an effort to revitalize the river between Highway 1 and the ocean.”