“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.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a challenge to the Santa Maria groundwater basin plan, ending 16 years of litigation over the issue and ensuring long-term water supplies for the city and a large portion of the Central Coast.
“Last November, the management plan for the groundwater basin was validated by a state appellate court. After the California Supreme Court later refused to hear the case, some landowners upset with the appellate decision petitioned the nation’s highest court, which on Oct.
“Sparse rain coupled with salty seawater eating at the water supply that feeds homes and businesses from Capitola to La Selva Beach has Soquel Creek Water District leaders seriously weighing alternative supplies.
“District leaders said one possible solution to the ongoing shortage saga is to join a regional multimillion dollar desalination plant proposed for Moss Landing that would also be used in the Monterey and Salinas areas.”
“You think the battle over the Fort Ord ballot measures is confusing? Prepare to see confusion taken to a higher level. If Public Water Now succeeds in getting a Cal Am takeover measure on a 2014 ballot, the campaign against it is likely to have you questioning your ability to understand the basics of math, government and economics. …
“If the ballot measure wins, it would require the Peninsula water management district to study the feasibility of a public takeover of Cal Am, the Peninsula’s water purveyor.
“After a media investigation revealed that federal regulators quietly approved at least four fracking projects off the Santa Barbara coast without environmental review, a national environmental group is calling for an immediate end to the practice.”
“Both farmers and environmentalists are taking aim at a new study addressing a controversial practice of bulldozing the Salinas River to prevent flooding. For decades, growers along the river have gone into the channel with equipment to clear brush and sediment to allow the river to flow faster during heavy rains and not back up and flood valuable crops.
“City Manager Martín Bernal will take the first step Tuesday toward starting a fresh dialogue with the public about water supply planning while simultaneously completing an analysis of seawater desalination.
“Bernal will seek the City Council’s blessing on a new public engagement plan to re-evaluate supply challenges, greater conservation and other alternatives, as well as address questions and comments about desal from residents and regulators.”