Too often, entrenched conflicts that pit water user against water user block efforts to secure a sustainable, equitable, and democratic water future in California. Striking a balance involves art and science, compassion and flexibility, and adherence to science and the law. Felicia Marcus is a public servant unknown to many Californians. But as she concludes her tenure as chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, we owe her a debt of gratitude for consistently reaching for that balance.
Metropolitan’s Board of Directors voted Tuesday (Feb. 12) to double the rebate the agency offers for replacing turf, increasing it to $2 a square foot of grass removed. The board also adopted other changes to make it easier to participate in the program.
Lawmakers from both parties said the bill’s most important provision was to permanently reauthorize the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country. The program expired last fall after Congress could not agree on language to extend it.
Climate change is fundamentally transforming the way we manage water in the Western U.S. The recent Fourth California Climate Change Assessment lays out the many pressures facing water managers in California in detail. One key take-away of that Assessment is that past climate conditions will not be a good proxy for the state’s water future, and smarter strategies are needed to manage California’s water.
Back in 2015, the city of San Diego expected it would get about a third of its drinking water from recycled sewage within 20 years and could do so for about $3 billion in construction costs. Now, the city is looking to spend no less than $4.8 billion and perhaps as much as $9 billion on the project, according to city financial documents, including previously undisclosed internal estimates from the Public Utilities Department.
The new report, “Sustainable Landscapes on Commercial and Industrial Properties in the Santa Ana River Watershed,” explores how landscape conversion on commercial and industrial properties can reduce water use, increase stormwater capture and groundwater recharge, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use.
Although U.S. adoption has been slow, some recent deals may turn the tide. A typical installation consists of solar panels on pontoons tethered to the bottom of a reservoir or retention pond—considered easier to utilize than lakes. Floating or underwater cables carry direct current to an inverter on shore where it is converted to alternating current and sent to the local grid. Engineers must consider multiple factors: systems have to withstand high winds and waves, panels must be resistant to corrosion and anchors have to last for 25 years or more.
A group of San Francisco Bay Area cities, counties and water agencies has joined forces for what is being billed as one of the largest single government purchases of all-electric vehicles in the country.
A California wind farm will become the first in the nation to avoid prosecution if eagles are injured or die when they run into the giant turning blades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday.
“The Obama administration’s announcement Monday of sweeping new rules aimed at curbing global warming emissions from power plants could boost profits at Silicon Valley companies that make solar panels, energy efficiency software and other clean technology.”
“The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently ruled to protect all existing solar, biogas and wind customers under their current net-energy metering (NEM) contracts for a 20-year grandfathering period.
“Plans to develop renewable energy as a way to fund restoration and conservation projects at the Salton Sea could be premature without at least a preliminary plan on what the restoration will look like, which in turn may depend on figuring out the funding sources for those efforts.”
“The effort to restore the Salton Sea gained momentum in the nation’s capital Thursday, as California lawmakers and the Obama administration touted renewable energy as an environmental and economic lifeline.
“Sen. Barbara Boxer and two Southern California House members, Reps. Raul Ruiz and Juan Vargas, urged the U.S.
“On Thursday, the governing board of Sonoma’s new public power agency plans to set rates for its electricity service, which will begin in May. Most customers will save money, compared to what they currently pay Pacific Gas and Electric Co.”
“They’re touted as the future of energy production — clean, efficient and renewable. But there’s a dark side to wind turbines for local wildlife — towers and spinning blades kill thousands of birds and bats on the Altamont Pass east of Livermore each year.”
“In a decision that highlights the clash between two cherished environmental goals — producing green energy and preserving protected wildlife — federal officials announced Friday that some wind power companies will be allowed to kill or injure bald and golden eagles for up to 30 years without penalty.”