Topic: Coronavirus



The coronavirus sparked a lot of water-related questions and issues when the pandemic moved into California in 2020. Below are the latest articles on the topic as they appeared in our Aquafornia news aggregate. 

Aquafornia news CNET

Can coronavirus spread through lake and pool water? Here’s what we know

The CDC says there’s no evidence the coronavirus can spread to people through pool water and that proper cleaning with chlorine or bromine should inactivate the virus if it’s in the water. So why are pools remaining closed if there’s no evidence of the virus spreading through the water? Because of human behavior.

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Aquafornia news The Press Democrat

Sonoma County health officer reveals three business sectors recently hit by coronavirus

Under pressure to release more details about recent outbreaks of the coronavirus in the local business community, Sonoma County’s top public health official on Thursday revealed three industries in which workers recently contracted the virus. Dr. Sundari Mase, the county’s health officer, said recent infections have been found among workers at a local winery, a water filtration plant and among a group of farmworkers.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Friday Top of the Scroll: Gavin Newsom’s environmental budget cuts escalate tensions with California activists

Administration officials said the state must make painful choices to keep funding intact for core environmental regulatory and safety programs. They also point out that the governor is proposing to boost spending for wildfire preparedness by $90 million and would preserve funding to enforce new clean drinking-water rules.

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Aquafornia news Pacific Institute

Blog: The COVID crisis is slashing California’s state budget. What does it mean for water management?

Governor Newsom’s May Revisions to the 2020-2021 state budget reflect … a $54.3 billion budget deficit and propose $18 billion in cuts to state expenditures. … This blog post provides a short summary of the proposed budget changes and their impacts on California water management.

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Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday Top of the Scroll: SF ordered downtown office buildings shut. Now it worries about safety of the water within them

Before San Francisco office workers start streaming back to downtown high-rises again, property owners and managers need to make sure those buildings are safe. Not just from the threat of coronavirus circulating among cubicles, but from medical problems that can be caused when water in buildings sits stagnant for months.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

States are reopening from coronavirus shutdowns. What happens to frozen utility payments?

When states began issuing stay-at-home orders and millions of Americans lost their jobs due to COVID-19, governors in dozens of states temporarily barred utility companies from shutting off gas, water, electricity and even internet. … But as states move to reopen, those moratoriums will end, and advocates are already warning that many households won’t have enough money to resume paying their utility bills, much less repay their deferred bill.

Aquafornia news Thomson Reuters Foundation

Closed bathrooms afflict U.S. homeless in coronavirus lockdown

For homeless Americans, the coronavirus crisis has worsened a problem that has blighted them for years; the steady closure of the country’s public bathrooms. Health officials say frequent hand washing is the best way to fight the spread of COVID-19, but homeless campaigners warn that lockdown closures have left hundreds of thousands of rough sleepers without access to soap and water.

Aquafornia news Monterey County Weekly

Water use on the Monterey Peninsula plunged in April, likely due to coronavirus lockdown

In April, during the first full month of the lockdown, water demand on the Monterey Peninsula dropped by 15 percent compared to the same month a year ago, according to data provided to the Weekly by local water regulators.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Opinion: COVID-19 pandemic and need for clean water at rural homes

As the world continues to grapple with the most devastating public health crises in modern history, the San Joaquin Valley has been hit particularly hard, resulting in mass disarray. Small rural regions and underserved communities are now experiencing threefold the challenges that existed prior to the pandemic.

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Aquafornia news The Sun-Gazette

Water stakeholders try to compel reps for water funding

Last week a diverse coalition of 59 broad-based organizations, which collectively represents both California front-line communities as well as more than 450 California water agencies … urged the California congressional delegation to include funding for urgent water infrastructure and water affordability needs as part of the next federal stimulus package titled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act …

Aquafornia news E&E News

Trump uses virus to permanently suspend rules on industry

Myron Ebell, who led Trump’s EPA transition team in 2016, told E&E News that the agency had already consulted with the White House on possible rules to freeze under this order. … He provided possible targets, including provisions of the Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Anti-regulatory groups are now preparing ideas to submit to the administration, he said.

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Aquafornia news The New York Times

After coronavirus, office workers might face unexpected health threats

Stagnant plumbing systems in emptied commercial buildings could put returning employees at risk of Legionnaires’ and other illnesses.

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Aquafornia news USA Today

Coronavirus: Sewage can indicate virus spread before symptoms appear

In hundreds of cities across the USA, scientists hope monitoring systems will provide an early warning if coronavirus infections reemerge as communities in some states cautiously reopen. These monitors don’t rely on testing patients or tracing contacts. All that’s required? Human waste.

Aquafornia news California Department of Water Resources

Blog: DWR completes juvenile salmon habitat study amid COVID-19 emergency

A study by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) investigating the growth rate of juvenile Chinook salmon raised in the Suisun Marsh area of Solano County was forced to conclude early due to the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency. Despite the change of plans, DWR scientists were still able to gather all pertinent data and are confident the study will provide useful information regarding how juvenile Chinook salmon grow.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

9 states sue EPA for ‘blanket waiver’ as nation fights pandemic

Nine states have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for curtailing enforcement of rules on air and water pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the pullback puts the public at even greater risk.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

What is the coronavirus risk in the ocean, pools, and lakes?

Summer always means water, whether it’s an ocean, lake, river, swimming pool or hot tub. But now that we’re worrying more about germs, it’s natural to wonder: Will this season’s swimming, surfing, floating and soaking be as safe as it used to be? Yes, many experts say.

Aquafornia news NBC San Diego

Imperial Irrigation District begins second wave of sheltering employees at work

Imperial Irrigation District, California’s third largest public power provider and the largest irrigation district in the nation, will be extending its voluntary on-site shelter-in-place program at designated critical facilities for a core group of employees. To keep employees safe and to ensure that the district’s water and energy systems remain operational during the COVID-19 pandemic, 32 district employees have been living and working at their job sites since April 25.

Aquafornia news Bloomberg Law

Opinion: Computers in our sewers: Digitization of the water sector

Technology is revolutionizing wastewater systems, which require a lot of maintenance but are difficult to access under the surface. Ari Goldfarb and Itai Boneh of Kando, a wastewater solutions company, examine how technology is improving wastewater systems and how Covid-19 is having an impact.

Aquafornia news Circle of Blue

‘Deadly’ consequences if stagnant water in shuttered buildings is not properly addressed

The extensive closure of offices, hotels, restaurants and other commercial buildings in response to the coronavirus pandemic is a potential health hazard once those structures are reopened to the public. Of greatest concern to plumbing and water quality experts is Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory infection that is the deadliest waterborne illness in the United States.

Aquafornia news CALmatters

New park? Climate catalyst fund? On hold in Newsom budget

Facing uncertain revenues in the year ahead, state officials said they would prioritize programs aimed at improving air quality in disadvantaged communities, providing safe and affordable drinking water and improving forest health and fire protection.

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