Water agencies are working on dozens of projects to boost Southern California’s water supply. But many of the agencies are simultaneously boosting their own projects and arguing that others shouldn’t be built – partly out of a fear that ratepayers will only tolerate so many projects, and partly because of politics and territorialism.
In this week’s San Diego Explained, NBC7’s Monica Dean and Voice of San Diego’s Ry Rivard dive into why San Diego water officials are wary of Gov. Jerry Brown plan to keep water flowing from Northern California to Southern California.
For years, Mexican officials have been working to build a desalination plant in Rosarito Beach. David Gibson, executive director of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, says the new plant could siphon money from the already strained Tijuana sewer system.
The city government and a Fortune 500 company are on a collision course. The cost, reliability and environmental consequences of everyone’s electricity is on the line.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer is making Pure Water, the city’s plan to turn sewage into drinkable water, a top priority. But the mayors of Coronado and Chula Vista, city council members in Poway and Lemon Grove, and officials from water agencies in San Diego’s eastern and southern suburbs are all trying to rein in the project.
On Wednesday, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Board decided that its limits on metals dumped into the creek were too strict. Now, thousands of pounds of copper and zinc will continue to flow into the creek, but it’ll be considered fine.
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to build two 35-mile underground tunnels to keep water coming south through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta. The San Diego County Water Authority used to pine for such a plan. But now, emboldened by its drought-proofing projects and wary of shocking ratepayers, the agency is aggressively questioning Brown’s delta tunnels.
California’s stormwater system is a mess – but it doesn’t have to be.
For local jurisdictions, cannabis farming can generate significant new tax revenues, create jobs and help reverse course for the region’s declining agricultural sector.
It’s still too soon to know if the drought is truly over. We can’t predict the future, for one thing. Nor can we agree on what is meant by “drought.” President-elect Donald Trump, the California Department of Water Resources, the U.S. Drought Monitor and some top climate scientists all have different definitions.