Can California Quench Its Thirst and Protect the Environment?
Key Issues in Seawater Desalination in California: Marine Impacts
Proposed detla tunnels may not satisfy water needs, documents say
California Releases Draft Climate Change Preparation Plan
Delta water tunnels environmental report released
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Media Inquiries and requests to connect with our local Waterkeepers can be forwarded to Sara Aminzadeh at 415-794-8422 or email@example.com.
The Desalination Fight Continues
Earlier this month, our Orange County Coastkeeper and other environmental groups stopped the irresponsibly proposed Huntington Beach desalination facility from beginning construction. The California Coastal Commission directed Poseidon, the company proposing the project, to go back to the “drawing board” and re-evaluate its design. The $900 million facility proposed to operate outdated technology with severe environmental impacts rather than conduct studies to evaluate the feasibility of better technologies to lessen ocean impacts. One Commissioner best summed up the hearing: "If Poseidon cannot recalibrate themselves to get into the 21st century, then they need to take their business model someplace else." It was an important day for the Coastal Commission, but the fight is not over.
As the Huntington Beach project is put on hold, California’s attention turns to the State Water Board; where CCKA has been working closely with the Board to develop a Desalination Policy that protects coastal ecosystems and water quality from harmful ocean desalination facilities. Desalination can have numerous and drastic impacts, including the mortality of billions of fish larvae annually, high energy demands associated with water-rate hikes, and the displacement of marine species due to the discharge of highly saline brine. CCKA is advocating that subsurface intakes be required, thus eliminating marine life mortality and providing a cheaper source of water. We are also requesting that facilities comply with the Once-Through Cooling Policy and stop using illegal intake pipes to dilute their saline discharges. Instead, CCKA expects facilities to implement an internationally recognized technology – high pressure spray brine diffusers – to rapidly dilute the brine and minimize impacts to the marine ecosystem. CCKA expects the Policy to be released for public comment by the end of 2013, and stands ready to ensure the Policy protects California’s coastal ecosystems and its citizens from the destructive and expensive practice of desalinating water.
Governor Signs Potable Recycled Water Legislation
Promoting local, sustainable water supplies has become a core component of California Coastkeeper Alliance’s work in recent years as the health of inland and coastal waterways is increasingly impacted by our state’s ever increasing demands for water. If we are to avoid the harms associated with groundwater overdraft, imported water, and ocean desalination, it’s critical that we actively develop alternative sources. Providing cleaner, more abundant, drinking water supplies has also become a priority in the California Legislature. To that end, CCKA has been working closely with Senator Hueso and key stakeholders to create legislation to advance high quality drinkable recycled water.
After two years of fighting for a bill that promotes drinkable recycled water while protecting water quality, CCKA is proud to announce the passage of SB 322 (Hueso). California’s new law requires the Department of Public Health to convene an expert panel and investigate the development of criteria for direct potable reuse. The bill also requires a stakeholder advisory group to be formed to ensure that the expert panel’s work will be done in an open and transparent manner. A public draft of the agency’s report is due by Sept. 1, 2016, and a report to the Legislature is due Dec. 31, 2016. CCKA was a proud supporter of SB 322, and will continue to advocate for potable recycled water as a sustainable water alternative.
Patagonia 2013 Salmon Run
Join our Santa Barbara Keeper at Patagonia’s 20th annual Salmon Run along the lower Ventura River. This year’s race will benefit the Santa Clara River Steelhead Coalition, which is composed of environmental stakeholders that are implementing projects to protect and restore endangered Southern California steelhead. The race sold out last year, so sign up today!
Congratulations Russian Riverkeeper
Congrats to our Russian Riverkeeper for being awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement. The award acknowledged Riverkeeper as a strong community advocate, playing a critical role in increasing awareness of the River and in making a difference to be able to enjoy a healthy river for today and future generations.
Russian Riverkeeper Discusses Low Flows
The Russian Riverkeeper, Don McEnhill, works daily to protect the Russian River and its tributaries from numerous impacts, including gravel mining, stormwater pollution, and low flows. Check-out Don’s recent appearance on the local news discussing low flows in his watershed, and visit their website to see what Riverkeeper is doing to prevent further diminished river flows.