Planning and Conservation League from Insider.com
TIME FOR REFLECTION: NEGATIVE RULING ON NATION'S LARGEST WATER TRANSFER SHOULD INSTIGATE EXAMINATION OF STATE'S POOR WATER MANAGEMENT
Last Thursday, Superior Court Judge Roland L. Candee issued a tentative order invalidating the nation's largest agricultural-to-urban water transfer agreement, known as the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA).
Signed in 2003, the QSA transferred water from California's Imperial Irrigation District to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the Coachella Valley Water District, and the San Diego County Water Authority.
As part of the QSA, the State of California made an open-ended commitment to pay for mitigating impacts to the Salton Sea. Judge Candee's tentative ruling holds that it was unconstitutional to commit future state budgets to these undefined costs.
This legal ruling has implications for future transfers of Colorado River water as well as other large-scale water management decisions, such as the still-under-development Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
Here are a few take-aways from Judge Candee's order:
Environmental and public health commitments cannot be put off until a later date. (There's a real danger that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan process is repeating this fatal error.)
California must reduce its dependence on water imported from distant and unreliable sources. While transfers from within the same water basin will continue at some level, we need to move to a reliable future based on greater development of local water supplies that are not at risk of legal challenges, environmental conflicts, and climate change impacts.
As the California State Water Plan demonstrates, there's a large portfolio of sustainable, cost-effective water solutions that can meet California's current and future water needs.
Local interests, whether in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys or in the Bay Delta must be made full partners to develop sustainable water management solutions.
The California Coastal Commission on Dec. 10 voted to dismiss a request to revoke the Carlsbad Desalination Project’s Coastal Development Permit. The commission originally approved the permit in November 2007, and construction started last month.
The project is being built by Poseidon Resources in partnership with the City of Carlsbad. When completed, the desalination plant will have the capacity to produce 50 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water and serve 300,000 residents annually. It is expected to be operational in 2012.
Poseidon has proposed another desalination plant in Orange County. Fifteen agencies have signed a letter of intent to use water from the proposed desalination plant at the AES power plant near Pacific Coast Highway.
Huntington Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Seal Beach and the Metropolitan Water District, among others, have said they are interested in buying water from Poseidon.
The project would generate about 50 million gallons of drinkable water every day by tapping in to the 275 million gallons already flowing in to the AES plant to cool its equipment, officials say. The project needs to gain approvals from the State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission before starting work.
Forwarded in support of Food & Water Watch December 16, 2009
We all know that the economic crisis has cost millions of people their jobs. And, while economists say the stimulus helped a little, it didn't go far enough. We also know that our water infrastructure is crumbling. Many of the pipes carrying our wastewater and drinking water are 60 years old or more. We lose 1.7 trillion gallons of water a year because of faulty infrastructure.
Today, we have a chance to do something about both. In a few hours the House of Representatives will vote on the Jobs for Main Street Act.
This bill will provide $2 billion for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure repairs. That means about 50,000 people will be put to work repairing pipes and treatment works. Email your Representative now and ask them to vote for the Jobs for Main Street Act.
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When planning for possible pesticide applications in an IPM program, review and complete this checklist to consider practices that minimize environmental and efficacy problems.
· Choose a pesticide from the UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for the target pest considering:
o Potential for water quality problems using the UC IPM WaterTox database.
o Impact on aquatic invertebrates. (See Pesticide Choice publication [216 KB, PDF] for impact on aquatic invertebrates.)
o Chemical mode of action (based on efficacy, spectrum of activity, and pesticide resistance). Select an alternative chemical or nonchemical treatment when resistance risk is high.
· Select an alternative chemical or nonchemical treatment when risk is high.
o Choose sprayers and application procedures that keep pesticides on target.
o Identify and take special care to protect sensitive areas (for example, waterways or riparian areas) surrounding your application site.
o Review and follow label for pesticide handling, storage, and disposal guidelines.
o Check and follow restricted entry intervals (REI) and preharvest intervals (PHI).
o After an application is made, record application date, product used, rate, and location of application. Follow up to confirm that treatment was effective.
· Consider water management practices (912 KB, PDF) that reduce pesticide movement off-site:
o Install a tailwater recovery system for recirculating water if flood irrigating.
o Limit irrigation to amount required by evapotranspiration (ET). Use soil moisture or stem water potential monitoring to confirm water status.
o Consider vegetative filter strips (236 KB, PDF) or ditches to moderate winter rainfall runoff if resident vegetation is inadequate.
o Redesign inlets into tailwater ditches to reduce erosion.
· Consider management practices that reduce air quality problems.
When possible, choose pesticides that are not in emulsifiable concentrate (EC) form which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs react with sunlight to form ozone, a major air pollutant.
For more info: