Water Woes: Does California Have The Answer?

One thing that most Californian politicians agree on is how much (or how little) water California has. Water fluctuations have caused many problems throughout California. These problems range from droughts in the Central Valley, which result in the loss of thousands of jobs, to burst pipes and overflowing sewage systems. Each of these events cost Californian cities significant amounts of money. Whether it is unemployment, maintenance and construction crews, or fees for releasing raw sewage, California must pay.
One of the most crucial and obvious problems facing California today is the seeming lack of water. However, there is actually no less water than was available years ago. The changing factor is population. Human beings reproduce at a rate inductive to growing populations and expect to always have available resources. Unless scientists find a way to create these resources, this is not possible.
There is a simple solution to this problem. By implementing water efficient fixtures in residences and workplaces, California can significantly reduce its demand for water. Peter Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute, testified in front of Congress and stated that California could save 1 million acre feet of water by implementing efficient fixtures.
WaterWise Consulting, Inc. has recommended the savings of over 1,500 acre feet yearly by implementing water efficient measures in the South San Francisco Bay Area alone. If sites implement the measures recommended by WaterWise Consulting, there would be enough fresh water for 20,000 to 75,000 Californians. This water would not require any more wells being built or more treatment plants. It’s water that Californians are using right now. By retrofitting current water using fixtures, each device will use lest water, thus less water flowing down the drain. If you would like to learn more about how WaterWise Consulting, Inc. has helped to reduce California’s need for water, please visit our website at http://www.waterwise-consulting.com
Brian O’Neill

Will wastewater save California farmers?

In Late January, the Modesto City Council unanimously agreed to help fund a study regarding recycled water. This study will also be partially funded by the Del Puerto Water District¬—each entity agreeing to contribute 25% of the costs. Both entities are seeking additional funding from the Bureau of Reclamation.
This study will examine the feasibility of selling Modesto City’s wastewater to the Del Puerto Water District. This could potentially save 2.3 million gallons of water per day by the end of 1010, and another 12.6 million gallons by 2015.
If the two agencies decide to go ahead with this project, it would not only benefit the City of Modesto and Del Puerto Water District, but also local residents by increasing the amount of food available.
Many opponents of using recycled water for crop irrigation argue that it is unsafe and contains harmful bacteria or other contaminants. Since this water must be treated to tertiary standards, the water is safe enough to swim in.
Read more about this issue at: http://www.pattersonirrigator.com/view/full_story/5678052/article-Recycled-wastewater-could-relieve-struggling-farmers-?instance=home_news_lead_story
Brian O’Neill

Wells dig a deeper hole for our underground water

Many people know the obvious problem of wells: they drain our underground water sources. People don’t usually think of other potential problems. Since most abandoned wells are not decommissioned properly, they are often partially filled or left completely open. In places that have significant amounts of soil and rock layers, this can pose a devastating problem.
The sequential layers of topsoil, subsoil, and bedrock act together to filter out many chemicals and other contaminants. Eliminating these crucial layers of filtration lets the contaminants seep directly into underground aquifers. Sometimes this occurs at abandoned sites with significant amounts of pollution, where they are not discovered until human water sources are contaminated and can no longer be used.
Abandoned mines are often found at abandoned farms and other old use sites. Many environmental agencies recommend surveying your site to determine whether you have an abandoned well on your site or not. Signs may include: damp, round impressions in the ground, cement slabs with circular metal pipe, manhole covers, pits in basements, or obsolete windmills.
To read more about obsolete wells and the risks involved, view the On Tap magazine at http://www.fiddy.com/bikes/mrangryeyes022205_big.jpg
Brian O’Neill

Fantastic new resource for water information

Please join WaterWise in welcoming this new online resource for water data. Wholly H2O is a non-profit dedicated to encouraging water reuse and conservation in California, particularly in the San Francsico Bay area. Read the intro from Wholly H2O founder Elizabeth Dougherty below.

Wholly H2o’s mission is to equip Californians with the information and skills necessary to normalize water conservation and efficiency, as well as the adoption of rainwater, graywater, stormwater and black water reuse/recycling in the residential, commercial/institutional, industrial and agricultural sectors.

With that in mind, we are proud to announce the soft launch of the comprehensive information website

This site is a comprehensive information center for efficiency, rainwater, graywater, stormwater and black water management, capture and reuse. You can find Products and Services from around the state and country, links to Rebates and Incentives, a Calendar of statewide water events, Tips, Best Practices, Demonstration Projects, Films, Blogs, an Art Gallery, and much more.

While we fill in content over the next several months, begin benefitting now by perusing all the useful information, particularly those found in “Resources”. Of course, we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. Feel free to subscribe to the announcement list, and submit your company’s information to be included in Products and Services.

Let the “getting more informed” about integrated water management begin!

Elizabeth Dougherty
Wholly H2o’s mission is to equip Californians with the information and skills necessary to normalize water conservation and efficiency, as well as rainwater, graywater, stormwater and black water reuse/recycling. The purpose is to mitigate the currently unsustainable demands on California water supplies, and corresponding environmental degradation to California’s natural water systems. The goal is to use our water in the most appropriate manner possible given our realtime existing conditions.
Our secondary mission is to provide the information and training necessary to expand the water-related green jobs market throughout the state of California.
If you would prefer not to receive announcement from Wholly H2o, please unsubscribe here.

Fiscal Sponsor
Trust for Conservation Innovation
423 Washington Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
United States

Farmers receive funding for efficient technologies, but where is the water?

The Federal Government recently announced that it would spend $10 million in aid to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. This aid is not just for any San Joaquin Valley farmers, it is meant to help farmers who want to retrofit their irrigation equipment to more efficient technologies.
This should create a great surge in water conservation as well as jobs for irrigation workers. However, some farms already have efficient irrigation systems. This federal aid should significantly decrease water use in the area, depending on how it is allocated.
Recent water allotments were as low as 10% of the amount requested. As a result of this allotment as well as inefficient technologies, the water was not enough to go around. Many farmers were left without any water, a situation which often leads to catastrophes at farms. Without water, there are no crops. Without crops, there is no income.
The Environmental Quality Initiatives Program is accepting applications until April 9, 2010. There was $3 million available last year, and approximately $10 million for this year. While this aid will help spur the movement towards efficient irrigation systems, it is up to farmers to really make a difference.
To read more about this subject, please visit: http://www.modbee.com/2010/03/04/1074878/feds-plan-10m-in-aid-for-thirsty.html
Brian O’Neill