Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"The process of converting salt water to drinking water is highly energy-intensive. In San Diego it takes eight times more electricity to produce about 325,000 gallons of water through desalination than it takes to pump the same amount of groundwater. Because desalinated water is so energy-dependent, water customers are vulnerable to rises in energy costs.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
From the latest in the financing debacle at Poseidon Resources:
“Poseidon has been claiming for years that they will be responsible for financing the desalination proposals in Carlsbad and Huntington Beach,” says Joe Geever, Policy Coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation. “This latest debacle in San Diego County just exposes what many have known all along — these proposals are almost completely reliant on public money.”
Poseidon did not respond to the Voice’s request for comment before press time.
Geever says that public water agencies should turn to other, proven, methods of water management.
“If we are going to spend public money on water projects, we should prioritize projects that are economically and environmentally superior — like expanding our local Groundwater Replenishment System and investing in conservation programs.”
Read the whole story.
Monday, June 21, 2010
Indirect Potable Reuse: The Solution to San Diego’s Water Crisis
The author is Amy Cao, a Junior at La Jolla High School. Congratulations Amy for helping to spread this important message!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Our film, The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water has been accepted into the BLUE Oceans Film Festival
Thursday, June 17, 2010
"The truth is that all water is wastewater. The earth is one large closed system which nothing can escape or enter; everything made of matter that we deal with is recycled. Physicists estimate that in every breath we take there is at least one molecule of air that was also in Julius Caesar’s last breath. If the air in our lungs has been breathed many times before, then, as little as we like to think about it, the water that we drink has also been drunk many times before it reaches us."
Toilet to Top of the Line Purification System to Tap by Taylor Winchell discusses the justification for and viability of an indirect potable reuse system in San Diego:
"The fact of the matter is that no matter the source from which the water comes, it is all purified under the same quality standards and it is all equally safe to drink. Not only is the indirect potable reuse system safe, but it would also be economically cheaper and more environmentally friendly than a desalination option.
What is preventing San Diego from adopting this indirect potable reuse system appears to be the social repercussions associated with drinking purified wastewater. With declining amounts of water coming from vital import sources, however, the time is now for San Diego to get serious about local freshwater sustainability."
These two essays are finalists in the 2010 voiceofsandiego.org essay contest.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Poseidon Resources’ Carlsbad desalination factory subsidies would be withheld as a result of proposed lawsuit.
Water supply has always had a sordid, complicated history in So Cal. The latest in San Diego is no exception: the San Diego County Water Authority is suing the Metropolitan Water District (unless they can settle their dispute) over rates, which means that the much-needed subsidies to fund Poseidon Resources’ Carlsbad Desalination plant would be withheld as a result of the proposed lawsuit. This is good news for our coast and ocean. The proposed Carlsbad ocean desalination facility uses enormous amounts of energy and unless they change the seawater intake system, it will kill millions of fish in the process. More importantly, Surfrider Foundation is advocating improvements to our water management that will be both economically superior to the desal facility AND result in improvements to our coast and ocean environment. See our vision for water management reform.
The Poseidon Resources desalination project has never been economically viable — even with all the subsidies. (Poseidon themselves even admits it’s not feasible without the subsidies.) But what this news about the lawsuit means is that our San Diego County Water Authority will consider paying the subsidies that would have otherwise come from agencies all over southern California. It only seems fair that San Diego County pay its own way if they want to build a desalination factory for local agencies — even though it will mean higher prices to local ratepayers. But we don’t believe they should build this factory at all.
We would like our Surfrider members and volunteers to attend the County Water Authority’s Board meeting to ensure that NO MORE OF OUR MONEY is used to subsidize this ill-conceived project. We want to make it clear that they should spend our money on improved water conservation through efforts like our Ocean Friendly Gardens program -- and wastewater recycling like the Indirect Potable Reuse project. These efforts will dramatically reduce the energy we use transporting water, make our water supply local and reliable, and reduce pollution reaching our beaches — not kill fish and waste energy. It’s a win for the environment and a win for ratepayers.
We are also speaking out to ensure that Bud Lewis, Mayor of Carlsbad, and chair of the board, recuses himself from the debate and vote. Mayor Lewis has been an outspoken advocate for the Poseidon corporation and there is a clear conflict of interest if he is allowed to influence this vote.
3:00 p.m. – Board of Director’s meeting
(either 10 a.m. or 1:00 p.m., Committee meeting to approve recommendation to full Board)
4677 Overland Avenue
San Diego CA 92123
Please shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend. We need as many people as there as possible to help us speak out.
BTW, George J. Janczyn has a great summary on his blog if you want to read all the stories related to this issue.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Brought to You by Water
Surfing, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, water polo, diving, waterskiing, wakeboarding, boating, jet skiing, kite surfing, windsurfing, sailing, rowing, skimboarding, rafting, water parks, whale watching, bodysurfing, slip‘n slide, dancing in the rain, snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, bobsled, ice skating, sledding, ice sculptures, snowcones, snowballs, snowmen, ice luge, ice cubes, clouds
What is your favorite moment with water? And maybe more importantly, how would it affect you if there wasn’t enough?
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
You might be thinking: How can we have passed the point of peak water? How can there be a "peak water" when water is never used up? The answer is that because all fresh water supply and use is essentially local, water in that local area can be transferred, extracted, used, misused and thoughtlessly discarded faster than natural forces can replace it. Consequently, the Colorado River or Lake Mead or [insert your local river, lake or reservoir] may be drying up. Not only does that create a drinking water shortage, it severely impacts the ecology in and around that water body.
What the localized "peak water" condition also causes (as is the case with all imbalances of supply and demand) is high prices. Many experts, including the late water guru Ron Linsky, have written extensively about the value of water. Specifically, they make the point that we have tremendously undervalued water, and thereby have over-stimulated demand and encouraged waste, which also creates pollution.
So, higher water prices are coming, and that's not altogether a bad thing from a resource protection perspective.
What we can do to help mitigate shortages, higher costs and pollution is to advocate for water conservation and reuse. Peak water is not inevitable if we "Know Our H2O" and implement practices that can make our water systems sustainable.