Today, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released What Will Be the Cost of Future Sources of Water in California, a white paper comparing the costs of the state’s traditional water resources, water conservation and new resources like desalination.
The CPUC, which is better known for governing energy utilities, also oversees 108 investor-owned water utilities that operate in California and serve about 16% of the state’s population. The white paper focuses on examples and data from these utilities but provides helpful analysis of the economics of water conservation and the good price San Diegans pay for water from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
Read What Will Be the Cost of Future Sources of Water in California
In September, Helix’s Ted Salois followed Jesse Adcock, owner of J.R. Bees, who performs live bee removal from the meter boxes of Helix customers. Ted’s story, photos and video clip show just how Mr. Adcock does it.
Why is Helix investing in live bee removal? One reason, which Mr. Adcock explains in the story, is that it is more effective than killing bees. The big reason is bee populations are dwindling, in California and around the world. A study published earlier this year by the United Nations Environment Program found that over 40 percent of pollinators — primarily bees and butterflies — are facing extinction. This matters: according to the report, 75 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of wild flowering plants are dependent on pollination.
Read Saving Hives
Watch the video
Read Six easy ways you can help save the bees
The Water Conservation Garden is hosting The Effects of Climate Change and Drought on our Local Ecosystem on Thursday, October 27th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Panelists from San Diego Zoo Global, the Natural History Museum, the Audubon Society, the Watershed Protection Program, and San Diego State University will share their insights about patterns in our climate and watersheds, as well as challenges facing our birds, insects, and indigenous plants. Following the presentations, Professor Emeritus Bonnie Kime Scott, a Docent and member of the Board of Directors at The Garden, will lead a discussion and the audience is encouraged to participate. Seating is limited and pre-registration is recommended.
Admission is $5 for Garden Members, $10 for Non-Members.
Register for the event on The Garden’s website
The Enchanted Garden Gala, which is next Saturday, October 15th, is an exceptional event and The Water Conservation Garden’s big fundraiser for the year. Come at 7 p.m. for the Gala’s live entertainment, auction, wine and hors d’oeuvres, or go large and buy tickets for the Red Carpet Reception at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the event support The Garden’s internationally recognized botanical garden and its programs and services educating residents of all ages about water conservation.
Click here for the event program, tickets and auction donations
State officials are in the process of establishing a new water use efficiency framework for California. As part of Governor Brown’s last drought-related executive order this past May, the Department of Water Resources was tasked with developing permanent, long-term regulations on how water will be used throughout the state.
Once finalized, the framework will define the maximum amount of water that each water supplier is allowed to provide to residents and businesses within its service area. As currently proposed, staff is concerned the framework could have negative impacts on the economy and quality of life throughout the district, region and state.
Earlier this year, Helix joined forces with other water providers and successfully lobbied the State Water Resources Control Board to base state mandated water reductions on an agency’s actual supply and demand, reducing the district’s state mandated water use reduction from 20 percent to zero. The proposed framework is separate from the temporary state mandated water use reductions and is even more critical as it will establish permanent regulations into the future.
The Department of Water Resources will release the final draft of the framework in November. Click on the links below to read the comments that Helix and the San Diego County Water Authority, the district’s wholesaler, submitted to the state last week.
Helix’s comments to state of California
San Diego County Water Authority’s comments to state of California
Photo: University of Massachusetts