Helix Helps Lemon Grove on Earth Day

Helix Helps Lemon Grove on Earth Day

This past Saturday, April 22, 2017, Helix Water District joined the City of Lemon Grove at their Earth Day Community Clean-up Event.

Under the “Helix Helps” program, over 25 Helix employees, families and friends volunteered their Saturday morning to support one of the many communities that the district serves.

This event gathered over 100 other Earth Day volunteers to help keep Lemon Grove beautiful by removing litter and other debris that had accumulated along streets and other public areas.

“This is just another way that we can serve the communities in the district’s service area. We were glad that we could lend a helping hand,” said Carlos Lugo, General Manager of Helix Water District.

With the launch of “Helix Helps,” we look forward to continue volunteering alongside our customers. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified of future events.

Top: Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez with Helix employees.  Below: Lemon Grove Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Mendoza with Helix employees.

High school photo contest winners honored

High school photo contest winners honored

Helix Water District announced the winners of its annual high school photo contest today at a regular meeting of the agency’s board of directors.

Thirteen students and their work were honored with first, second and third places in color and black & white categories, as well as a title of best-in-show.

Zahra Nazeri

First Place
Anthony Moreno, Color
Mohammed Jiyad, Black & White

Second Place
Michelle Bristol, Color
Austin Finch, Black & White

Third Place
Gonzalo Leon Garcia, Color
Destiny Kassab, Black & White

Honorable Mention (Color)
Stephanie Szumilas
Gonzalo Leon Garcia
Kawther Fadhil
Eduardo Silva
Chrestina Polus
Erik Jared Martinez

Honorable Mention (Black & White)
Angel Ramirez

Students got $250 for best in show, $200 for first place, $100 for second place, $50 for third place and $25 for honorable mention. All winners received a certificate, ribbon and 16-gigabyte flash drive.

Celebrating its 15th year, the competition was created to bring awareness to water issues in East County.

All high schools within the Helix service area were eligible to participate. This year, 96 photos were submitted from four high schools: El Cajon Valley, El Capitan, Grossmont and Mount Miguel.

This summer, winners and several additional entries will be on display in a rotating exhibit in the district’s administration building lobby at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa.


How Drought Changes California

How Drought Changes California

Photo: Yosemite National Park on April 5, 2017 (National Park Service)

Jay Lund, Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at University of California, Davis, said of the recently ended drought, “We lost a third of our water supply and the impact to the agricultural economy was a 2-3 percent loss and urban economy had almost no economic impact. To me that’s remarkable.”  Past droughts may be why California’s economy and most jobs made it through the driest four-year period on record, because each drought brings changes in water policy that bolster our resilience.

Read the San Jose Mercury News story

Governor Brown lifts the drought emergency

Governor Brown lifts the drought emergency

Photo: Associated Press


SACRAMENTO – Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall.

“This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Governor Brown. “Conservation must remain a way of life.”

Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. Today’s order also rescinds two emergency proclamations from January and April 2014 and four droughtrelated executive orders issued in 2014 and 2015.

Executive Order B-40-17 builds on actions taken in Executive Order B-37-16, which remains in effect, to continue making water conservation a way of life in California:

  • The State Water Resources Control Board will maintain urban water use reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices such as watering during or after rainfall, hosing off sidewalks and irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians.
  • The state will continue its work to coordinate a statewide response on the unprecedented bark beetle outbreak in drought-stressed forests that has killed millions of trees across California.

In a related action, state agencies today issued a plan to continue to make conservation a way of life in California, as directed by Governor Brown in May 2016. The framework requires new legislation to establish long-term water conservation measures and improved planning for more frequent and severe droughts.

Although the severely dry conditions that afflicted much of the state starting in the winter of 2011-12 are gone, damage from the drought will linger for years in many areas. The drought reduced farm production in some regions, killed an estimated 100 million trees, harmed wildlife and disrupted drinking water supplies for many rural communities. The consequences of millions of dead trees and the diminished groundwater basins will continue to challenge areas of the state for years.

The full text of today’s executive order can be found here.

California’s Drought Response
The drought that spanned water years 2012 through 2016 included the driest four-year statewide precipitation on record (2012-2015) and the smallest Sierra-Cascades snowpack on record (2015, with 5 percent of average). It was marked by extraordinary heat: 2014, 2015 and 2016 were California’s first, second and third warmest year in terms of statewide average temperatures.

The state responded to the emergency with actions and investments that also advanced the California Water Action Plan, the Administration’s five-year blueprint for more reliable, resilient water systems to prepare for climate change and population growth. To advance the priorities of the Water Action Plan and respond to drought, the voters passed a comprehensive water bond, the Legislature appropriated and accelerated funding and state agencies accelerated grants and loans to water projects.

California also enacted the historic Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, took action to improve measurement and management of water, retrofitted tens of thousands of inefficient toilets, replaced lawns with water-wise landscaping and provided safe drinking water to impacted communities.

Californians also responded to the drought with tremendous levels of water conservation, including a nearly 25 percent average reduction in urban water use across the state.

Sierra snowpack 5 inches from record

Sierra snowpack 5 inches from record

If just five more inches of precipitation falls in the Northern Sierra before September 30, then 2017 would become the wettest year on record in California. What are the chances? Pretty good, actually. A new storm is forecast to drop two to six inches of rain and snow in the region today through Sunday.  Even if you don’t read the whole San Francisco Chronicle story, enjoy the slideshow of the snow levels in Lake Tahoe.