How wildfires affect California’s water supply

How wildfires affect California’s water supply

From the Public Policy Institute of California —
Summer marks the traditional beginning of California’s fire season, although the warming climate has stretched the season considerably. Until the winter rains arrive, wildfires will burn forests and grasslands throughout the state. Since January 1, about 3,700 fires have consumed more than 111,000 acres of land—outpacing 2017, the most destructive and deadly fire season in state history.

Read the Public Policy Institute of California Blog Post

Helix Water District Opposes Water Tax and SB 998

Helix Water District Opposes Water Tax and SB 998

At the July 18, 2018 board meeting, Helix Water District’s board of directors voted unanimously to adopt resolutions opposing two water industry bills currently in the state legislature. Both are anticipated to be considered during the upcoming August legislative session.

Water Tax – SB 623 and Budget Trailer Bill

A proposed statewide tax on drinking water is being advanced through Senate Bill 623, a two-year bill introduced in 2017 by William Monning (D-Carmel), and a 2018 Brown Administration budget trailer bill related to safe drinking water. The public goods tax would be added to water bills and used to fund drinking water solutions for disadvantaged communities.

As currently structured, SB 623 would raise an estimated $160 million in annual revenue. Of that total, approximately 85 percent would be collected through a tax on drinking water provided to residential, businesses, industrial and institutional customers; the remaining 15 percent would be collected through a tax on confined animal facilities, bulk or packaged fertilizer materials, and dairies and producers of milk.

Supporters of the tax cite the urgent need to provide safe drinking water to disadvantaged communities and find a reliable solution to important public health issues.

Learn more about support for the budget trailer bill and SB 623

Opponents of the tax agree with the goal but believe that a tax on drinking water works against the goal of keeping water affordable and that alternative funding solutions should be utilized.

Learn more about opposition to the budget trailer bill,
SB 623 and alternative funding solutions here

On July 18, 2018, Helix Water District’s board of directors adopted Resolution 18-29, opposing (unless amended) a tax on drinking water.

Read the resolution and reasoning here

Prohibitions on Shutoff – SB 998

Senate Bill 998, introduced by Bill Dodd (D-Napa) would create a statewide program that would establish state-wide limits on how a water provider handles residential water service disconnections for non-payment, including establishing a cap on reconnection fees.

Supporters of the bill state that it would protect low-income families from having their water service disconnected as water prices statewide continue to increase.

Learn more about support for SB 998 here

Opponents of the bill are concerned that the cap on reconnection fees have no direct relationship with a water provider’s actual costs to reconnect service, triggering Proposition 218 concerns, and preventing disconnections would result in a loss of revenue for non-profit water providers, requiring other customers to shoulder the burden of these missed payments.

Learn more about opposition to SB 998 here

On July 18, 2018, Helix Water District’s board of directors adopted Resolution 18-30, opposing Senate Bill 998.

Read the resolution and reasoning here

 

10 Tips for Beginning Gardeners

10 Tips for Beginning Gardeners

From Houzz.com —
The rewards of gardening are great — fresh air, exercise, beauty and relaxation, to name a few. But designing and planting your very first garden can feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, gardens are surprisingly forgiving creations, and the best way to learn is by simply diving in. Here are 10 tips to help get a new garden off on the right foot.

Note: the recommended time to install a new garden in Southern California is November-January because young, water efficient plants need as much water as grass for their first 6-12 months, and winter storms can provide some of that water. November is just a few months away so now is a good time to start learning and planning.

Enjoy the Story and the Inspiring Photos

Our annual Water Quality Report is available now

Our annual Water Quality Report is available now

Helix Water District’s annual Water Quality Report is now available in English and Spanish.  This year’s report documents our water quality throughout calendar year 2017.

English
https://hwd.com/quality/wqr-english.pdf

Spanish
https://hwd.com/quality/wqr-espanol.pdf

The report contains important information about the source and quality of Helix’s drinking water. As in years past, our tap water met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state of California drinking water health standards.

For questions regarding the report, call 619-667-6248 or email wqr@helixwater.org. To have a paper copy of the report mailed to your home, call 619-466-0585.

$2.75/sf incentive for turf removal — act fast

$2.75/sf incentive for turf removal — act fast

From the San Diego County Water Authority —
Residents in San Diego County now can receive $2.75 per square foot for replacing turf with sustainable landscaping features as part of a new Landscape Transformation Program launched today across Southern California.

The new program includes a partnership by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to boost the per-square-foot incentive amount available in the Water Authority’s service area and streamline the application process.

“Over the past few years, the Water Authority has helped foster sustainable landscaping through financial incentives, a demonstration garden, hands-on classes and publication of a detailed guidebook,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “We’re excited to take the next step so that homeowners in the San Diego region can maximize their rebates with one application.”

The new incentive program builds on the success of the Water Authority’s pioneering Sustainable Landscapes Program, which in October 2016 started offering up to $1.75 per square foot toward project costs for upgrading as much as 3,000 square feet of existing turf. That program helped more than 175 homeowners transform their landscapes into beautiful, climate-appropriate mini-watersheds that not only save water, but achieve additional benefits such as reducing stormwater runoff and lessening green waste. Incentive payments required following a detailed set of environmentally friendly landscaping practices to ensure projects achieved a heightened level of sustainability.

Moving forward, residents in San Diego County are eligible for MWD’s Landscape Transformation Program, which includes requirements for grass removal, irrigation modification and water retention or filtration to support reuse or soil absorption of rainwater. For residents, MWD is offering $1 and the Water Authority will use existing grant funds from the state Department of Water Resources to add $1.75 per square foot for a total of $2.75 for qualifying projects. Businesses are eligible for $1 per square foot. City of San Diego residential water customers are eligible for an additional $1.25 per square foot for qualifying projects.

Program funding is limited, and participants must comply with requirements that include a simple landscape plan, plant coverage, mulch, rainwater capture and irrigation technology. Qualifying projects generally must remove between 250 and 1,500 square feet of turf in the front yard, though some exceptions apply.

Please Note: Important Information from Metropolitan
The Landscape Transformation program is a two-part application process. In order to receive a rebate, you must apply to reserve rebate funds prior to starting your project. After the reservation, you will have 180 days to complete the project and submit your request for a rebate. Helix customers should prepare and submit their applications as quickly as possible — while the funding is available — knowing that you have through the end of the year to complete the installation of your new landscaping.

Note, too, that depending on the conversion methods used in your landscape transformation project, you may be eligible for additional rebates on weather based irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors, rotating nozzles, rain barrels or cisterns.

Removing turf grass is one of the best upgrades residents or businesses can make to reduce their water use.

Learn more about eligibility, terms and conditions and how to apply at www.socalwatersmart.com

What to drink this summer

What to drink this summer

When it gets this hot, nothing quenches your thirst better than water — infused water! We have eight recipes to beat the summer heat, from strawberry, basil and lemon to mango, raspberry and ginger. It only takes five minutes to slice up your ingredients and a few hours of chilling time in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

8 Infused Water Recipes from Culinary Hill

Water bond on November ballot as Proposition 3

Water bond on November ballot as Proposition 3

Photo: future location of Sites Reservoir in Northern California (Los Angeles Times)
From the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)
The Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 will appear as Proposition 3 on California’s November 6 ballot. Proposition numbers were recently assigned by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. If passed, Proposition 3 would be the third water bond adopted by California voters in the last four years.

Proposition 3 would make available $8.9 billion in general obligation bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed restoration, fish and wildlife protection, sustainable groundwater management and repair of existing dams and canals.  Proposition 3 funds would augment $1.6 billion for water-related projects already approved by voters on June 5 with the passage of Proposition 68.

$8.9 Billion

Proposition 3
On November 2018 Ballot

$1.6 Billion

Proposition 68
Passed by Voters in June 2018

$2.7 Billion

Proposition 1
Passed by Voters in 2014
On June 27-28, the California Water Commission completed the scoring of eight proposed water storage projects seeking funding from Proposition 1, which was passed by voters in 2014. The goal of building new dams and reservoirs is to collect more water during wet years and have it available during dry periods. The amount of time taken to award the funds has been a controversial subject.

“We are now on the doorstep of awarding funding from Proposition 1 to water storage projects across California,” Commission Chair Armando Quintero said. “We eagerly look forward to next month when we can make preliminary awards to these diverse projects that collectively will add 4.3 million acre-feet of water storage capacity to California.”

Read About the Water Storage Projects Receiving Proposition 1 Funding