The Water Cooler

Central Basin Municipal Water District's Water Blog

Have You Taken the California Challenge?

There’s a new trend among online users that is bringing out the water activist in everyone.  Next 10, an organization focused on raising awareness on critical California issues, started the California Water Challenge to encourage users to look into the different ways water demand can be reduced.

Users are presented with focus areas to reduce water demand including urban water use, agricultural demand, water supply development, water recycling, lost water recovery and water storage.  With each category, users have the opportunity to select different ways of reducing water in that particular area of focus. With each category, users are provided with information on the impact and cost.

Towards the end of the challenge, users are presented with a series of questions in which they are asked to take a position, such as mandatory water restrictions, fines for overuse, water bond and water rates.  At the very end of the challenge, visitors are presented with a summary of their selected choices and their impacts.

The challenge is an opportunity for the online community to engage in deeper conversations on the different strategies that can be taken to conserve water. And further than conversations, the challenge is a way for community members to make physical changes.

Get your challenge on! Visit www.cawaterchallenge.org

September MWD Caucus Highlights Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is becoming one of the most talked about subjects in terms of natural resources and this month participants attending the Central MWD Caucus had the opportunity to learn more about its process and its impact on local water resources.

Hydraulic fracturing, also referred to as well stimulation, is the use of pressurized fluids to create fractures in shale formations allowing oil and natural gas to flow.   This process of extracting natural resources dates back to the late 1940s but has become more popular with the use of advanced technology. 

The process starts when a well is drilled thousands of feet below ground.  Once it has reached the right depth, the drill is removed and a steel casing is placed inside the well.  The casing is sealed with cement to prevent any groundwater contamination. The well is filled with several layers of steel casings to add layers of protection. A perforating tool then enters the well to begin the fracturing of shale formations. A fluid made of mostly water and sand (sometimes acid is used) is pumped into the well, allowing the natural gases to flow to the surface. Read the rest of this entry »

The Longest Straw

Ever wonder what it would be like to backpack over the entire Los Angeles Aqueduct? Film director, Samantha Bode and her crew will be hiking the over 200 miles that make up the aqueduct; that’s the same walking distance from London to Paris!  Catch the 60-day journey on The Longest Straw.

Airing in 2016, The Longest Straw will take viewers on a journey through the infrastructure that makes the aqueduct.  Their expedition begins at the cascades in Sylmar, then through Owens Lake and to Mono Lake.  Throughout their journey, Bode and her crew will interviewing locals, community leaders, water officials and others. Read the rest of this entry »

Rotate To a Green Garden

Flooded sidewalks can be a thing of the past.  Rotating sprinkler nozzles are becoming garden expert’s new favorite gadget because it eliminates runoff and uses 20% less water than its traditional counterpart.  The best part of these water efficient devices, there’s a rebate.

Read the rest of this entry »

August Central MWD Caucus Highlights Water Regulations and Restoration of the LA River

Severe dry conditions have led to a greater emphasis on the preservation of water resources. Two of the most recent topics include outdoor water regulations and the restoration of the LA River. Stakeholders attending the Central MWD Caucus were briefed on these two timely topics.

The State Water Resources Control Board’s water regulations went into effect on July 28th. Grace Chan, Resource and Planning Manager for Metropolitan Water District, explained that the regulations are effective until April 25, 2015 and can be renewed if needed.  The regulations state that Californians are prohibited from: Read the rest of this entry »

July is Smart Irrigation Month

It’s no secret that during hot summer days, water demand rises.  To raise awareness on the importance of efficient water use outdoors, the National Irrigation Association promotes July as Smart Irrigation Month. 

Launched in 2005, the campaign promotes smart irrigation devices and practices.  Communities are encouraged to use products that support outdoor water efficiency such as, rotating nozzles, weather based irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensor systems. Read the rest of this entry »

State Water Board Enacts Fines for Excessive Outdoor Water Use

Keep a close eye on your outdoor watering habits, it can now cost you up to $500 per day.  The State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations that allow officials to fine residents for using excessive water outdoors.

The unprecedented action taken on Tuesday, comes after study results indicate that water use has increased by 1%.  Early January, Governor Brown asked for a voluntary water reduction of 20% and despite this call, water use has increased.

Under the new regulations, Californians are prohibited from: Read the rest of this entry »

Water Bond Discussions on Hold

Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins announced that further discussions on proposing a 2014 water bond have been placed on hold before lawmakers go on the summer recess.  Several proposals are currently being considered to replace the existing $11.14 billion bond scheduled to be placed on the November 2014 ballot for voters to consider.

A new water Bond that is being shaped proposes funding for several categories that include groundwater protection, water quality, water recycling, conservation, safe drinking water and more. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating Student Artists

DSC_0978The 2014 Water Is Life Traveling Art Show was recently on display at the District’s headquarters. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and its member agencies, the Water Is Life poster contest promotes student artistic talents. The program is offered for students to express a variety of ways that everyone can save water, here’s a brief slide show of some of the winning artwork.  Celebrating student artists, parents and educators, these winners are featured in Metropolitan’s 2014 Water Is Life 2014 calendar. Click here, if you would like to receive a 2014 calendar!

Revitalizing the Los Angeles River

photo: courtesy of lariver.org

Several developments have occurred along the Los Angeles River throughout the years. In the early 1900’s, the river was developed to manage flood control.  Now local efforts are paving the way for increased recreational activities that include kayaking, fishing and bicycling.  An informative timeline of the Los Angeles River compiled by regional agencies and groups dates all the way back to 48,000 + years ago.  Historic pictures of the Los Angeles River provides us a glimpse of how the landscape of this region has changed throughout the years. Read the rest of this entry »