California and Water: Half Environmental Nightmare, Half Remarkable Success Story

Summary: This article talked about the International Irrigation Conference. The first speaker started in an awful way. When John Wesley Powell stood up and said that there is not enough water to supply this region [California], the crowd booed and went into panic. The main issue that Powell pointed out was that there was plenty of water, but it is concentrated in areas where it is not fully accessible. This caused the whole conference to change paths, and instead of sticking to the agenda, they worked on ways to reform certain laws in the western regions. This actually turned out to be a positive turn of events for the conference and it led to a lot of great ideas.

Reaction: These are stories that change the world and change lives. Things going off course is not always a curse, and in this case it was a blessing. There are now a couple of plans in the works for reforming water rights in California and how to access this large concentration of water. This conference is held annually to talk about the issues surrounding water rights in specific areas, and the main focus this year was California and the western region. It is important to notice the issues involving water around the globe, but being from California it is more important to look at what is going on around us.

‘Brown Water for Brown People’: Making Sense of California’s Drinking Water Crisis

Summary: This article explains that many Californians do not have access to water. It focuses on the Latino farmer population. Many immigrants are unable to access clean water due to racial stereotypes and pesticides. The article focused mainly on the San Joaquin Valley and the struggles there. He interviewed and attorney who works on water rights issues, and the attorney stated, “Flint is everywhere here…It’s brown water for brown people”. This was a big issue for Del Real and he began to look further into the issue. He found that more than 300 water systems in California do not even meet public safety standards. This find was crucial for his article and the water rights issues at hand. 

Reaction: This article caught my attention because of the title. I knew that there would be race involved in this article, but I did not expect 300 water systems in CA to not meet public safety standards. This article goes beyond water rights, it expands into public health and the effect that big corporations can have on smaller communities. I would love to look into this more and understand the full effect on the San Joaquin Valley.

Trump Inaccurately Claims California Is Wasting Water as Fires Burn

Summary: This article described a dispute between Donald Trump and Cal Fire. Trump believed that the water used to fight the fires was being misused. He was confused because the issue he was actually commenting on was between farmers and environmentalists. He felt that a comment was necessary to show that he was current on these issues. Unfortunately he was not, and it resulted in a lot of backlash. One positive thing that came out of this was recognition of water rights and their importance to our state. Trump may have been mistaken, but he was properly taking care of what he thought was a massive issue. 

Reaction: This article was not a normal article for me. This was the political side of this issue and it brought up a lot of thoughts in my head. I wonder how much control the government has over state water rights and how hard it can be to get these laws changed or overturned. I noticed in this article that it was bashing Trump for his comments. He may have been under informed on the issue, but he was standing up for the environment and the water usage in California.

Animal/Fish Rights based on Water Rights

Summary: This article relates more to wildlife in California and their protection. The first part of water rights is limiting consumption, and the second is preserving wildlife and habitats. Before issuing any license, the California State Water Resources Control Board(SWRCB) must consult with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). This is to ensure that not only the water is conserved, but the surrounding wildlife as well. This article also described many of the impacts of commercial operations on wildlife. Erosion is the main issue. Rivers are a common place for operations, and without proper equipment and planning, soil erosion can cause major blockages in the flow of water, and ultimately affecting biodiversity.

Reaction: This article was very interesting and important. I am now fully informed on California water rights and how to obtain specific rights and permits. I had wondered about the effect on animals and fish, and this article explained it clearly. Knowing that there is protection for surrounding habitats and animals makes me more comfortable with standing behind this cause. Water rights are important everywhere, but especially in California.

The Water Rights Process

Summary: This article focuses on the precise laws in California surrounding water rights. California is the largest state in terms of water consumption given the thousands of acres of agriculture throughout the state. There are two different types of water rights in the state of California: riparian and appropriative. Riparian rights do not require permits or any legal actions, they permit landowners to use waterways that cross through their land. Appropriative have “the force of law” and are used for commercial and industrial operations. This dual-rights system has caused many issues. Owners who hold riparian rights are not required to put the water to good use, and often abuse this power, while appropriative owners are forced to put the water to good use. 

Reaction: This article helped me get an introduction to water rights in California. The dual-rights system is important for landowners but is under a lot of scrutiny. This surprised me because a cooperation with access to a large amount of water should not be issued a permit without proof of how they will use the water. It seems counterintuitive to argue with smaller land owners holding riparian rights because they are most likely using a lot less water.

Recycling California Water

“Silicon Valley’s Largest City Is Sounding the Alarm about a Drinking Water Crisis That No One Knows How to Fix.” Google, Google,

 

his article is highlighting the issues in the Silicon Valley in regards to water. The past few years the Silicon Valley has been hit with extreme droughts then major floods which has led to excess water. This combination is very dangerous because the excess water can contaminate our drinking water. The community has not come up with a sure solution but they will start pumping fresh water into the local aquifer which is how the recycled water is predominantly used.

This article is a great example of how far recycling water has come. It is now used regularly and being used to find solutions when communities are in crisis and is very common now. The Silicon Valley is a great place to use recycled water due to its bipolar rain patterns in the recent years. Recycled water is now bettering communities state of water.

 

Bourke, Michael F., et al. “California’s First Swimming Lake Using Recycled Water.” American Water Works Association, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 3 Sept. 2019, awwa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/awwa.1361.

 

Lake Mission Viejo has been refilled with recycled water. After 2016 the lake was filled and it has been receiving positive feedback by the community. It is the first recycled lake in California. Will this be the first of many to come?

 

Recycled water is starting to become used for more things than just drinking water and is becoming extremely innovative. The possibilities we have using recycled water are endless and it is only a matter of time to see what comes next as we use recycled water. The world is changing as we know it and recycled water is apart of it with California being the forefront of it.

 

Modesto is using recycled water to help with farming. 15 million gallons of water will be sent through a canal to agricultural customers. This will be done on a monthly basis to preserve water which took 17 months to build. The building of this canal did not disrupt any farmers or any of their crops as well. The government did their best to work around all of their property and it ended successfully.

California is being extremely creative in how they use recycled water. Ever since the major droughts that hit California does not want to repeat that again. Providing water to farmers on a monthly basis is extremely efficient and should be implemented all over the world so farmers won’t use water they don’t need and be more conservative with what they already have. This could seriously change the amount of water we save in California.

 

“Wastewater Project Could Create Drought-Proof Drinking Water for 500,000 Southern California Homes.” Google, Google,

 

In Southern California, $17 million dollars have been granted in attempts to convert waste water into safe healthy drinking water. Southern California is attempting this to reduce their dependence on imported water. 150 million gallons will be purified, half a million homes will be reached, $3.4 billion will be invested, and the project is expected to be completed by 2027.

 

2027 seems far away but it really isn’t. The future is recycling water and Southern California is doing what they can so that they can be apart of it. Their mayor says that Mother Nature does not make water it is recycled. This is true and the success of this operation can be huge for the future of California and reducing the worries of another drought. Not only another drought but just not wasting water.

 

StackPath, www.waterworld.com/wastewater/reuse-recycling/article/14038839/reclamation-awards-1698m-to-five-water-recycling-and-reuse-projects-in-california-hawaii-and-texas.

 

$17 million has been provided to California for recycling water. California is being awarded in regards to their efforts to preserve water and saving communities. The money being awarded is going to be used to further improve their efforts in recycling water.

 

Saving water pays. The government is granting states money to those who save water which could become a major incentive to other states so that they could begin to save water as well. Recycling water not only has a positive environmental effect but also has a lot of money in it as well. Will other follow in California’s footsteps?

 

Tenaska secures financing for 250-MW Nobles 2 wind farm in Minnesota.

Staff, W. P. E. D. (2019, November 6). Tenaska secures financing for 250-MW Nobles 2 wind farm in Minnesota. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.windpowerengineering.com/tenaska-secures-financing-for-250-mw-nobles-2-wind-farm-in-minnesota/.

 

Independent energy company, “Tenaska” just recently closed $158 million financing for Nobles 2 wind project in Minnesota. The project has raised $17.2 Billion dollars worth of capital. The project will eventually boost the economy in southwest Minnesota, hoping to hire over 200 workers to supply the farm, and provide opportunities for local businesses to promote the project. In addition, the project will increase local governmental tax revenue, beginning this past August. Tenaska plans on making more wind farms in Missouri and Minnesota in the future. 

 

I was very surprised, and stunned by how much capital was raised for this project. I had not previously realized how expensive a wind farm can be, but after judging the benefits of the project, I have learned that the costs do in fact hold eventual benefits for the economy of rural towns in the United States, such as Nobles Minnesota. To conclude, I am pleased with Tenaska’s plans because their power can aid in powering thousands of households in the United States, and also large companies that need the power. 

Could Beer Brewed With Wind Power Help Save the Planet?

Reed, S. (2019, May 12). Could Beer Brewed With Wind Power Help Save the Planet? Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/12/climate/renewable-wind-solar-energy.html.

 

Anheuser Busch has recently decided to implement electric power in their beer production centers. In essence, Budweisier beer is produced from power sourced by wind. The beer powerhouse hired “Enel Green Power” to contract the wind farm. By storing lots of energy, the company is able to combat increasing energy prices with multiple wind turbines.

 

Wind energy is useful because it supplies energy 24/7. Even when the Budweiser factories close, the wind turbines are always running, and storing excess energy for the future. I like how Busch has started this new form of energy production, because it has various benefits for the environment (renewable), and attracts more workers and investors. I am overall pleased with their wind farms, because they replace using fuels that can emit too much Carbon into the atmosphere. 

The Steel Mill That Helped Build the American West Goes Green.

Gillis, J. (2019, October 16). The Steel Mill That Helped Build the American West Goes Green. Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/opinion/solar-colorado-steel-mill.html.

 

This article focuses on how steel mills that recycle and melt old steel are becoming nearly 95% reliant on renewable energy. The article then goes on to focus on what makes up that 95%, concluding that a collection of solar panels, wind turbines, and removal of relying on gasoline has contributed to near 100% renewability. In addition, the author mentions how this is just a small component of a large movement of reliance on renewable energy, that gasoline and oil are slowly being phased out in the United States to reduce Carbon emissions. 

 

Electricity produced by burning fossil fuels contributes to the ever growing Carbon emissions found in the atmosphere. I agree with the author of this article that in using wind or solar energy to supply heavy machinery in Colorado is a good addition because it helps to reduce the factor of using electricity with Carbon emissions. Ultimately, I am very pleased with this project because it is very environmentally conscious and forward thinking.

The Hamptons Love Green Energy. But That Wind Farm?

West, D. (2019, September 14). The Hamptons Love Green Energy. But That Wind Farm? Retrieved November 11, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/nyregion/hamptons-wind-farm.html.

 

This article talks about how counties in East New York that house billionaires’ vacation homes hope for 100% renewable energy, but are not willing to give up some space to plant a cable beneath the ground. Long term residents agree that taking the small amount of time to plant the cable beneath the ground is not too much of a problem, because the power it supplies can be used for hundreds of households. Short term residents don’t want their weekend beaches torn up for a few days to ensure renewable energy, arguing that cheaper counties should uptake the cable for an offshore wind farm. Danish and Connecticut based companies have begun this project, but due to frequent debates of where the cable should be placed- in affluent Wainscott Hampton counties or cheaper (still expensive) Montauk counties, the offshore wind farm may never seek fruition. 

Renewable energy is becoming more and more frequent, with increasing debates surrounding the issues of climate change and how to resolve it. One quote from the article really struck me, “That’s always the irony in these things: ‘It’s a great idea and we want it, but don’t do it here,’’’ said Paul Monte, the president of the Montauk Chamber of Commerce.” I found this quote very interesting because it points out the hypocrisy in the article. That while the rich want to help resolve climate change, they are unwilling to have their pristine beaches temporarily dug up to benefit the Hamptons on the whole. I strongly disagree with their reasoning because it is a small and yet temporary issue that can really make a large positive impact on the environment.