We have thousands of rig platforms, this is just one style waiting to be re-configured. From those that I have spoken to in the oil industry, “they consider it a sound idea”, and the retro-fit in their opinion should take no more than 4 months. All the vessels regardless of manufacture are sound, seaworthy, and would be able to generate as much if not more than land based desalination plants, and can operate in water up to 300 feet. My estimate puts the desalination operation one mile off shore. There are many rig animations on the Internet, but I wanted to keep it as straight forward as possible.
Please Watch Our New 6 minute Video Presentation – HERE! Is Water Desalination the Answer? – It will open a new window.
NOAA National Data Buoy Center Station 46027 – ST GEORGES – 8NM NW of Crescent City, CA can give you detailed information on water conditions in the area. On shore there is Station CECC1 – 9419750 – Crescent City, CA for those that may question why we are going one mile off shore.
We can create thousands of jobs off the coast of northern California specifically Crescent City with an oil type rig that works as a desalination plant for some of the drought problems.
All around the World and in third world countries desalination plants are being used to create jobs long term as they make fresh drinking water to sustain the public, and what do we in California do, we drain tainted water from one part of the State to supply the needs in another, and politics in this writers opinion is the reason. Gov. Brown was wrong when he started draining the delta years ago as he is wrong for passing a bill to do it again. But we as lay people can not change the power of Government.
A better solution is these desalination plants:
The California “Water Supply Action Plan“!
If Rivers, Sloughs and Dams are showing the effects of this water transfer “Why Continue.
Many years ago one smart scientist said to build the plants off of Crescent City and let the water flow downhill, in effect filling all the reservoirs. It’s something still to be considered, feeding the Klamath River Watershed, which is west of the Farallon Subduction Zone.
Here is an additional link about a Water Desalination Plant:
Late in January while doing some research on water problems in Northern California, I came across a great article by independent science journalist, editor and teacher Nicholas Gerbis as he discussed converting salt water into drinking water, and I’d like to share it with you:
It seems strange that water should be such a scarce resource when our planet is drenched in 326 million trillion gallons of the stuff. But it turns out that less than one-half of 1 percent of it is drinkable. Out of the rest, 98 percent is oceanic salt water and 1.5 percent remains locked up in icecaps and glaciers. The stark irony of Samuel Coleridge’s immortal line “Water, water, everywhere / Nor any drop to drink” is manifest each year in coastal disasters around the world, like Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, as people within sight of entire oceans are threatened with dehydration. Between droughts, natural disasters and the large-scale redistribution of moisture threatened by climate change, the need for new sources of potable water grows with each passing day. Each year, the global population swells by another 85 million people, but worldwide demand for freshwater increases at twice the rate of population growth, doubling every 20 years or so [sources: UNDP]. Throughout the world, our most vital resource is under stress from pollution, dam construction, wetland and riparian ecosystem destruction, and depletion of groundwater aquifers, with poor and marginalized populations getting the worst of it [sources: UNESCO-WWAP]. So why can’t we convert seawater into drinking water? Actually, we can and we do. In fact, people have been making seawater drinkable at least as far back as the ancient Greeks. But when taken to the scale of cities, states and nations, purifying seawater has historically proven prohibitively expensive, especially when compared to tapping regional and local sources of freshwater. However, as advancing technology continues to drive costs down and freshwater continues to grow scarcer and more expensive, more cities are looking to seawater conversion as a way to meet this vital demand.
How and Where is Desalination Used Today?
See how and where seawater is being converted into drinking water today, including how desalination is bolstering disaster relief in Haiti in this short video presentation. This is a short video (2:31) that gives you an overview of the process: Click Here!
Desalination has come a long way in the 2,400 years or so since people boiled salt water and collected the steam in sponges. Yet, the most widely used method is still based on the same principle: distillation. Essentially, distillation artificially mimics what occurs in nature: Heated water evaporates to become water vapor, leaving salts and impurities behind, and then condenses as it cools to fall as freshwater (aka rain). Distillation plants refine and speed up this process by applying artificial heating and cooling and by evaporating water under lower air and vapor pressure, which significantly reduces its boiling point. This method requires a great deal of energy, however, so distillation plants are often located alongside power plants, where waste heat is available to bring the water up to a volatile temperature [source: Water-technology.net].
Another method, reverse osmosis (RO) desalination, uses pressure to force water through filters, straining out other substances at the molecular level. Developed in the 1960s, the process became feasible on a commercial scale in the 1970s, ultimately replacing distillation as the method used in most new desalination facilities, in part because it requires less energy [source: NRC-WSTB]. Besides removing salt, both methods remove virtually every mineral and most biological or organic chemical compounds, producing water that is safe to drink, far exceeding federal and state drinking water standards.
So how widespread is desalination? Specific figures are elusive, as new plants are constantly being added and little data exists concerning plants that have shut down. It’s also tricky to separate counts of distillation versus RO plants. However, a good ballpark figure is 8,000 RO seawater desalination plants globally producing a total of about 10 billion gallons (37,854,117 cubic meters) of drinking water each day, with older distillation plants still outnumbering RO.
The largest users of desalination globally in terms of volume capacity are (in descending order) Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Spain, Kuwait and Japan. Desalination provides 70 percent of drinking water in Saudi Arabia. Within the United States, Florida, California, Texas and Virginia are the largest users, and the country as a whole has the capacity to desalinate more than 1.4 billion gallons (5.6 million cubic meters) of water per day. To put that in perspective, that equates to less than 0.01 percent of municipal and industrial water use nationwide.
Cruise ships, submarines and ships of war have been using desalination for decades. One impressive example, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Carl Vinson, can make some 400,000 gallons (1,514 cubic meters) of its own freshwater every day, half of which is excess water that at press time is being used to aid disaster relief in Haiti [source: Padgett].
As much as desalination has increased over the years, it is still just a drop in the bucket. In this next section, we’ll look at what’s holding us back from a full-on sea change in freshwater supply.
The Cost of Desalination!
There’s little doubt that the world needs more drinking water. It’s also abundantly clear that the need will keep pace with mounting population growth and the pressures brought about by global climate change. In the United States alone, experts agree that water demand already exceeds supply; projecting those 36 states will confront shortfalls within the next three years. Within 15 years, almost 2 billion people globally will live in areas confronting water scarcity, and, according to most model scenarios, such shortfalls will only worsen under climate change [source: Strassmann, IPCC]. Indeed, the availability and distribution of water is widely discussed as a likely determining factor in future global stability [source: USGS].
So, what is holding us back from diving in headfirst? Until recently, purifying seawater cost roughly five to 10 times as much as drawing freshwater from more traditional sources [source: USGS]. RO filters have come a long way, however, and desalination today costs only half of what it did 10 to 15 years ago. Consequently, transportation, energy and environmental costs have now replaced technology as the primary impediments to large-scale desalination.
Energy consumption accounts for as much as one-third of the total cost of desalinated water, making even coastal plants expensive to operate. Inland states must also grapple with the sizeable expense of transporting seawater inland. They can opt to use local brackish (salty) water sources, instead, but then they face a different problem: how to dispose of the byproduct, a concentrated salt solution that coastal sites have the luxury of pumping back into the ocean (a practice that remains controversial in environmental circles). Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) plants are one way out, but they drive up the energy costs of what is already an energy-intensive process.
Is desalination cost-effective? The answer probably depends on where you live. Given the high costs of freshwater importation and reclamation, desalinating seawater is an increasingly attractive option for water-stressed areas. The potential for desalination is limited mostly by social, political, environmental and economic considerations, which vary from place to place. Any way you look at it, the rising tide of desalination seems likely to remain a growing part of our water portfolio for years to come.
I would like to thank Nicholas Gerbis for such a wonderful article. Most if not all of the California Politicians are jumping on board the Governor’s tunnel project, and are blind to this information.
State comes to Fresno with $25 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan!
BY MARK GROSSI
The Fresno Bee – January 13, 2014
After seven years of work, the plan to fix California’s biggest water problem is 34,000 pages long — roughly 24 times the size of “War and Peace.” And it does not read like a novel.
It’s the highly technical Bay Delta Conservation Plan. To help people understand it, state leaders are appearing in a dozen cities, starting this week in Fresno. Released in mid-December, the plan will be available for comment until April 14.
The $25 billion plan is a high-stakes blueprint to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a vital water supply hub that continues in ecological decline. The plan features two large water tunnels and habitat restoration to protect many species of animals.
“We’ve reached an important step,” said spokeswoman Nancy Vogel of the state Department of Water Resources. “We’re actively soliciting comments from people to help us refine the alternatives and better understand the potential impacts.”
The plan, which could become final by the end of the year, holds a lot of interest for the southern two-thirds of the state.
The delta is the source of water for 25 million people as well as irrigation water for 3 million acres of farmland — much of it in the San Joaquin Valley. The delta also has been a battleground for decades over declining fish species, such as salmon and delta smelt.
State water leaders have released delta plan drafts over a few years to iron out trouble spots with many interest groups. Plan changes, such as reducing the size of proposed tunnels, have been made to accommodate concerns, officials said.
But strong opposition remains from environmental, fishing and delta communities. Issues swirl around costs, water yield to cities and farms, benefits to nature and loss of farming land in the delta. The project is expected to wind up in court.
In the Valley, the agricultural water community says it is important to understand all facets of the monstrous document.
Farm water users, along with Southern California water customers, would foot $17 billion of the $25 billion project cost to pay for the tunnels, operation and maintenance.
Farm districts hope the project will get them a more reliable flow of Northern California water, which has been limited by drought and environmental protections in the delta for dying fish.
The tunnels would connect the Sacramento River with large pumping plants in the south delta, excluding the delta and its sensitive ecosystem from the water export equation.
But does the $17 billion contribution pencil out for water users? Will there be enough water to justify the cost? It’s too early to know without more finely tuned studies proposed for the next few years, they say.
Along with Metropolitan Water District in Southern California, the biggest funding contributions will come from farm water entities, Westlands Water District and the Kern County Water Agency. All are studying the costs.
“It’s a business discussion,” said Westlands general manager Tom Birmingham. “We know the risk of doing nothing is great. The status quo is not sustainable.”
Westlands will make comments by April, he said. The Kern County Water Agency, which buys Northern California water from the State Water Project, is expected to make comments on the plan, too.
“It’s the first time we’ve seen it all in one piece,” said Brent Walthall, assistant general manager for the Kern water agency. “We’ve got review teams going through it. The state has done a good job getting this document to the public. Now we have to respond.”
I would like to thank Mark Grossi for such a wonderful article of The Fresno Bee for this January 2014 article!
A Little History:
Besieged by drought and desperate for new sources of water, California towns are ramping up plans to convert salty ocean water into drinking water to quench their long-term thirst. The plants that carry out the high-tech “desalination” process can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but there may be few other choices for the parched state.
Where the Pacific Ocean spills into the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad, Calif., construction is 25 percent complete on a $1 billion project to wring 50 million gallons of freshwater a day from the sea and pour it into a water system that serves 3.1 million people.
Desalination was a dreamy fiction during the California Water Wars of the early 20th century that inspired the classic 1974 movie “Chinatown.” In the 1980s, however, the process of forcing seawater through reverse osmosis membranes to filter out salt and other impurities became a reliable, even essential, tool in regions of the world desperate for water.
“I think it will turn out that it is very affordable compared to not having the water here in Southern California, particularly with the drought that we are facing.”
The process, however, is energy intensive and thus expensive, making it practical only in places where energy is cheap, such as the oil-rich Middle East. But recent technological advances in membrane materials and energy recovery systems have about halved the energy requirements for desalination, giving the once cost-prohibitive technology a fresh appeal in a state gripped with fear that it may be in the early stages of a decades-long mega-drought.
“I think it will turn out that it is very affordable compared to not having the water here in Southern California, particularly with the drought that we are facing and the fact that the governor has just cut off the flow of water from north to south in the aqueduct, the State Water Project,” Randy Truby, the comptroller for the International Desalination Association, an industry advocate, told NBC News.
The multibillion dollar State Water Project is a complex conveyance system that brings water from the wetter northern part of the state to farms, industry, and people in the thirsty south. In times of drought, such as now, banking on that water is a risky bet.
Severe California Drought Draining Finances!
From NBCNews.com – Severe California Drought Draining Finances!
San Diego‘s $1 billion bet
In the early 1990s, fears that a drought-induced limit to imported water could leave San Diego County with just a trickle from its scarce local supply prompted the regional water agency to include desalination as part of its long-term strategy, according to Bob Yamada, a planning manager with the San Diego County Water Authority.
Today, the county’s Carlsbad Desalination Project under construction is the largest seawater desalter in the Western Hemisphere. When it comes online in 2016, the $1 billion facility will produce enough water to meet the daily needs of 300,000 area residents, which is about 7 percent of the county’s water requirements.
That’s water, the project backers say, that will no longer have to be imported via the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a wholesaler of imported water based in Los Angeles that has a testy relationship with its southern neighbor.
But that dash of independence comes at a cost. The water authority is locked into a 30-year deal with the plant’s developer, Poseidon Water, to purchase desalted water for about $2,000 an acre foot in 2012 dollars. That’s nearly twice as expensive as the current rate for imported water and will add $5 to $7 per month to ratepayers’ bills, which is about a 10 percent hike.
The county is making the bet “that even though there is a significant difference right now, those costs will converge in the future [and] that convergence could happen as soon as the early 2020s,” Yamada told NBC News. He added that water authority studies found that 68 percent of ratepayers are willing to pay more for a drought-proof water supply.
Cost and Environmental Concerns!
“The trend of imported water (pricing) is definitely going up,” Heather Cooley, co-director of the water program at the Pacific Institute, an Oakland-based environmental think tank, told NBC News. “We have some major infrastructure investments needed for imported water in California. I don’t have a crystal ball for what it is going to look like, but no doubt it will raise the price of imported water.”
The pending price hikes for imported water as well as its uncertain reliability, she explained, are compelling reasons for municipalities to consider desalination. But, she noted, “we can’t look at these issues in a vacuum; we have to look at all the options that are available.”
The sentiment is echoed by the San Clemente, Calif. – based Surfrider Foundation, which has opposed several desalination projects, including Carlsbad, on environmental grounds. For example, sucking up large amounts of seawater can kill fish and other creatures as water passes through intake screens.
“Our general position is there is just a lot more that can be done on both the conservation side and the water recycling side before you get to [desalination] and we feel, in a lot of cases, that we haven’t really explored all of those options,” Rick Wilson, the organization’s coastal management coordinator, told NBC News.
Mothballed in Santa Barbara!
A reconsideration of desalination is underway in Santa Barbara, about 185 miles north of Carlsbad, where planners are in the early discussions about investing around $20 million to upgrade and restart a $34 million desalination plant that was constructed there in the early 1990s as a hedge against an ongoing drought, according to Joshua Haggmark, the interim water resources manager for the city.
The Charles Meyer Desalination Facility in Santa Barbara, Calif. is something of a time capsule from the early 1990s when it was completed at a cost of $34 million. It only operated for a few months and has remained dormant for over twenty years. Now the city of Santa Barbara is considering restarting the aging desalination plant to deal with the state’s drought.
Although the plant was permitted and constructed in just two years, it was never brought online. The rains returned and filled area reservoirs just as the desalter was completed. “It was really a challenge to continue and run and operate the facility given the much cheaper surface water,” he told NBC News. “The facility was mothballed.” In fact, part of it was disassembled and sold to Saudi Arabia.
Bringing it back on line will require a massive overhaul. What’s more, “Santa Barbara is a pretty topographically challenged community; there are quite a few different elevations,” Haggmark said. Most of the coastal city’s water comes via gravity from higher elevation reservoirs. Desalination “comes in at the bottom. You have to lift this water and move this water further up into the system, which is expensive.”
“I don’t have a crystal ball for what it is going to look like, but no doubt it will raise the price of imported water.”
Once infrastructure is factored in, the desalinated water would cost Santa Barbara about $3,000 per acre foot. The facility currently has permits to operate at 3,125 acre-feet per year, which “would basically replace what we are currently getting out of the State Water Project,” Haggmark said.
Sand City Independence!
Limited water resources on the Monterey Peninsula hindered master development plans for the small town of Sand City, Calif., which was restricted from any new construction until the city increased its water supply. Regional efforts to find solutions ran into financial and political constraints for more than 20 years. Frustrated, the city struck out on its own to develop a desalination plant.
The city partnered with California American Water for the $14 million project, which started producing 300 acre feet of freshwater a year in 2010. The plant draws brackish water from wells, which is less salty than seawater, meaning its energy requirements are less. The salt content of the leftover brine is about equal the ocean’s, so it can be discharged without damaging the marine environment.
The city currently uses about a third of the annual output; the rest is shared among other cities on the water-short peninsula. This allows the water company to reduce its reliance on the stressed Carmel River, which is under state protections.
“Our plant has two benefits, we brought our own water and also we allow the water company to reduce pumping from the illegal source,” Sand City Mayor David Pendegrass explained to NBC News. To further alleviate pressures on the river, American Water is pursuing a larger desalination plant on the Monterey Peninsula.
Ultimately, she said, seawater desalination will become part of the solution to California’s ongoing water woes — something to consider along with other supply options, including increased wastewater recycling. “The key questions,” Cooley said of the desalination plants, “are when do you build them and how large do you build them?”
Desalination Plants a Pricey Option if Drought Persists!
As the drought bakes its way toward a fourth year, the state has a string of secret weapons in the works that could supply millions of gallons of new drinking water and help stave off disaster: desalination plants.
Seventeen plants are in planning stages along the coast to convert salt water from the ocean or bays, including one near Concord that would serve every major water agency in the Bay Area.
That plant is tentatively targeted to open in 2020, but could be kick-started earlier in an emergency, officials say – and once online, would gush at least 20 million gallons a day of drinkable water.
Starting up this string of desalination plants would be no easy skate, though.
Machines that filter salt out of water still face the same opposition they have for generations from critics who say they are too expensive to run, kill fish as they suck in briny water, and spew greenhouse gases into the air from the energy they require to run.
But in recent years, as technology and techniques for desalination have improved, such plants have gained momentum – enough so that in Carlsbad near San Diego, the biggest desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere is under construction and set to begin operation in two years.
The $1 billion plant will tap the biggest water tank around, the Pacific Ocean. It will produce 50 million gallons of potable water daily, supplying more than 110,000 customers throughout San Diego County.
Another large plant, with a potential price tag of $400 million, could begin construction in Monterey County by 2018. It would be near the only desalination plant in California that fills the needs of an entire municipality – the one that has been supplying water to Sand City, population 334, since 2010.
“It’s a miracle how we managed to get this plant,” said Sand City Mayor David Pendergrass. “If we didn’t have it, the whole area would be in trouble. We’re not under any rationing here, but then we’ve been practicing conservation for years already, so we are responsible about our water use.
“I would absolutely recommend desalination for other areas.”
Bay Area Project!
Two hours north of Sand City, there is cautious enthusiasm for the $150 million Bay Area Regional Desalination Plant – as well as serious reservations.
The biggest water agencies in the area, including San Francisco’s, have been developing the plant since 2003 and ran a successful small pilot version of it three years ago to make sure the location would work. The plant would sit in windswept Mallard Slough outside Bay Point and draw from delta waters flowing into Suisun Bay.
“Certainly, the project is years out from being done, but it could be in the back of people’s minds as a ‘what if’ – and if we got into dire straits, money could be mobilized fast to finish it,” said Steve Ritchie, assistant general manager for water for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
San Francisco has been developing the plant with the East Bay Municipal Utility District, the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the Contra Costa Water District and the Zone 7 Water Agency, which serves the Livermore region. So far the consortium has spent $2.5 million in mostly state grant money on the plan.
If built, the plant would be only a supplemental source for districts that collectively distribute about 750 million gallons of water a day. But that still makes it an important potential weapon in the fight for dwindling supply, proponents said.
The agencies’ officials emphasized they would explore other options such as conservation, recycling and tapping new groundwater wells before turning to desalination. But even the prospect of the plant opening has some environmentalists concerned.
Proposed Water Desalination Plants!
California Drought Threatens Future of State!
It’s an Emergency!
Watch Additional Video Here:
Governor Jerry Brown Declares Drought Emergency!
Governor Brown to Join President Obama in the Central Valley!
2-14-2014 FRESNO – With California facing one of its driest years on record, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. will join President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Congressman Jim Costa and other agriculture, water and community leaders today in the Fresno area for a roundtable discussion with farmers and other local stakeholders affected by the drought, and a visit to a local farm. Today’s events follow a phone conversation with President Obama last month about crucial federal support during the drought and the state’s ongoing partnership with the federal government to address the impacts. Governor Brown declared a drought State of Emergency last month and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for water shortages. The Brown Administration has also expressed support for federal legislation introduced by Senators Feinstein and Boxer and Representatives Costa, Cárdenas and Farr. Across state government, action is being taken. The California Department of General Services is leading water conservation efforts at state facilities, and the California Department of Transportation is cutting water usage along California’s roadways by 50 percent. Caltrans has also launched a public awareness campaign, putting a water conservation message on their more than 700 electronic highway signs.
In January, the state took action to conserve water in numerous Northern California reservoirs to meet minimum needs for operations impacting the environment and the economy, and recently the Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced they would seek the authority to make water exchanges to deliver water to those who need it most. The State Water Resources Control Board announced it would work with hydropower generators and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to preserve water in California reservoirs. Recently the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Fish and Game Commission restricted fishing on some waterways due to low water flows worsened by the drought. The state is working to protect local communities from the dangers of extreme drought. The California Department of Public Health identified and offered assistance to communities at risk of severe drinking water shortages and is working with other state and local agencies to develop solutions for vulnerable communities. CAL FIRE hired additional firefighters and is continuously adjusting staffing throughout the state to help address the increased fire threat due to drought conditions. The California Department of Food and Agriculture launched a drought website to help farmers, ranchers and farmworkers find resources and assistance programs that may be available to them during the drought. Even as the state deals with the immediate impacts of the drought, it’s also planning for the future. Recently, the California Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Food and Agriculture released the California Water Action Plan, which will guide state efforts to enhance water supply reliability, restore damaged and destroyed ecosystems and improve the resilience of our infrastructure. Governor Brown has called on all Californians to voluntarily reduce their water usage by 20 percent, and the Save Our Water campaign launched four public service announcements encouraging residents to conserve and has resources available in Spanish. Last December, the Governor formed a Drought Task Force to review expected water allocations and California’s preparedness for water scarcity. In May 2013, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to direct state water officials to expedite the review and processing of voluntary transfers of water and water rights.
Governor Brown Declares Drought State of Emergency!
SAN FRANCISCO – With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions. “We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.” In the State of Emergency declaration, Governor Brown directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The Governor also directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign (details at saveourh2o.org). In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions. State water officials say that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack’s statewide water content at about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year. The Governor’s Drought State of Emergency follows a series of actions the administration has taken to ensure that California is prepared for record dry conditions. In May 2013, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to direct state water officials to expedite the review and processing of voluntary transfers of water and water rights. In December, the Governor formed a Drought Task Force to review expected water allocations, California’s preparedness for water scarcity and whether conditions merit a drought declaration. Earlier this week, the Governor toured the Central Valley and spoke with growers and others impacted by California’s record dry conditions.
Full Text of The Emergency Proclamation:
- Governor Brown announces Drought State of Emergency with Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird, Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin, Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus and Governor’s Office of Emergency Services Director Mark Ghilarducci.
- Governor Brown signs proclamation declaring Drought State of Emergency. From left to right: CAL FIRE Director Chief Ken Pimlott, Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, Secretary Laird, Director Cowin, Chair Marcus and Director Ghilarducci.
A PROCLAMATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY!
WHEREAS the State of California is experiencing record dry conditions, with 2014 projected to become the driest year on record; and
WHEREAS the state’s water supplies have dipped to alarming levels, indicated by: snowpack in California’s mountains is approximately 20 percent of the normal average for this date; California’s largest water reservoirs have very low water levels for this time of year; California’s major river systems, including the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, have significantly reduced surface water flows; and groundwater levels throughout the state have dropped significantly; and
WHEREAS dry conditions and lack of precipitation present urgent problems: drinking water supplies are at risk in many California communities; fewer crops can be cultivated and farmers’ long-term investments are put at risk; low-income communities heavily dependent on agricultural employment will suffer heightened unemployment and economic hardship; animals and plants that rely on California’s rivers, including many species in danger of extinction, will be threatened; and the risk of wildfires across the state is greatly increased; and
WHEREAS extremely dry conditions have persisted since 2012 and may continue beyond this year and more regularly into the future, based on scientific projections regarding the impact of climate change on California’s snowpack; and
WHEREAS the magnitude of the severe drought conditions presents threats beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and
WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the California Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property exist in California due to water shortage and drought conditions with which local authority is unable to cope.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the state Constitution and statutes, including the California Emergency Services Act, and in particular, section 8625 of the California Government Code HEREBY PROCLAIM A STATE OF EMERGENCY to exist in the State of California due to current drought conditions.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
- State agencies, led by the Department of Water Resources, will execute a statewide water conservation campaign to make all Californians aware of the drought and encourage personal actions to reduce water usage. This campaign will be built on the existing Save Our Water campaign (www.saveourh20.org) and will coordinate with local water agencies. This campaign will call on Californians to reduce their water usage by 20 percent.
- Local urban water suppliers and municipalities are called upon to implement their local water shortage contingency plans immediately in order to avoid or forestall outright restrictions that could become necessary later in the drought season. Local water agencies should also update their legally required urban and agricultural water management plans, which help plan for extended drought conditions. The Department of Water Resources will make the status of these updates publicly available.
- State agencies, led by the Department of General Services, will immediately implement water use reduction plans for all state facilities. These plans will include immediate water conservation actions, and a moratorium will be placed on new, non-essential landscaping projects at state facilities and on state highways and roads.
- The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) will expedite the processing of water transfers, as called for in Executive Order B-21-13. Voluntary water transfers from one water right holder to another enables water to flow where it is needed most.
- The Water Board will immediately consider petitions requesting consolidation of the places of use of the State Water Project and Federal Central Valley Project, which would streamline water transfers and exchanges between water users within the areas of these two major water projects.
- The Department of Water Resources and the Water Board will accelerate funding for water supply enhancement projects that can break ground this year and will explore if any existing unspent funds can be repurposed to enable near-term water conservation projects.
- The Water Board will put water right holders throughout the state on notice that they may be directed to cease or reduce water diversions based on water shortages.
- The Water Board will consider modifying requirements for reservoir releases or diversion limitations, where existing requirements were established to implement a water quality control plan. These changes would enable water to be conserved upstream later in the year to protect cold water pools for salmon and steelhead, maintain water supply, and improve water quality.
- The Department of Water Resources and the Water Board will take actions necessary to make water immediately available, and, for purposes of carrying out directives 5 and 8, Water Code section 13247 and Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the Public Resources Code and regulations adopted pursuant to that Division are suspended on the basis that strict compliance with them will prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the emergency. Department of Water Resources and the Water Board shall maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which these provisions are suspended.
- The state’s Drinking Water Program will work with local agencies to identify communities that may run out of drinking water, and will provide technical and financial assistance to help these communities address drinking water shortages. It will also identify emergency interconnections that exist among the state’s public water systems that can help these threatened communities.
- The Department of Water Resources will evaluate changing groundwater levels, land subsidence, and agricultural land fallowing as the drought persists and will provide a public update by April 30 that identifies groundwater basins with water shortages and details gaps in groundwater monitoring.
- The Department of Water Resources will work with counties to help ensure that well drillers submit required groundwater well logs for newly constructed and deepened wells in a timely manner and the Office of Emergency Services will work with local authorities to enable early notice of areas experiencing problems with residential groundwater sources.
- The California Department of Food and Agriculture will launch a one-stop website (www.cdfa.ca.gov/drought) that provides timely updates on the drought and connects farmers to state and federal programs that they can access during the drought.
- The Department of Fish and Wildlife will evaluate and manage the changing impacts of drought on threatened and endangered species and species of special concern, and develop contingency plans for state Wildlife Areas and Ecological Reserves to manage reduced water resources in the public interest.
- The Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with the Fish and Game Commission, using the best available science, to determine whether restricting fishing in certain areas will become necessary and prudent as drought conditions persist.
- The Department of Water Resources will take necessary actions to protect water quality and water supply in the Delta, including installation of temporary barriers or temporary water supply connections as needed, and will coordinate with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to minimize impacts to affected aquatic species.
- The Department of Water Resources will refine its seasonal climate forecasting and drought prediction by advancing new methodologies piloted in 2013.
- The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will hire additional seasonal firefighters to suppress wildfires and take other needed actions to protect public safety during this time of elevated fire risk.
- The state’s Drought Task Force will immediately develop a plan that can be executed as needed to provide emergency food supplies, financial assistance, and unemployment services in communities that suffer high levels of unemployment from the drought.
- The Drought Task Force will monitor drought impacts on a daily basis and will advise me of subsequent actions that should be taken if drought conditions worsen.
I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Proclamation be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given of this Proclamation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 17th day of January, 2014.
EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of California
DEBRA BOWEN, Secretary of State