Over two years ago, a Los Angeles Times Editorial stated: “The Salton Sea is a disaster in the making. California isn’t doing anything about it.”
The State of California has finally commissioned this summer (2021) a review of proposals submitted over three years earlier (March 2018). What is the state’s schedule for addressing the rapidly deteriorating conditions at the Salton Sea? The current plan is for the review to be completed by December 2022. And then?
In 2017, California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted a drinking water standard for the regulation of 1,2,3-Trichloropropane (TCP) at a maximum contaminant level of 5 parts per trillion. In a January 2021 presentation at a webinar sponsored by the American Ground Water Trust, Hydrowonk argued that addressing TCP groundwater contamination will cost at least $4 billion. Many of the challenges occur in Economically Disadvantage Communities that lack institutional capacity to develop, fund and operate projects.
COVID-19 has destroyed the water industry’s economic model (see COVID-19 Will Change the Water Industry, a Trilogy: The Industry’s Economic Model Is Dead) and provides a natural experiment of the impact of economic activity on the environment requiring an enhanced role for improved science (see COVID-19 Will Change the Water Industry, a Trilogy: Enhanced Role for Improved Science). What does all this mean for planning and decision-making?
Look at the skies. Are you enjoying the best air quality of your life? Hydrowonk is.
COVID-19 is a natural experiment of the impact of economic activity on the environment. Will the water industry take advantage of this generational opportunity? If so, how?
It is time to abandon how science is used in the water industry today and embrace science using 21st century technology. By integrating improved science into regulatory structures, our industry can improve the management of water resources and the environment.