The Golden State has been on the cutting edge of water management since statehood. Some moves have been bold but foolish—for instance, hydraulic miners blasting away mountainsides into mud floes they sluiced for gold.
Others have been nothing short of spectacular, like the state and federal water projects that convey water from the north part of the state to the rich farms and teeming communities of the southern part:
- Farmers have adopted countless miles of drip tape and microemitter line to boost irrigation efficiency.
- The Carlsbad desalination plant has produced 100 billion gallons of drinking water from seawater over the past 7 years.
- Pure Water Monterey treats agricultural irrigation return flows, domestic wastewater, food processing wash water and stormwater to drinking water standards, then pumps it into the ground to recharge the groundwater.
- The world’s largest water recycling plant is pumping fresh water into Orange County’s aquifer to prevent saltwater intrusion from the Pacific.
In this episode Jim Lauria discusses these and other innovative initiatives and what made them unique as benchmark projects in the technologies they used and the results that have been achieved.