Happy Earth Hour
On Tuesday afternoons throughout April, our advocacy and outreach teams connected with our communities and reflected on our relationship with water in our region. With support from Hunter Industries and Pure Project Balboa Park, we celebrated Earth Month with a series of educational happy hours exploring our waters’ past, present, and future.
Attendees were from various backgrounds and careers, from university students to government employees and working professionals looking to shift industries. We saw friends from San Diego Canyonlands, Climate Action Campaign, Birch Aquarium, I Love A Clean San Diego, University of San Diego, and many more join the conversations throughout the month.
Each evening focused on an in-depth discussion on a topic related to our water supply and water pollution challenges. We settled into our seats and watched slides click by in between sips of beer as our wonky and comedic hosts, Lucero Sanchez and Patrick McDonough, traded sarcastic jokes and guided us on a journey from our headwaters to our homes.
We started at the beginning and covered the basics of our water systems: where our water comes from, where it goes, and who’s in charge. We explored how San Diego will be affected by the climate crisis and how aging infrastructure is worsening inequality, flooding, and pollution in our poorest neighborhoods. Finally, we examined different water supply alternatives from desalination to wastewater recycling, addressing the challenges and opportunities for the future of water in San Diego.
Story Map: From Headwaters to Home
Following the Happy Earth Hour events, we created an online story map highlighting our journey through the water supply cycle. It showcases the research conducted during the presentation series and allows us to share these critical water supply and pollution issues with a larger audience.
View the story map in your browser (recommended) or scroll through the story map below.
Below you will find more information about each event, including a link to the presentation slides, ways to take action, and resources for diving deeper.
Presentation: Where Does Our Water Come From and Where Does It Go?
We examine our local and imported water supply sources and water pollution issues. View or download the presentation, Where Does Our Water Come From and Where Does It Go?
Take Action on San Diego’s Water
|What watershed are you in? Find out.||Find your local water district.||Find your representative.|
|Get back to basics with our Water 101 series.||Sign up for our advocacy email list.|
Dive Into Our Water Supply
- Scroll through the interactive State Water Project and Colorado River Aqueduct maps.
- Read the New York Times article, In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts.
- If you hit an NYT paywall, read the NPR article instead, Western States Face Water Cuts As A Shortage In The Colorado River Is Declared.
- Read the Sacramento Bee article, ‘Historic dry conditions’: California warns of water cuts due to drought’s third year.
- Read the E&E article, Century old Colorado River Compact imperfect, but immovable.
- Read the CBS 8 article, Pure Water Oceanside becomes first water reuse project to open in San Diego.
- Read the KCET article, As Lithium Drilling Advances at the Salton Sea, Researchers Work Out the Details.
Presentation: Equity, Climate Change, and Infrastructure – Oh My!
We look at how the climate crisis and aging infrastructure affect San Diegans differently. View or download the Equity, Climate Change, and Infrastructure – Oh My! presentation.
Take Action on Water and Climate Justice
|Find an organization working on an issue you care about and get involved.||Learn about the campaigns we’re actively working on and advocating for.|
Dive Into Water and Climate Equity
- Read the opinion piece, Border Field State Park is profoundly inaccessible. This wouldn’t happen at Torrey Pines in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- Check out the U.S. Water Alliance’s Pillars of Water Equity.
- Check out the “Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America San Diego” report by Local Initiatives Support Corporation of San Diego (LISC).
- Visualize race and income for your community and country with Justice Map.
- Examine the EPA’s Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool.
- Click through the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of California San Diego’s presentation, San Diego’s Future – Warmer, Drier and Wetter (slides 1-14), to the San Diego County Water Authority.
- Learn about the Regional Conveyance System “boondoggle” and our campaign to stop this redundant multi-billion dollar pipeline.
- Explore sea level rise analysis and coastal flood risk maps and tools by Climate Central.
- Find out if any stormwater failures and water quality issues are identified near you.
- Dive into the Legislative Analyst’s Office series of six reports on Climate Change Impacts Across California.
- Read the article, State Water Project Announces 0% Allocation of Requested Water To Districts by the California Globe.
- Read the article, California slashes State Water Project allocation as year begins with record dryness by the L.A. Times.
- Read the article, U.S. considers major midyear cutback of Colorado River deliveries by Kake.com.
Presentation: The Future of Water in San Diego
We look at solutions addressing our region’s emerging and persistent water issues. View or download The Future of Water in San Diego presentation.
Take Action on San Diego’s Water
|Learn about San Diego’s stormwater infrastructure.||Learn why desalination is a bad idea for San Diego.||Learn about the Regional Conveyance System pipeline.|
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Dive Into Different Water Projects
- Read the Union Tribune’s Column: Study targets stormwater, more conservation to sustain California’s water supply.
- Check out the piece, Californians could see mandatory water cuts amid drought by ABC News.
- Read the article, The Real Truth Behind Carlsbad “Bud” Lewis Poseidon Desalination Plant. A Costly Mistake by the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter.
- Read the article, Drought boon or boondoggle? Critics blast Poseidon desalination plan as crucial vote looms by the Los Angeles Times.
- Read the article, California Coastal Commission rejects plan for Poseidon desalination plant by the Los Angeles Times.