Tag Archives: groundwater

Climate Change, Sierra Nevadas’ Snowmelt, & the Drought

Lake Sierra Nevada Mnts.

In alpine areas such as the Sierra Nevadas, snow cover is vital to water supply. Mountainous areas like this one provide water for entire watersheds. When snow melts, there can be three different results that occur. The snow can drift off of the surface level of the soil, it can evaporate, or it can replenish groundwater. Groundwater recharge is important because it helps to get underground water levels back up to a healthy level.

Sierra nevada sign

Less snowfall in the Sierra Nevadas has created an effect on humans, wildlife, and the environment. “The lower than historically normal snowfall in recent years is one environmental factor that has contributed to the current drought in California,” says Ryan Webb, a Ph.D. student in the department of civil and environmental engineering at Colorado State University.

Sierra snow depth

^The map above depicts the amount of Sierra Nevada snow depth in inches^

Webb and a group of researchers recently studied the changes in soil wetting and drying in alpine regions packed with snow. The study became published work. It specifically examined groundwater levels and their ability to recharge in the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Due to changing climate conditions that have caused extensive change in groundwater levels, in these regions soils do not freeze during the winter and remain wet beneath the snowpack.

Ultimately, Webb and his group’s study will help understand how climate change impacts groundwater supplies, which is a precious resource in drought-stricken areas of the country.

Source:

Melting Snow and Groundwater Levels in Sierra Nevadas. Science Daily. August 20th, 2015.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150820190321.htm

Images:

  1. fineartamerica.com
  2. europeinavan.com
  3. sierranevadaphotos.com

Fresno Cracking Down

Brown lawn

“How many times are you watering your lawn per day?” This is a question that residents of Fresno, California have been asking each other pretty often recently. Actually, not only are they asking this, but they’ve been reporting each other for over-watering. Although this may sound a bit harsh, the reality of the California drought is that people are going to have to start cracking down even harder than they have been. And it’s working for Fresno- their water consumption is down 33% after one month.

Yard

But this kind of change doesn’t come easily. Wells, a water conservation team in Fresno, has issued a little under half of all 838 penalty citations to residents who have been over-watering. The LA Times reports that, “things got serious for Fresno last summer after the city’s groundwater dropped four feet and its allocations of imported, stored water dipped from 50% from one reservoir and all the way to zero from the other.”

brown grass

So, beginning last August, residents were only allowed to water their lawns twice per day. Even in 106-degree weather, Fresno residents try to stay true to this regulation and report those who don’t. The city’s Public Utilities Director, Thomas Esqueda, is proud of the 515,000 residents of Fresno. He says that even most of the few thousand residents that were watering their lawns every day have cut back to only a couple of times a week.

Lawn appearance

Even with all of this exciting news about Fresno, Californian counties in general still have a long way to go. 97 California districts still have zero water regulations in place. Los Angeles and Long Beach have both only issued less than 10 citations. And some cities have issued none.

Sexy grass

The new mantra of Fresno, “Don’t frown on brown” needs to be more widely circulated throughout California. Awareness on drought issues and education on water usage need to be widespread. Where do we start? Well, some of us need to set our sprinklers to twice a week. Some of us need to take shorter showers. Others need to simply turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth. All of these things are helpful for using less water. We just need to take action and actually choose to do them.

Source:

“As Its Water Dwindled, Fresno Cracked Down Hard”. LA Times. 6/22/15. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-fresno-water-penalties-20150622-story.html#page=1

Images:

1) ibabuzz.com

2) http://www.angieslist.com

3) ecosalon.com

4) westphoria.sunset.com

5) vocativ.com

The Irony of Bottling Companies and the Drought

One bottling company’s vague policies have sparked discourse on the relationship between California’s drought and bottling water in California. How much groundwater are these companies using? Would it affect the drought if these companies no longer bottled? Who oversees groundwater usage rules? Which companies in California use the most water for these purposes? These are questions that have been asked frequently during the eruption of conversation about bottling water and the drought. Let’s take a further look into the conversation…

palomar

It started with Palomar Mountain Spring Water, a bottling company based in San Diego County and located on Palomar Mountain. How bottled water companies work is that they buy land located on large reservoirs of groundwater and use the water to bottle and disperse to the community for a fee. These resources do not have limits; “The spring is also not subject to the kind of drought restrictions that are causing residents across San Diego County to let lawns brown and leave toilets unflushed,” says Morgan Cook from the Union Tribune. It is also uncertain how much groundwater is being used by these companies for bottling purposes because they are not required to release information about usage of the springs that they own.

groundwater

-But wait, shouldn’t that be public information? ‘”The complaints that we don’t really know what they’re doing, the complaint that they’re taking a public resource and commercializing it at a great profit- these are all real problems…,” says Peter Gleick who is the president of a water think tank in Oakland.’ The Union Tribune posted this and other thoughts about this in their article No Drought Rules for Bottled Water, which was released today (6/8/15).

plastic water bottle

Another issue that the article brought up was the fact that Palomar Springs is just one of many bottling companies that have taken advantage of the fact that bottled water natural resources are unrestricted. Six companies in the San Diego area alone are included in this category, of which draw from resources like the Lakeside springs, Palomar Mountain area, Santee, and private wells. And because these companies have the right to not have to report the amounts of water they use, no one knows which companies are using more than others.

All of this being said, bottled water is not the ultimate source of the California drought. Although these companies may be helping to exacerbate its severity, the drought situation in California derives from many other sources, including natural disasters (forest fires, earthquakes, and storms), climate change, and human impact on the environment.

If you’d like to learn more about the article in the San Diego Union Tribune, check out their link below. If you’d like to learn how you can help the environment save and recycle water, visit filtercon.com for more information.

Sources:

San Diego Union Tribune, “No Drought Rules for Bottled Water”. 6/8/15.  http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/jun/08/tp-no-drought-rules-for-bottled-water/2/?#article-copy

http://www.palomarwater.com/contact.php

http://www.groundwateruk.org/Image-Gallery.aspx

https://learn.flexport.com/import-water-bottles/

How Bottled Water is Exaserbating the California Drought

Water world

The good state of California only has so many reservoirs in its groundwater that can be tapped and used for drinking water. Some of these reservoirs are used for the biggest cities, like L.A., San Francisco, and San Diego, as city water that comes through their tap. But other reservoirs lie underneath land bought by bottled water companies like Nestlé and Crystal Gyser. These companies not only take the water underneath the land below them, they also suck up water from entire communities surrounding them. Then those companies sell it back to the people in that community for a profit! What they’re doing isn’t just unfair, it’s environmentally destructive. California’s drought has snowballed into our current situation over the past few decades, and this year it’s getting its worst statistics yet. The bottled water industry is doing nothing to change its course of action because, as CEO of Nest says, “It is a good civic responsibility to provide hydration and bottled water to the public.”

Although we agree that the public should be hydrated, bottled water is not the best path to making this happen. Firstly, most plastic water bottles that are used by companies in the industry have BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic compound based from carbon that doesn’t change form when it comes in contact with water and is clear and tough. So all of these chemicals from the plastics used to make “disposable” water bottles are going into your body.

How can you help stop harmful chemicals from coming into your body while also ceasing bottled water companies from hurting California’s natural resources? The answer is simple, buy a BPA-free, filtering water bottle. By reusing a chemical-free water bottle that filters out the bad chemicals in your city water, you’re not only helping the environment, you’re creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself.

Check out our BPA-free, filtering water bottle that takes the toxins out of approx. 40 gallons of water. Equal to about 300 uses before you have to change the filter!

sports bottle white background

Sources:

Image 1: www.corsapro.es

Dogs Need Good Water Too

Water is not just important of us but also for our dogs. Drinking enough water is important for healthy living. Animals can lose all of their fat and still survive. However, if they lose 10% of body water, they can face serious illness. The quality of water is also something to take into account.

dog drinking water

Facts about Water:

Pharmaceuticals like sex hormones, antibiotics, and anti-depressants are often found in drinking water.

Chlorine is toxin used to kill dangerous bacteria.

Fluoride has been linked to cancer in pets.

Dogs can develop giardia from drinking lake, pond, or stream water.

Unfiltered water can contain parasites, bacteria, and other harmful viruses.

Farming chemicals and lawn contaminants have been reported to cause cancer in dogs.

Often found in plastic dog food containers and water bowls BPA can leak out and seep into your dog’s food and water. BPA increases estrogen, decreases testosterone, and harmful to kids. It is also linked to some cancers and Type 2 diabetes.

Knowing this, how do you know what water to give your dog?

Best Water Practices for Your Dog:

wilderness dog

Reusing water bottles for your dog’s water is a big No-No. Most water bottles were only meant to be used once.

For reusable plastic water bottles, look for plastic with #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) or #5 PP (polypropylene). These types of bottles do not normally leak out dangerous chemicals. Although, the best option is to use stainless steel.

Even though you can find distilled water in your grocery store, it lacks the beneficial minerals and important nutrients your dog needs.

Invest in a water filter that filters out chlorine and fluoride.

Water fountains are a great way to encourage your dog to drink more fresh, filtered water.

Wash your dog’s bowl at least once a day with hot water and vinegar.

Keep your dog from drinking out of puddles, rivers, and streams.

Use organic fertilizers and keep your dog away from dangerous lawn chemicals.

Deluxe Shower Filtration System
Purchase in a filtered bath or showered for bathing your dog.

Merchants are nice in putting a public dog water bowl outside their establishment, but this can do more bad than good.

Use only green shampoos, cleaning products, and other household products.
Drinking out of a garden hose has the dual negative effect- leaching plastic and consuming chlorine and fluoride.

The Best Water Choice:
It really comes down to investing in a Whole House Water Filtration System. It is beneficial for everyone, and you will not have to doubt if the water is safe to drink.

If money is tight, there are other types of filtered products that are less expensive and better than the standard filtered pitcher found at your local store.

Visit Our Website for More Information On Our Numerous Water Filtering Products or Call Us at 1-800-550-1995

Southern California’s Limited Water Supply

If you were visiting Southern California, you would be led to believe that it is a verdant, lush land. Swimming pools, green grass lawns, trees growing bountifully. This lovely image is sadly a farce. It never rains in arid and semi-desert Southern California. Only 65% of the state receives less than 20 inches of rainfall per year, making for brilliant, sunny summers and not very wet winters. Consequently, the water supply in Southern California is limited and highly dependent on aqueducts.

water irrigation system
The Los Angeles Aqueduct relieves Southern Californians from making this situation more critical. It transports water from the Owens Valley to Los Angeles. Equally important, the Colorado River Aqueduct brings water from the Colorado River south to urban and highly populated Southern California. The Imperial Valley is supplied water by the Imperial Dam and All-American Canal. The Central Valley and its important farmlands are irrigated by the Central Valley Project, also providing water to the Bay Area. The San Francisco Bay Delta delivers farmers in the Central Valley and Southern California as well. Not to mention the Hetch-Hetchy Aqueduct and the Mokelumne Aqueduct that supply water to the Bay Area.

For this reason, California presently has four massive water projects and several local projects to aid some relief to the pressing water supply needs. The largest is the California State Water Project, delivering to 2/3 of the state’s population. It stores and delivers water of reservoirs, aqueducts, power plants, and pumping plants. It distributes to 29 urban and agricultural water suppliers throughout the state. 70% of the water goes to urban areas and 30% goes to agricultural areas. Funding is generated mainly by revenue bonds by the Project’s beneficiaries and general taxpayers. Other funding includes oil revenue, investments, federal control payments and recreational usage.

where does water come from?
Transporting water because of California’s limited water supply costs the state a great deal of energy. It accounts for at least 6.5% of the state’s total electricity usage. True, hydroelectric power produces some of the energy back, but more energy is still used than produced by all of these projects.

Groundwater only accounts for 30% to 40% of the water supply. The rest is imported. It all depends on where in Southern California one lives. San Diego, for example, is supplied by the Colorado River Aqueduct. The need and dependency varies from region to region.

Extending water supply services to areas throughout the state will involve money, strong policies, and good institutions that can be accountable. Many political wars have surfaced over the years because of unsatisfactory managing of California’s water supply. Competing ideas have only led to endless controversies. With a growing population comes a strong demand and short supply with very few solutions for clean and reliable drinking water.

For More Information on Our Products: Call (800)550-1995 or Visit Our Website

Possible contaminated groundwater found in aftermath of hurricane

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Groundwater possibly contaminated with chromium was found in Jersey City, N.J., while officials checked the site after Hurricane Irene, according to nj.com.

Mike McCabe, who was appointed to administer the chromium cleanup at the 16-acre site, said residents have nothing to fear, and tests may yet show that the water contains no chromium, stated the article.

“Rather than wait … we put into action a plan to completely vacuum up all the water that was there,” he said.

To read the entire article, click here