WaterWorld Weekly Newscast, January 9, 2017

A transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for January 9, 2017.

Jan 9th, 2017
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San Diego mulls pumped storage project; Blueprint lays out framework for managing finite water resources; EPA re-proposes standards to protect groundwater from uranium extraction; UN calls Damascus water crisis 'war crime'

The following is a transcript of the WaterWorld Weekly Newscast for January 9, 2017.

Hi, I'm Angela Godwin for WaterWorld magazine, bringing you water and wastewater news headlines for the week of January 9th. Coming up...

San Diego mulls pumped storage project
Blueprint lays out framework for managing finite water resources
EPA re-proposes standards to protect groundwater from uranium extraction
UN calls Damascus water crisis 'war crime'

The San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego took steps last week to determine interest in a new pumped storage opportunity at the San Vicente Reservoir site that could potentially help the region meet its future energy needs.

The project would consist of an interconnection and pumping system between the existing San Vicente Reservoir and a new, smaller reservoir located uphill.

The pumping system would be used during off-peak energy-use periods to pump water from the existing San Vicente Reservoir to the new upper reservoir, creating a bank of 500 megawatts of stored hydroelectric energy in the upper reservoir.

It would be released to the lower reservoir by gravity at times when other renewable energy supplies, such as solar, are unavailable and when energy demand and electricity costs are higher.

The joint Request for Letters of Interest is expect to help determine what possible next steps are in the best interests of regional ratepayers and stakeholders.

To learn more, visit sdcwa.org.

The Water Research Foundation and engineering firm Brown and Caldwell recently released the Blueprint for One Water, a practical guide for agencies seeking to manage water resources holistically and sustainably.

One Water is an integrated planning and implementation approach to managing finite water resources for long-term resilience and reliability.

The blueprint features lessons learned from early One Water adopters, plus spotlights on how visionary leaders are successfully applying the concept, along with recommendations for integrating a multi-stakeholder process.

You can access the Blueprint for One Water at waterrf.org.

In industrial news, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued a re-proposal of its rule concerning standards for uranium extraction via in-situ recovery -- or ISR.

According to EPA, the re-proposed rule offers standards for consistent and sustainable protection of groundwater at ISR sites.

In January 2015, EPA released its initial proposal. But after reviewing public comments and new information, EPA decided to re-propose the rule and solicit additional public comments rather than finalize it.

The move was praised by Republicans in Congress who deemed the original proposal too burdensome on industry.

The re-proposed rule will be open for public comment for 180 days once published in the Federal Register.

Access to water has been minimized or cut off for nearly 5.5 million people in Damascus and surrounding areas since December 22 after heavy fighting targeted the two main water sources there.

Jan Egeland, Special Adviser to the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, said in a statement that "to sabotage and deny water is ... a war crime because it is civilians ... who will be affected."

Egeland said the UN is trying to gain access to the region but has been met with a "web of obstacles" and has not yet been able to secure permission.

UNICEF and its partners have been able to get about 120 wells in and around Damascus up and running, providing a third of residents’ daily water needs.

Through water rationing, residents have been able to access water for up to two hours every three or four days.

But still many have turned to unregulated private distributors, prompting concerns over water quality and price-gouging.

For WaterWorld magazine, I'm Angela Godwin. Thanks for watching.

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