MSN - AP World http://syn2.thecanadianpress.com:8080/mrss/feed/fcf7391a2f354311807f0501c16bde6a MSN - AP World Copyright © 2010-2018 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved. http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification Sat, 10 Dec 2022 05:08:57 +0000 Salty water threatens farms, cities in California http://syn2.thecanadianpress.com:8080/mrss/feed/fcf7391a2f354311807f0501c16bde6a/a0cdef9b39824994b1320857f318d62a The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a huge estuary northeast of San Francisco, supplies water to cities and farms across California. But a historic drought is making the delta's water increasingly salty, forcing farmers and cities to adapt. (Aug. 8) (Video by Terry Chea/AP) a0cdef9b39824994b1320857f318d62a Mon, 08 Aug 2022 15:31:42 +0000 SHOTLIST:ASSOCIATED PRESSOakley, California - 21 July 20221. Drone video of Sacramento-San Joaquin River DeltaHEADLINE: Rising salt water threatens cities, farms in California2. Drone video of Sacramento-San Joaquin River DeltaANNOTATION: The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a sprawling estuary northeast of San Francisco, supplies water to cities and farms across California.ASSOCIATED PRESSAntioch, California - 21 July 20223. Drone video of Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta,ANNOTATION: But a deepening drought is making the Delta's water saltier. It's getting less fresh water from the rivers and more salt water from the Pacific Ocean. ASSOCIATED PRESSTracy, California - 21 July 20224. Tractor harvests cucumbers in field5. SOUNDBITE (English) Bobby Costa, owner of Costa Farms:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"The water has been getting progressively worse and worse with salt. Every year it's becoming more of a challenge this year, in particular with our cucumbers. We're having 14 percent, 16 percent crooked cucumbers. And a lot of that's attributable to salt. Normally that's 5 percent. So our yields are off. Our yields are probably off 25 percent." 6. Close-up of crooked cucumber7. Costa kneels in field holding clumps of salty dirty8. Tractor harvests cucumbers in field9. SOUNDBITE (English) Bobby Costa, owner of Costa Farms:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"We just try to hang on and hope our water quality gets better. But I mean, basically, we're paying our bills with 75 percent, if we're lucky, of our income."10. Bobby Costa walks in field of cucumbersASSOCIATED PRESSARCHIVE: Oroville, California - 11 August 202111. Various of low water levels and boats in Lake Oroville reservoirANNOTATION: Global warming is making California hotter and drier. Officials are not releasing much water into the rivers from the state's depleted reservoirs. ANNOTATION: The changing climate is forcing state and local water managers to adapt to a world of worsening droughts and rising sea levels. ASSOCIATED PRESSARCHIVE: Newman, California - 20 July 202112. Drone video of almond orchard abandoned several years ago during previous drought ASSOCIATED PRESSOakley, California - 21 July 202213. SOUNDBITE (English) Jacob McQuirk, engineer, California Department of Water Resources:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"And then with climate change and global warming, things are changing. So things are much less predictable. So, you know, we've seen two severe droughts pretty recently in the last decade." 13. Various drone video of salinity barrier in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta14. SOUNDBITE (English) Jacob McQuirk, engineer, California Department of Water Resources:++COVERED++"This particular rock barrier is very important because it's serving a purpose to help mitigate the negative effects of the current drought emergency we're in."15. Various drone video of salinity barrier in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta16. SOUNDBITE (English) Jacob McQuirk, engineer, California Department of Water Resources:++PARTIALLY COVERED++"Without the release of more fresh water, the interior delta can get salty. And so what this barrier behind me is doing is it's allowing us to keep control of this interior delta salinity for the protection of all the beneficial uses of these delta waters."ASSOCIATED PRESSAntioch, California - 21 July 202217. Drone video of inland water desalination plant under constructionANNOTATION: The city of Antioch, which gets its drinking water from the river delta, is building a new desalination plant to make the water potable during droughts.  18. SOUNDBITE (English) John Samuelson:"And we've had a lot of interest from other jurisdictions who are considering having to construct a similar facility for themselves."19. Various drone video of construction site of city of Antioch's new water intake pipe system on San Joaquin River20. SOUNDBITE (English) John Samuelson, public works director, city of Antioch: ++COVERED++"We're noticing increased salinity where our intake is located. So each year we seem to be able to use our intake less and less due to the salinity in the in the Bay Area. And so as a result, we're building this new plant so that when the salinity levels in the delta go up, we can continue to use our river intake to treat water for our residents."21. Workers at construction site of inland water desalination plant 22. Drone video of inland water desalination plant under construction23. Drone video of current water treatment plant for city of AntiochSTORYLINE:The Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers are central arms of California's water system. But they are becoming too salty to use for some farmers and cities that rely on their water as the state's punishing drought drags on. In dry times, less fresh water flows from the mountains through California's water ways and into an estuary known as the Delta. That means saltier water from the Pacific Ocean is able to push further into the system, which supplies water to millions of people and acres of farmland. The Delta's challenges foreshadow the risks to come for key water supplies from drought and sea level rise made worse by climate change.It helps supply water to two-thirds of the state's 39 million people and to farms that grow fruits and vegetables for the whole nation, playing a key but sometimes under-appreciated role in the state's economy.The delta's increasing salinity is impacting farmers like Bobby Costa, who farms about four square miles (10 square kilometers) of land in Tracy in the southern reach of the Delta. Costa gets water from the San Joaquin River, delivered by an irrigation district through a ditch on his property. This year, the water's higher salt content is evident, leaving white stains on the dirt in his fields and hurting his cucumber crop. Costa says an increasing number of his cucumbers are coming out crooked and his yields have gone down by 25% this year compared to a wetter year.Costa sells the cucumbers to a company that turns them into pickles for use at Subway and other stores. Typically about 4% of the crop is crooked or otherwise damaged, meaning it can't be used for pickling. This year, the deformed cucumbers make up almost 16% of Costa's harvest. "The water has been getting progressively worse and worse with salt. I mean, every year it's becoming more of a challenge this year, in particular with our cucumbers," Costa said. "We just try to hang on and hope the water quality gets better." Last year, the state hauled 112,000 tons of rock and stacked it 30 feet (9 meters) deep in a key Delta river to stop salty water from getting too close to the pumps. It was the second time in the past decade the rock barrier was needed; the Department of Water Resources first installed it during the last drought in 2015. It was supposed to be only temporary, but plans to remove the barrier last fall were scrapped due to dry conditions, though a notch was cut to allow fish to swim through. Officials still hope to take it out this November."This particular rock barrier is very important because it's serving a purpose to help mitigate the negative effects of the current drought emergency we're in," said Jacob McQuirk, principle engineer for the state's Department of Water Resources.The state has asked the federal government for permission to build two more barriers further north if the drought worsens, arguing it will be necessary to protect water supplies. In the longer term, the state wants to construct a massive tunnel that would move water around the Delta entirely, which officials say would make it easier to capture more during times of heavy rain and guard against the risks of this salt water intrusion.But advocates for the region worry it's just another solution that will leave the farmers, fish and people who rely on Delta water high and dry.While the barrier protects the pumps, it does little to help some interests within the Delta who rely on fresh water before it heads south.Meanwhile in Antioch, a city of 115,000 people, officials are investing in desalination. Last year, things were so bad, even with senior water rights the city couldn't pull water from the river at all. The city has supplied its people with San Joaquin River water for just 32 days so far this year, compared to 128 days by this time in a wet year. The plant will be the state's first inland desalination plant for brackish water, said John Samuelson, the city's director of public works. Desalination plants are often controversial; earlier this year the state rejected a proposal in Orange County that would draw water from the ocean. But water in the Delta isn't as salty, so it takes less energy to make it fresh. Samuelson said other Bay Area cities are reaching out to Antioch to learn more about its effort as they consider their own options for stabilizing the water supply as climate risks grow."We're noticing increased salinity where our intake is located. So each year we seem to be able to use our intake less and less due to the salinity in the in the Bay Area," Samuelson said. "As a result, we're building this new plant so that when the salinity levels in the delta go up, we can continue to use our river intake to treat water for our residents."A drought that scientists say is part of the U.S. West's driest period in 1,200 years and sea level rise are exposing the fragility of that system, forcing state water managers, cities, and farmers to look for new ways to stabilize their supply of fresh water. The Delta's challenges offer a harbinger of the risks to come for critical water supplies amid a changing climate elsewhere in the country.Planners and farmers are coming at the problem of saltwater intrusion with a desalination plant, an artificial rock barrier and groundwater pumps. Those who can't engineer their way out of the problem are left with a fervent hope that things will change.The Delta is the largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas. It's home to endangered species such as chinook salmon and Delta smelt that require certain water flows, temperatures and salt mixes, as well as hundreds of square miles of farmland and millions of people who live, work and recreate in the region. Other estuaries such as the Chesapeake Bay and within Florida's Everglades don't play as critical a role in directly supplying water for drinking and farming. But those estuaries are also at risk of creeping salt, causing problems for ecosystems, groundwater supplies and other needs. Giant pumping systems built more than a half a century ago send Delta water south to major urban centers like Los Angeles and huge farming operations. The further east the salt moves, the more at risk that water system becomes. Brackish water that creeps into the system isn't as salty as ocean water, but it's salty enough to render it undrinkable for some crops and for people.===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: info@aparchive.com(ii) they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory. The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a huge estuary northeast of San Francisco, supplies water to cities and farms across California. But a historic drought is making the delta's water increasingly salty, forcing farmers and cities to adapt. (Aug. 8) (Video by Terry Chea/AP) Salty water threatens farms, cities in California