200067 New Partnerships at the State Level to Address Chronic Water Shortages and Drought Conditions

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:48 PM

Richard L. Hinrichs, Civil Eng , Division of Drinking Water, California Department of Public Health, Redding, CA
California's water supplies have been the source of conflict for many decades. Recent developments have placed unprecedented strains on this vital resource. These include court decisions limiting pumping from the Sacramento River Delta system, declining runoff and snowpack resources, and rapid population growth, especially in water-short areas. In addition, widespread groundwater contamination has placed the water supply for many rural communities in jeopardy.

California water agencies have been encouraged to conserve water supplies. To promote this goal, Governor Schwarzenegger has called for a 20% reduction in average per capita water use, and has established an interagency Task Force to explore ways to achieve this goal.

As one solution, California water purveyors have embraced the concept of utilizing wastewater as a resource for direct water recycling and for recharge of groundwater basins. Both means of supplementing the State's fresh water supplies with treated wastewater offer great promise, but they also present significant public health issues that need to be defined, understood, and addressed.

Advancements in technology have also made the age-old dream of turning sea water into fresh water a feasible alternative in many coastal areas of the State where development pressures continue. Environmental concerns associated with these projects have slowed the implementation of certain projects, but desalinization, once considered impossible, is now an option worthy of detailed analysis and consideration.

This presentation will describe the challenges presented to State agencies in providing continuing, reliable supplies of safe water, and some of the cooperative strategies being pursued to meet these challenges.

Learning Objectives:
Identify three methods being pursued by California water agencies to provide new water supplies discuss at least one health risk presented by each method.

Keywords: Water Quality, Challenges and Opportunities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a senior sanitary engineer located in Redding, California and I deal on a routine basis with water quality and water supply issues as they effect the citizens of California.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.