Tess Dunham Featured by California Water News Source Maven’s Notebook
This morning, KSC’s very own Tess Dunham was featured in Maven’s Notebook, a website dedicated to California water, where she is recognized as one of the keynote speakers for the David Keith Todd Lectureship. According to the website’s author, Chris Austin, “the objective of the series is to develop scientific educational programs that promote the understanding and effective implementation of groundwater assessment, protection, and management.” Dunham’s keynote speech discusses the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Recycled Water Policy and key elements for integrating all three. Below is an excerpt:
“Like we do at the end of every summer and the beginning of fall, we wait to see, will we face another drought this year? Will we receive sufficient rainfall and snowpack to fill the reservoirs and replenish the snowpack in the Sierra? Is it going to be a wet year? An extremely wet year? Can we harness that rainfall and restore our depleted groundwater basins in the Central Valley and beyond? Will our groundwater recharge projects that are part of our groundwater sustainability plans cause leaching of salts and nitrates from the vadose zone into our groundwater aquifers and actually result in them degrading sooner than they might otherwise? We want to encourage the use of recycled water, but again, will salts and nutrients in recycled water cause degradation in our groundwater aquifers or to downstream water users?
“In certain regions of California, agriculture is key but can’t be done without using nitrogen-based fertilizers and without concentrating salts. While we face and deal with water shortages, we need to balance the water supply solutions against the potential impacts to water quality. In 1969, when the California legislature adopted the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, the legislature was fully aware of the conflicting uses placed on California’s water supply and declared then that when regulating impacts to water quality, that activities and factors that may affect the quality of the waters of the state shall be regulated to attain the highest water quality which is reasonable, considering all demands being made and to be made on those waters and the total values involved – beneficial and detrimental, economic and social, tangible and intangible.”