The Value of Tap Water
Water is essential to our daily lives, but few people stop to consider its importance and value. In most communities in California, water costs less than a penny per gallon at the tap. In this segment, Huell visits the West Basin Municipal Water District and Las Virgenes Municipal Water District to highlight key aspects of providing reliable water and some factors driving the cost, including the rising costs of energy, treatment chemicals and the need to expand and replace facilities.
Trek high into the Sierra Nevada for a close look at the winter snow pack and how climate change may threaten its critical role as the state’s largest water storage reservoir. Trace the journey our melting snow takes from the mountains to rivers and streams, and ultimately into man-made reservoirs as part of our elaborate water supply system.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta
Visit the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta by boat and learn why it is the single most important – and most vulnerable – link in California’s water delivery system. Get a look at Delta levees and understand what experts such as UC Davis geologist Dr. Jeffrey Mount see as a growing risk to the water supply for 23 million Californians and millions of acres of farmland.
Flood Fight of 2006
Venture to the frontlines of April 2006 flooding for a look at efforts to keep high water at bay and protect lives, homes and property from dangerous floods.
Visit a surface water reservoir and hear about the multiple roles these man-made structures play in providing flood control, water supply, water quality and other benefits. Learn how storage projects are increasingly seen as a valuable and flexible tool to improve water quality and meet environmental needs.
What's New on the Colorado River
Travel to the Colorado River Aqueduct and learn what California water agencies that rely on the Colorado are doing to stretch supplies in light of new rules governing the river. See how cooperation and innovation are helping to ensure we get the most out of every drop of Colorado River water.
Using Water Wisely
Necessity is the mother of invention. To keep pace with a growing population and a fairly static water supply, water agencies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in innovative hardware and cooperative programs that stretch supplies. See the latest in water-saving tools and technology, and learn why every drop counts.
We all Live in a Watershed
Everyone lives in a watershed. We rely on watersheds for drinking water, hydroelectric power and recreation, and of course flora and fauna call them home. Travel to a key watershed to find out how watersheds are managed and protected.
Water is a precious commodity in California, and the possibility of drought is never far away. Tour a desalination plant to understand how removing salt from seawater is fast becoming a viable way to “drought-proof” communities and reduce their dependence on imported water. Learn how desalination is also being used to turn brackish groundwater into a high-quality water supply.
Video coming soon.
Sacramento Valley Working Together Pays Off
Tour the northern Sacramento Valley and hear how local water agencies are working together to implement 50 coordinated projects that will make water available to meet growing local needs and help the environment at the same time. Get a first-hand look at fish passage improvements, groundwater management and water use efficiency measures underway as part of this landmark effort.
California's Water System
Take a tour of California’s vast water system and find out what aging infrastructure and a growing population mean for our water future. California Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow and others explain the importance of our water system and introduce viewers to the local and regional water management efforts that play a key role in meeting needs.
Video coming soon.
Water Recycling Imitates Nature
Tour a water recycling plant and examine the important role recycled water plays in California’s water supply. Get a look at some current uses of recycled water and see how local agencies plan to expand this key water supply tool in the future.
Protecting Against Floods
There are few natural disasters worse than a devastating flood. This segment takes viewers to flood control facilities and discusses both the importance and inherent difficulty of controlling floods in California.
Regional Solutions for Local Needs
Local and regional water agencies play a major role in meeting water needs. Get a close look at how local agencies and communities are joining forces to improve their water supplies and better prepare for growth and droughts.
Cleaning Water the Natural Way
This segment of “ California’s Water” explores how wetlands serve as nature’s own water filtration systems. A visit to the San Joaquin Marsh in Irvine offers a first-hand look at the valuable function wetlands areas perform in removing pollutants from runoff while at the same time providing habitat and recreation opportunities.
We typically think of rain and snow as the key factorsin determining whether we have enough water supply in California but other factors can affect the availability of our water supplies as a recent crisis involving Delta smelt is a prime example. This crisis shows the difficulty of managing a highly altered system like the Delta for sensitive fish species; how little we understand about the Delta and the many factors that affect it and when it comes to water, one action can ripple across many regions of the state.
Video coming soon.
Water Efficient Gardens in Full Bloom
Gardens can be beautiful and water-wise, if you know where to start. Many water agencies have developed award-winning gardens that demonstrate how Californians can enjoy lovely gardens and landscapes while conserving precious water supplies. These gardens are a valuable resource for Californians who want to learn more about our water system and the many actions we take – both indoors and outdoors – to use water as efficiently as possible.
Farm Water: Growing More with Every Drop
Like their urban counterparts, agricultural water users have made dramatic strides in water use efficiency over the past two decades. Irrigation districts and farmers have adopted water use efficiency practices and technologies that compare favorably with those found anywhere in the world.
Water and Energy: A Powerful Connection
Water operations are a major user of energy in California. In fact, pumping, treating and delivering water accounts for about 20% of all electricity used in the state. Recognizing this, local water agencies are pursuing an array of programs to reduce their energy use, shift their energy demand to off-peak times, and even generate power using the latest technology and existing materials and resources.
Living With Nature (Endangered Species)
Explore endangered species issues and what they mean to California’s water sources and water supply system. Hear about efforts to recover these species while maintaining water supplies needed for people.
Tightening the Water Belt
With all signs pointing to continued water supply challenges, many California communities are tightening their water belts. Learn about how they are changing their approach to water use for the long term and educating their customers on the need to conserve.
California’s Water Saving Accounts: Groundwater banking programs allow surface water to be captured in wet periods and stored in groundwater basins for use in dry times. Groundwater supplies up to 40% of the state’s total water supply. Such programs are seen as one of the most effective tools for stretching existing water supplies, alleviating shortages in times of drought, and increasing the state’s overall water storage capacity.
Video coming soon.
Water Crisis Three years of drought coupled with environmental restrictions on pumping in the Delta have created some of the worst water shortages many Central Valley farmers can remember. In this episode of “California’s Water,” Huell Howser examines the devastating impact of water shortages on San Joaquin Valley farms and communities, talks with a number of growers struggling to keep tomato, almond and other crops going, and visits San Luis Reservoir, which was at its lowest level on record for the time of year.
Tap Water: The Drink of Choice
California water agencies deliver some of the safest drinking water in the world. From stringent limits on contaminants to rigorous requirements for testing and monitoring water quality, California has some of the strongest drinking water regulations in the nation and remains on the cutting edge of water treatment technology.
Water Supply Reliability Through Innovation
With drought, climate change, environmental concerns and an ever-growing population challenging the state's water supplies, many California water agencies are having to think outside the box to ensure a reliable water supply for their customers. At the end of the water 'pipeline,' arid Southern California is particularly susceptible to water shortages.