Oceanside CA- President Obama will visit Fresno County, today, to see first hand, conditions in the drought-stricken agricultural center of California. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, will make the trip with the President to announce a new federal initiative which includes $100 million in livestock disaster assistance for California farmers, ranchers and producers. The program includes funding for water conservation projects and aid for states across the country also affected by the drought.
California is experiencing record drought while Oregon, Washington and Idaho have seasonal moisture levels well below normal. Most states across the country are at normal or above normal precipitation levels according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The drought has prompted State officials to begin a statewide educational campaign on water conservation. Caltrans is using the 700 plus electronic freeway signs to increase awareness of the drought. The signs read; “Serious drought. Help save water.” when there isn’t traffic conditions or an Amber Alert to report.
Oceanside Fares Better in Times of Drought
Oceanside is more drought resistant than Northern and central California. The City of Oceanside recently completed work on the 511 Pump Station. This pump station optimizes the treatment capability of the Mission Basin Groundwater Purification Facility. The pump facility and new pipeline opens up 1,000 acre feet of water to Oceanside.
During a neighborhood meeting, last Sunday, Mayor Jim Wood explained “Oceanside is unique in San Diego County as we have our own water for resale from the river.” Oceanside derives approximately 20% of its water from the Mission Basin Aquifer and San Luis Rey River “and that helps keep the rates down a little bit.” Mayor Wood said.
The Mission Basin lies almost entirely within the limits of the City of Oceanside and extends upstream from the Pacific Ocean to just past Oceanside’s eastern boundary and west of the Bonsall Bridge near the intersection of Highway 76 and State Road 13. The volume of groundwater currently in storage within the aquifers, shallow and deep, in the Mission Basin is estimated to be 54,000 acre feet.
Mayor Wood said “We would like to get that (20%) up to 50%, however, we are afraid to spend millions of dollars to fix the water center up because of the Gregory Canyon Landfill” The Gregory Canyon Landfill Project is East of Oceanside, upstream on the San Luis Rey River. “If that ever leaks, it comes down stream and pollutes our water and all of those millions of dollars will be destroyed.” said Mayor Wood. The mayor does not believe that Oceanside will have water restrictions this Summer but all Californians are urged to conserve. For water saving tips, visit Water Smart San Diego County [Link]