- Author: Ben Faber
from the California Institute
for Water Resources
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is presenting challenges across many facets of our lives, and water is no exception. While research related to water and COVID-19 is still emerging, there are some key areas, including safety, access, and infrastructure, where more information is available. Please explore the links below to find practical, credible resources. These will be updated as new information becomes available.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Read more from the CDC about Water Transmission and COVID-19.
- The California State Water Boards fact sheet: State-Required Treatment Process Removes Viruses, Including COVID-19. Available in Spanish.
- The Public Policy Institute of California interviewed with Dave Eggerton of the Association of California Water Agencies. Eggerton says: “The virus is not a danger to our public water supplies, and buying bottled water in response to it is unnecessary.” Read the full interview.
- The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an update on Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater, along with a series of frequently asked questions related to drinking water and wastewater treatment. There is also guidance for water utilities. Some US EPA information available in Spanish and several other languages.
- See the UC ANR food and nutrition COVID-19 pages for more information related specifically to food safety and nutrition.
Water Access and Hygiene
- Hand washing is one of the best tools to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean.
- Governor Newsom has signed an executive order restricting water shut-offs and ordering reinstatement of some water connections. Read the CalEPA news release on the order. Available in Spanish.
- In addition, the California Public Utilities Commission has a guide to Utility Consumer Protections During California COVID-19 Outbreak.
- Some municipalities are increasing the numbers of hand-washing stations available for the unhoused. This includes Berkeley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and some other locations (no statewide list currently available).
- The Community Water Center has a comprehensive list of resources related to access, with a particular focus on the southern San Joaquin Valley and the Central Coast. Available in Spanish.
- Given the widespread challenges of toilet paper shortages, people are flushing many non-flushable products, leading to sewage overflows, a public health challenge of its own. It is widely recommended that only bodily waste and toilet paper be flushed, all other items should be placed in the trash. Read guidance from the California Water Boards. Available in Spanish.
- The California Department of Water Resources outlines their Continuing Critical Operations Through Ongoing Public Health Emergency.
Water and COVID-19 in the News
- For news stories specifically related to water and COVID-19, follow the new Circle of Blue dedicated news feed.
- Follow us on Twitter.
UC COVID-19 Resources
Learning Resources for Water in California
The California Institute for Water Resources has many online resources for learning more about water in California:
- Insights webinar series – recorded talks from experts in the UC system and beyond on topics ranging from groundwater to wildfire to drought.
- Silver Solutions webinar series – join the series live on the second Tuesday of the month and/or watch the previously recorded talks from cooperative extension specialists from several UC campuses.
- Drought tips for ranchers, growers, and homeowners – a free, science-based resource on drought-related best practices. Many also available in Spanish at the same link.
- The Confluence – our blog covers a wide range of water issues and experts in California.
- Author: Ben Faber
Stormwater and Sediment Management in Plasticulture Tunnels
13 June, Wednesday 8:30 AM-NOON
At UC Hansen Agricultural Center at Santa Paula
(from hwy 126 exit Briggs, the entrance gate is ~1000 ft on the left on Briggs road)
8:30 Registration, (interpretation into Spanish provided for the program).
9:00 Update on Agricultural Conditional Waiver and nutrient management requirements
9:20 Establishment of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in post rows in raspberry plasticulture tunnels
9:30 Effect of BMPs on nitrogen
9:50 Effect of BMPS on phosphorus, turbidity of runoff and sediment movement
10:10 Effect of BMPs on weeds
10:20 Costs of the tested BMPs
10:30 Look at treatments, demo of Polyacrylamide, questions and survey
• VCAILG (Ventura County Ag Irrigated land) credits have been requested from RWQCB.
If you require special arrangements, translation into Spanish or have further questions, please contact Oleg Daugovish at UCCE –Ventura: (805) 645-1454 or email@example.com
El Manejo de Aguas Pluviales y Sedimentos en los Túneles de Plasticultura
13 de Junio, Miércoles de 8:30 al Mediodía
En el UC Hansen Agricultural Center de Santa Paula
(de la 126 se toma la salida Briggs, la puerta de entrada queda a 1000 pies a la izquierda en la Briggs road)
8:30 Registración, (interpretación en español disponible) .
9:00 Actualización de la Exención Condicional Agrícola y los requisitos para el manejo de
9:20 Establecimiento de Mejores Prácticas de Gestión (BMP) en las filas con postes en los túneles de plasticultura de la frambuesa
9:30 Efecto de estas prácticas (BMP) sobre el nitrógeno
9:50 Efecto de estas prácticas (BMP) sobre el fósforo, turbidez de la escorrentía y
movimiento de los sedimentos.
10:10 El efecto de estas prácticas (BMP) sobre la maleza.
10:20 Costos de estas prácticas que ya se han experimentado
10:30 Vistazo a los tratamientos, demostración de la poliacrilamida, preguntas y encuesta
• Se han solicitado créditos VCAILG al RWQCB.
Si usted requiere arreglos especiales, traducción al español o tiene otras preguntas, favor de comunicarse con Oleg Daugovish a UCCE –Ventura: (805) 645-1454 o firstname.lastname@example.org
- Author: Ben Faber
This little mnemonic, or memory aid, in the title is helpful in remembering the critical levels of toxic constituents in irrigation water. The “one” stands for 1 part per million (ppm) of boron (B), the “one hundred” flags 100 ppm of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) and the “one thousand” represents the level of total soluble solids (TDS or salts) in water. Levels exceeding the critical values for any of these constituents can present problems for tree growers. The problems typically show themselves as tip-burn and defoliation. The B, Na and Cl are toxic elements at relatively low concentrations, but symptoms appear similar to the damage caused by high salinity.
Water that exceeds the critical levels mentioned in the mnemonic has a greater tendency to cause damage if sufficient leaching is not applied. It doesn’t mean the water is impossible to use, only that greater attention needs to be made to ensure that these salts are adequately leached. High levels of these salts accumulate in the soil with each irrigation. These salts are absorbed by the tree and end up in the leaves where they do damage.
Irrigation is a necessary evil. Every time we apply irrigation water we apply salts, and unless some technique is used to minimize salt accumulation, damage will result. This damage can be more than just leaf drop, but also the stress that induces conditions for root rot. In most years we rely on winter rainfall to correct the salt imbalance resulting from irrigation water.
This year has been a winter largely without rain. Irrigation water was applied throughout the winter, spring, summer and fall and many trees look stressed this spring. Even well irrigated orchards in the spring of 2012 have leaf burn due to the gradual accumulation of salts from irrigation. Avocados, which are generally more sensitive to salts than citrus, drop their salt-burned leaves this spring when flowering begins.
We usually think that it is not necessary to irrigate in the winter, but this winter should change that opinion. To add to the lack of rain problem, it may be necessary to irrigate even if there is rain in the future. The wetted pattern that is created by a drip or microsprinkler emitter also creates a ring of salt in the outer band of the wetted patter. If there is less than an inch of rainfall to push this salt down, this salt tends to diffuse towards the tree where it can accumulate back in the root system. Orchards with even good water quality would find it advisable to run the irrigation system with the first rains. Those with poor water quality definitely should run the microsprinkler system with an equivalent of one-half inch-applied water (13,500 gallons per acre) during or soon after the first events of less than one-half inch rainfall. Growers with water quality exceeding one, hundred, or thousand should be especially alert to the need to manage water in low rainfall winters.