Ensenada is at the end of the line for water from the Colorado River and now there’s not enough of it for the seaside town in Baja California.
MacKenzie Elmer and Vicente Calderón visited the city this summer, where water shortages have provoked protests and demands for change. One Ensenada resident, Lucero Perez Badillo, told them in July it had been nearly three months since her home had water service – and the water she received that day came from a desalination plant, delivered by truck and dumped into a rooftop storage tank.
Even that stopgap solution doesn’t provide enough water for Perez Badillo and her two kids, so she spends another $200 a month for extra water.
Historically, Ensenada relied on the groundwater aquifers. As the population has grown and agriculture sucked up much of that water, those aquifers now account for just 25 percent of the city’s water needs. The desalination plant built in 2018 is supposed to provide another 40 percent of Ensenada’s water, but it hasn’t fulfilled that promise. The rest comes from the drought-stricken Colorado River.
Ensenada probably doesn’t get its full share of river water though, because the poorly maintained pipe that sends the water south from Mexicali is old and leaky.
Ensenada is not alone: The Washington Post on Tuesday filed its own dispatch on the severe drought facing northern Mexico, specifically Monterrey, where taps and reservoirs are running dry, water bills are skyrocketing and the federal government has declared a national emergency.
“As demand has grown, researchers say a lack of rain and, especially, water mismanagement have led to one of the worst droughts in the northern half of the country,” the Post reported. “As populations continue to increase and temperatures keep rising, speeding up evaporation from the land surface, water problems will worsen without better adaptation.”
The 101 Ash St. Settlement Didn’t Come Close to Ending All the Legal Woes Over the Building
The city recently moved forward with a major legal settlement tied to its years-long 101 Ash St. debacle in a bid to avoid years of uncertainty over its downtown real estate.
But the legal drama surrounding 101 Ash, which the city hurried to evacuate in early 2020 after a series of asbestos violations, is far from over.
Our Lisa Halverstadt put together a guide to the legal cases that remain on the city’s docket and what to watch out for next. The battles that remain are tied to building renovations that went awry, a former real estate adviser and the city’s now-former Ash lease.
And as Halverstadt writes, two Superior Court judges are poised to make some significant decisions on the future of a couple of those cases in the next two months.
In other 101 Ash news… Mayor Todd Gloria talked to our Lisa Halverstadt about former city Chief Operating Officer Kris Michell’s bombshell testimony under oath and revealed that she implied she wanted to remain in her city role before abruptly resigning in fall 2020. (Note: This post previously appeared in our Politics Report.)
In Other News
- inewsource revealed that the county has stopped referring clients to Veterans Village of San Diego after multiple deaths and concerns about the nonprofit’s operation.
- The County Board of Supervisors ratified a local public health emergency over monkeypox, which there are now 100 confirmed cases of in San Diego County. Public health officials have scheduled a Thursday town hall to answer questions about the virus.
- The La Jolla home of Dr. Seuss, Theodore Seuss Geisel, is up for sale for the first time in 70 years, as NBC 7 San Diego reported.
- Two million passengers flew through the San Diego International Airport in June, the first time since the pandemic that the airport hit that milestone. But that’s still 10 percent below the number of travelers at the airport in June of 2019, at the height of the summer travel season before the pandemic. (Union-Tribune)
- CBS 8 reports that the county has unveiled a safe parking lot on the site of a former encampment on Magnolia Avenue in El Cajon. Voice’s Jakob McWhinney previously reported on efforts to address the camp which had previously drawn media attention and commentary by El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.
The Morning Report was written by Andrew Keatts and Lisa Halverstadt. It was edited by Scott Lewis.