KYH20_bluedrop_140Do you know where your water comes from?

Know Your H2O is designed to educate people on the link between freshwater management issues and the impact on our ocean, waves, and beaches.

In many places, water travels hundreds of miles through canals and pipelines before reaching homes. Due to persistent drought, growing population and restrictive legislation, less water will be delivered from these sources in the future. Many rivers near the coast have been paved over, and nearly all storm drain pipes empty into our oceans. This dumps animal waste, pesticides, fertilizers, plastics, car oil and more into our watersheds and ultimately into the sea.

Through conservation, using climate-appropriate plants, implementing low impact development, capturing and reusing wastewater, and Indirect Potable Reuse (IPR), we can reduce water pollution in the ocean and improve our drinking water supply. Learn more on Beachapedia.

In San Luis Obispo County, Know Your H2O is actively advocating for managed retreat solutions to move sewage plants from the coastal zone in Morro Bay and Oceano. Also, as a substitute for ocean outfall, we are advocating for wastewater reclamation and the use of constructed wetlands to bury salts while recharging coastal aquifers.

Read about our Accomplishments in SLO County.


Letter from Brad Snook, SLO Know Your H2O Program Coordinator, and Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager, to State Lands Commission, June 2016

“The Surfrider Foundation is an international non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our ocean, waves and beaches. We currently count over 80 chapters throughout the world, 20 of which are located along the California’s coast. Our San Luis Obispo chapter and global headquarters jointly offer the following comments regarding the proposed termination of Lease Nos. PRC 4307.1 and 4449.1 and an application by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for a new General Lease ? Industrial Use, for a cooling water discharge channel, water intake structure, breakwaters, and associated infrastructure at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), near Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County.


Brad Snook speaking before the SLC

“1. Without PG&E’s proposed plan, there likely isn’t enough time for PG&E to replace DCPP’s Once-Through Cooling (OTC) system before 2025, thus meeting the requirement Surfrider has fought for under the Clean Water Act. Because PG&E’s proposal as described does phase out OTC by shutting down by 2025, we acknowledge the timing as outlined in PG&E’s plan as it meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act as of 2025.

“2. Because DCPP is an active nuclear power plant and will store nuclear waste on-site indefinitely, we explicitly ask the California State Lands Commission to insist PG&E submit to continuous, independent review of seismic threats to the plant and the ongoing risk nuclear waste storage poses to our public lands, economy and population.

“3. Under PG&E’s plan, the next California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review on CSLC-permitted lands would be for the purposes of DCPP’s decommissioning process. We note the CSLC staff report neither requests nor requires a Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) to be provided prior to decommissioning. However, in “An Economic and Technical Case for Replacing Diablo Canyon with Greenhouse Gas Free Renewable, Efficiency and Energy Storage Resources [PLAN B]” a study commissioned by Friends of the Earth, a number of existing deteriorating infrastructure components are identified. These include seismic retrofitting, embrittlement, metal fatigue, fire hazard repair to address faulty cable installation, potential replacement of steam generators, etc. Additionally, as Diablo’s OTC system has impacted San Luis Obispo County’s environment for decades and this plan will allow those impacts to continue, the process of requiring a DEIR should begin now, with strict requirements for the EIR fully outlined prior to extending PG&E’s permit.

“We note that the proposal to replace nuclear power generation with a cost-effective, greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage could greatly improve the safety of the community and the marine life affected, and potentially affected, by the current operation of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. We appreciate the effort by PG&E and its partners to find an agreed-upon path forward and believe the inclusion of a DEIR will improve the transparency and viability of this proposal, and be in everyone’s best interest.”