Posted by Editor: FDBobko
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The FOGHORN 
ROTARY CLUB OF HALF MOON BAY
September 23, 2021 
          
Cathleen Brennan
Water Resource Analyst for Coastside County Water District  
“It’s an Extreme Drought.”
  
Article and Photos by Mary Rogren
 
On Thursday, September 23, the Half Moon Bay Rotary Club welcomed Cathleen Brennan, Water Resource Analyst for Coastside County Water District (and no relation to President Joe, but both have similar Irish roots!)
 
Cathleen’s background includes a B.S. in Environmental Studies from San Jose State with an emphasis in Water Resource Management as well as a minor in Chemistry. She has 20 years combined experience in drinking water with the Coastside County Water District and the City of Santa Cruz, and 10 years’ experience in wastewater with the City of Sunnyvale. In her role with the Coastside County Water District, she is responsible for conservation, regulatory reporting and outreach. She is also responsible for developing the District’s 5-year Urban Water Management Plan, Water Shortage Contingency Plan (for drought response) and the annual Water Quality Reports.
 
Cathleen’s topic was particularly very timely - “It’s an Extreme Drought.”
 
In July 2021, Governor Newsom declared a drought state of emergency in 50 counties across the state including San Mateo County given the extreme drought conditions. The Governor asked for a voluntary 15 percent reduction in water use to preserve available supplies and to protect water reserves.  Cathleen shared a map of the current U.S. Drought Monitor showing the dire conditions facing the state. 
 
Since July, conditions around the state have continued to deteriorate. Reservoir water levels are very low and vegetation around the state is very dry escalating concerns for fires. Drought conditions have impacted the winter run of salmon on the state. Mt. Shasta’s dry winter and early snow melt has exposed many of its glaciers including the Whitney Glacier that has lost 15-20% of its volume. The Department of Energy notes that natural gas production has significantly increased in order to compensate for the loss of hydropower. 
 
Recent meteorologist reports imply that it’s likely that we will have a very dry fall/winter. The State Water Resources Control Board has asked water districts to plan for the worst-case scenarios. The State recently announced that even with normal snow pack this year, it’s unlikely that groundwater around the State will be recharged. State analysts estimate that we will need 140% of normal rainfall to fill the State’s reservoirs.
 
 
From a local perspective, our local watersheds are extremely dry, and the Coastside County Water District has been unable to utilize its local water sources since early spring 2021 resulting in the District relying primarily on imported water from Hetch-Hetchy (via Crystal Springs Reservoir.) 
 
The Coastside County Water District is currently in a Water Shortage Advisory “Stage 1” of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan and has asked for a 15% reduction in use with an emphasis on significantly reducing outdoor water use.
 
The Coastside County Water District will likely move to a Water Shortage Emergency “Stage 2” of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan in the next few months asking for greater reductions and potentially mandatory rationing. Cathleen shared what steps rationing measures would mean to its customers including turning off irrigation; no car washing; limiting use to 40 gallons per day per person; etc.
 
 
Coastside County Water District serves a population of 19,000 including the City of Half Moon Bay, Miramar, El Granada, and Princeton.
Warren Barmore asked about possible systems for the collection of rainwater and gray water. Joaquin Jimenez noted that gray water collection systems are frequently used on farms. Cathleen noted that care should be given on gray water use – and not to use “black water” (e.g., kitchen sink water, etc.) that could cause health and safety issues. 
John Evans asked about assistance programs for replacing lawns. Cathleen noted that a few years ago, Coastside Water District had a rebate program funded by grants, but the District doesn’t currently offer financial assistance at this time given the significant staff time required to implement a program. Cathleen strongly encourages District customers to consider replacement of lawns with drought resistant landscaping, however.
 
 
Club Meeting - September 23, 2021
 
Pledge of Allegiance  President Joe opened the meeting by asking everyone to say the Pledge of Allegiance together --- but on mute.
 
Inspirational Thought Mitone offered the inspirational thought for the day.
 
Happy/Crappy News yescrying
 
With great sadness, President Joe informed the Club about the recent loss of Honorary Member Sheila Cresson, wife of Dave Cresson, and a beloved member of our community and Rotary family. Sheila will be missed.

Stacy introduced today’s guest Joaquin Jimenez who is interested in joining Rotary. We would love to have him!
 
Announcements
 
Mitone reported on the Coastside Beach Cleanup in September. Over 40 Rotarians, Interactors and friends of Rotary participated! Special guests included our District 5150 Governor – Danielle Lallement.

President Joe mentioned that there are still tickets available for the Bay cruise of the USS Potomac on October 24. Proceeds will support both Rotary’s End Polio Campaign and our Club’s community service project.

President Joe also announced that the October 30 meeting will be a social/potluck at 6PM in the backyard of Abundant Grace facility. The theme of the event is celebrating “the end of summer!”

President Joe also provided an update on the Little Libraries Project. We have recently signed an agreement with the City for installation of the libraries at Frenchmen’s Creek Park and Oak View Park. The City requires that we maintain the libraries.

President noted that Liz is still looking for volunteers for the Abundant Grace lunch deliveries for October.
 
Rose announced that Coastside Hope and Senior Coastsiders are looking for volunteers for their meal programs.
Soapbox Time!

Ginger recognized Mary’s monumental birthday that occurred this week.
 
Mitone plugged the next Beach Cleanup – Sunday October 10 – 1100-11:30. 
 
Krystlyn announced a milestone in her life – She has lost 60 lbs and is enjoying her new exercise and eating regimen. She also plays on a softball team!     
 
Pres. Joe's Weekly 'States of the Union Quiz - ​​​​​​​PENNSYLVANIA
 
Today’s state visit focused on Pennsylvania! Many in the Club have roots in Pennsylvania including Rose and Ginger. Rose recalled growing up with the steel mills and never seeing a blue sky until she moved to California. Ginger recalled learning to ice skate in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
 
Some of the key facts about Pennsylvania include:
Capital: Harrisburg
Nickname: Key Stone State
33rd-largest state by area, but 5th most populous state
Only original colony not boarding the Atlantic
Founded in 1681 – Land grant given to William Penn
Originally organized as the “Colony of New Sweden”
In 1776 in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress drew up the Declaration of Independence
1784 – 1st newspaper 
1859 – 1st commercially drilled oil well (by Edwin Drake) – let to the first oil boom
1933 – Pittsburg Steelers team was founded. During World War II, the Steelers and Eagles played together one year as the “Steagles”
1934 – 1st drivers ed course – started in a high school in State College, Penn by Amos Neyhart
 
Marble Draw  sad surprise ????