News Briefs: Jersey Couple, Utility Stumped Over Mysterious Water Leak

Also in this week's sewer and water news, San Jose Water Utility is putting a surcharge on customer bills because it didn't sell enough water amidst widespread conservation efforts

A couple in New Jersey is asking its water utility to help figure out why their basement has been flooding with water for the past year at a rate of 2.5 gpm. 

No matter the weather, the water keeps flowing into the basement, and the couple is worried it now owns a worthless property.

“It’s costing us our home. Right now our home is worth nothing,” Penelope Garcia tells “There’s no way we can sell it. We can’t even leave it for long periods of time because we don’t know what will happen to the basement.”

New Jersey American Water has tried multiple times to solve the problem to no avail thus far. Read about the whole saga here.

San Jose Water Co. Faces Budget Shortfall Due to Water Conservation by Customers

After the state of California mandated that its citizens cut back on water to alleviate the burden on drying reservoirs during droughts, citizens apparently did too good a job at conservation in San Jose.

Now, the San Jose Water Co. plans to add a surcharge to customers’ bills because it didn’t collect enough money selling water and is facing a $9 million budget shortfall.

“When we sell significantly less water, we’re not able to cover our costs, and so that’s the reason we’re seeking this surcharge,” Jayme Ackemann from the San Jose Water Co. tells NBC Bay Area News.

Researchers Use New Metric to Predict Drought-Flood Risks as Global Temps Rise 

Researchers at The University of Tokyo have developed a new metric for evaluating the intensification of wet and dry spells under the effects of global warming, calling it the “event-to-event hydrological intensification index,” or E2E, as described in a new study published in Scientific Reports.

“The E2E combines normalized aggregated precipitation intensity and dry spell length to capture the interconnectivity of adjacent dry and wet spells and the intensification of their phase shifts,” explains corresponding author Hyungjun Kim.

The research team conducted multimodel ensemble experiments to compare the E2E between scenarios with 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Overall, warming was associated with a clear increase in the E2E, with significant additional increase from 1.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius of warming.

In addition, the study revealed geographic trends in changes in rainfall intensity under these warming scenarios. For example, more intense precipitation is predicted across much of North America.

“Our results suggest that extreme dry and wet events will increasingly co-occur, such as the switch from extreme drought to severe flooding we saw in California in the recent past,” says lead author Gavin D. Madakumbura. “At least in terms of disaster mitigation and water security, there would be significant benefits to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to dampen the intensification of event-to-event variability.”


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.