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Newport Beach City Manager Update: Healthy Rainfall, New Data Dashboard

Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

By Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager

After many years of drought, our second year of healthy rainfall is a welcomed relief.

Orange County has recorded more than 15 inches of rainfall this season (since July 1, the beginning of the water year), compared to an average of about 13 inches.

The Orange County Water District  reports that it successfully captured 25,500 acre-feet of water as of mid-February, equivalent to 8.3 billion gallons, which is enough water for 204,000 people for a year. This remarkable feat is accomplished through a network of percolation basins, pumps, inflatable dams, and management of assets such as the Prado Dam.

Orange County’s groundwater system is a vital resource for Newport Beach and surrounding cities. The amount of water Newport Beach draws from the groundwater basin is increasing to 85 percent (the rest is imported from the Colorado River). As of January, Orange County’s groundwater basin is at 90 percent capacity, an increase of 22.7 percent from this time last year.

Even with an abundance of rainfall, Newport Beach remains committed to promoting water conservation as an ongoing practice. We encourage residents to continue mindful water habits during wet weather, such as turning off automatic sprinklers before and after rain. Residents can also invest in water barrels — with rebates from — to capture and store rainwater for later use.

Through conservation, strategic water management, and infrastructure investments, our region can become more resilient and help reduce the negative impacts of future dry spells.

New Data Dashboard Tracks Harbor Service Calls

The City’s Harbor Department launched an interactive digital map that tracks calls for service by location and type. The data is available to the public at this link:

Clicking the blue dots on the map reveals details on the calls for service. The map can also be filtered for specific types of service calls by selecting one or more of the categories.

Beginning in January, Harbor Department staff began capturing the latitude and longitude associated with received and initiated calls for service. The locations are mapped by a Geographic Information System (GIS). The initial data from January shows that service calls were concentrated heavily around Marina Park, public docks, and pump-out stations at 15th, 19th, Fernando and Washington streets.

The Harbor Department will use this new tool to help refine patrol assignments and areas of focus for the benefit of the harbor community.

Housing Element Draft EIR Available for Public Review

A draft report analyzing potential environmental impacts from the City’s General Plan Housing Element is available for public review and comment.

The draft environmental impact report (EIR) is required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR analyzes potential environmental impacts that may result from implementation of the adopted 6th Cycle Housing Element (2021-2029) in areas such as air quality, aesthetics, public services and transportation.

The report is available digitally at this link:

Hard copy versions are available at City Hall (Bay B, 1st Floor) and in all City library branches.

The draft EIR is available for public review and comment through March 28. Planning Commission and City Council public hearings on the EIR will be this spring.

For questions or to submit comments, please contact Principal Planner Ben Zdeba at (949) 644-3253 or

Balboa Island Bridge Closures Finish Early

The Balboa Island bridge nightly closures have finished ahead of schedule, thanks to faster-than-anticipated construction activity.

The bridge was expected to be closed on weekday nights through February 29. However, the construction activity finished late last week.

The closures were related to utility undergrounding work being performed on the island (Underground Utilities Assessment District No. 124 Phase 0).

Crews dug trenches and installed conduits across Marine Avenue and up to the bridge from the North Bayfront alley.

Vote Today! Online Poll for Next Civic Center Sculptures Now Open

The City of Newport Beach Arts Commission invites residents to vote on the final selection of sculptures for Phase IX of the rotating exhibition in Civic Center Park.

A public poll facilitated by Arts Orange County will be available online through Monday, March 11. The top 10 selected sculptures, along with three to five alternates, will be recommended to the Newport Beach City Council for installation. Selected sculptures will be featured for two years.

The online poll can be accessed at

For more information, please call (949) 717-3802 or email

Register Now for the April 19 Youth Track Meet

Registration is now open for the 2024 Youth Track Meet of Champions on Friday, April 19 at Newport Harbor High School, 600 Irvine Ave.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make memories with friends and a chance to compete for gold. Early bird registration ends on March 8.

For more information and to register, please click here:

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the City’s police and fire departments.

This week, the Be Well team:

  • Transported three people to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.
  • Transported a person to a substance use facility for treatment.
  • Transported a person to a mental health facility for treatment.
  • Transported a person to a homeless services provider.

To reach Be Well: The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (949) 644-3717.

Homelessness Update

This week, the City’s homeless outreach and response teams:

  • Enrolled two people into services.
  • Completed an application and referral to a family shelter.
  • Completed a referral to the Yale Navigation Center.
  • Continued to shelter people. Twenty-five people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

The post Newport Beach City Manager Update: Healthy Rainfall, New Data Dashboard appeared first on Newport Beach News.

Source: Newport Beach Independent

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