Blackstone Executive Vice Chairman Tony James says he's less optimistic now than before that the U.S.-China trade war could be resolved, but even a smaller deal could help...World Economyread more
The massive market transformation this month that some on Wall Street called a "once in a decade opportunity" might have just been a one-off technical move because of taxes.Marketsread more
The Pentagon will deploy U.S. forces to the Middle East on the heels of the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced...Defenseread more
CNBC did a deep dive through the most recent Wall Street research to find stocks that analysts say are underappreciated.Marketsread more
Shares of MasterCard are up 46% this year, and 1120% since 2011, getting a boost from the strong U.S. consumer.Investingread more
CNBC sat in on an "empathy training" at Amazon PillPack's Somerville offices, which is part of new hire orientation.Technologyread more
Trade with China is the 'big unknown' for the Federal Reserve as it decides how best to support the U.S. economy, says Council on Foreign Relations Director of International...Futures Nowread more
Lobbying experts said the visit is likely an attempt to be in lawmakers' ears as they consider legislation that would impact Facebook.Technologyread more
Yardeni Research's Edward Yardeni believes the U.S. economy is picking up steam.Trading Nationread more
Iran's audacious drone and cruise missile attack on Saudi Arabia's oil producing facilities has provided a critical test yet for the Trump administration's foreign policy. A...Politicsread more
The drought in California is so severe, no solution is considered too far-fetched. Not even using recycled toilet water to irrigate the nation's most prestigious wine grapes in Napa Valley.
Call it effluent for the affluent.
"California has a lot of growing up to do on how to use water well," said Will Nord, a long time Napa wine grape grower who has been using recycled wastewater for years to irrigate his vines. As for concerns that the water might affect the flavor of the grape's juice? "No impact at all," he said.
Nord owns about 450 acres of vineyards, selling grapes to Mumm Napa Valley, Beringer, Markham and others. He grows several acres of pinot noir at his Green Island Vineyards in American Canyon, at the southern tip of Napa County. All of the irrigation water for this vineyard comes from the nearby American Canyon Water Reclamation facility.
Last year, the water reclamation plant recycled about 10 percent of its wastewater, or 180 acre feet, with the rest going out to sea. The city is spending $3 million to upgrade and expand so that 1,000 acre feet can be recycled.
"We have customers that make concrete products, we have landscaped areas, we have garbage facilities that use potable water for dust control. All of these uses could be recycled water," said Jason Holley, public works director for the city of American Canyon.
Here's how the recycling system works. Wastewater is powerfully vacuumed through a filtering system from General Electric to remove bacteria and particles. The water is then treated with UV light and chlorine to make it clean enough to irrigate. More technology would be needed (and is being considered) in order to make the water potable for humans.
"The Department of Public Health allows us to use it for irrigation, it allows us to flush toilets, it allows us do a lot of things. It's not, at the moment, allowed for potable consumption," said Holley. When asked if he's ever tasted the treated irrigation water, he replied with a laugh, "No."
American Canyon is investing in recycling water because it has no reservoir. Its state water comes from the snowpack miles away in the Sierra, which is at historic lows. "When the state says you're going to cut, we've got to cut," said City Council Member Belia Ramos.
Holley said it costs 10 to 20 percent more to process the water to make it good enough for irrigation. Currently, revenues for water agencies are dropping as Californians use less water, a situation which may, ironically, lead to rates' going up. "All utilities are going to have to look at rates," said Holley. "You're going to have to account for the fact that your revenue has gone down."
Other regions of Napa Valley are either using recycled water or considering it.
"I think the industry, vineyard managers and vineyard owners, recognize that it's perfectly acceptable and a great alternative," said Holley.
Nord said the technology to clean water is so good and the need for more water so great, "We're going to come back to a point in the next five to 10 years where I'm sure all the recycled water will be efficiently used instead of just dumped into the river and into the bay."