The sinking hub of California’s water system

Posted on | July 19, 2015 | No Comments

Subsidence of the peat soil in the reclaimed farmland of the Delta's farmlandxxx

Click on the image to be taken to a KCET report on how subsidence of the peat soils in the island farms of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta threaten levee failure, which could knock out one third of the water supply to Southern Californians. Illustration: California Department of Water Resources.

After the Lawn

Posted on | July 1, 2015 | No Comments

How many plants can a Southern California garden carry without relying on potable water? The short answer: Less. The KCET series "After the Lawn" goes from full grass lot to a sustainable model. Drawing: Emily GreenThe KCET series “After the Lawn” takes an imaginary lot through different stages of conservation measures including keeping grass but watering it less, to removing lawn in stages, to creating a full-on rain and greywater harvesting landscape. Click here to be taken to Part One, a short introduction to rebate culture and things to avoid in a crisis conversion. Further links: Part Two: How to plan. Part Three: Caring for turf in dry times. Part Four: How to remove lawn. Part Five: Resources and courses. Part Six: Low cost, simple first phase conversion. Part Seven: Parkways. Part Eight: Rain gardens. Part Nine: Greywater. Part Ten: Calculating the landscape’s carrying capacity for plants using only rain and greywater. Part Eleven: The importance of planting at the right time of year. Part Twelve: Cost.

Fixing a broken Delta

Posted on | June 16, 2015 | No Comments

california-water-board-decisions-history

Every governor of California since the Gipper has sworn that he will “fix” the Delta. And every one has failed. Water rights decisions designed to protect the estuary and fill aqueducts have been serially litigated, ignored and suppressed. Until recently. California is still failing to fix the Delta, but it’s failing better. KCET explains how and why failing worse would be catastrophe. Click on the image to be taken to the latest installment of its Bay-Delta series funded by the Rose Foundation.

 

After the Lawn Part 12. Cost and Worth

Posted on | May 14, 2015 | No Comments

afterthelawnfinalslider

How much does a water-wise garden conversion cost? Click on the image to be taken to KCET, where the last installment of the series “After the Lawn” has numbers for the  five-year makeover of its Test Case house.

After the Lawn Part 11: Gardening and Surfing

Posted on | May 8, 2015 | 1 Comment

Root bound nursery plants. Drawing: Emily Green

Gardening is like surfing. With gardening, you hang out with the seals waiting, waiting, waiting for that perfect wave. With surfing, the art is holding on until just before rains to put plants in the ground. For more on the technique and timing involved in planting a resilient native garden, please click on the drawing to go to the penultimate installment of the KCET series “After the Lawn.”

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