The week that was, Jan 31-Feb 6, 2016

Posted on | February 7, 2016 | No Comments

Charles Hatfield, rainmaker and sham.

Charles Hatfield, drought doctor. Photo: Wikipedia.

“I do not make it rain,” Hatfield would demur. “That would be an absurd claim. I simply attract clouds, and they do the rest.” — The Magic of Squeezing Water Out of the SkyA Hundred Years Ago, Charles Hatfield Cashed in on America’s Weakness for Quick Fixes—Even if They Seem Too Good to Be True by Cynthia Barnett, author of “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History,” Zocalo Public Square, 2/2/16

Cloudspotters across the UK and Ireland have witnessed fantastic displays of rare ‘nacreous’ clouds over the first few days of February. The formations are also known as ‘mother of pearl clouds’ due to their beautiful bands of colour, which appear as the cloud’s ice crystals diffract the sunlight, separating it into its different wavelengths. — Nacreous clouds over Britain, The Cloud Appreciation Society, 2/2/15 

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The week that was, 1/24-30/2016

Posted on | January 31, 2016 | 10 Comments

World Surf League Tweet

“It looked like a sea monster rising out of the ocean when it came my way. But I was going. No matter what. So I flipped around and started paddling to get into it.” — Tom Dosland, after falling 40 feet off a wave in Maui, Legend of the Fall, Surfer Magazine, 1/29/16

For the most part, support for the [twin water tunnels] project is geographical, with proponents in the Central Valley and Southern California, and opponents in the Bay Area, Delta and other parts of Northern California. Silicon Valley, though, is a key swing vote. Three of Gov. Brown’s key staff visited Santa Clara on Tuesday in an effort to gain support. It seems to have backfired. — Water Deeply Executive Summary, 1/29/16  Read more

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


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.


Whose water is it, anyway? Water rights 101

Posted on | April 7, 2015 | No Comments

South Delta farmer Rudy Mussi stands in front of his alfalfa field to demonstrate why California's oldest water rights holders should not have to meter long-traditional flood irrigation.

Who has the rights to the state’s water, in what order, for what, in what quantity, and under what terms, is an evolving construct. The above photo captures South Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta farmer Rudy Mussi in front of his Roberts Island alfalfa field, where he posed to demonstrate why California’s oldest water rights holders should not have to meter traditional flood irrigation. He and fellow Delta farmers with long-held claims on the state’s water say their rights preempt those of 19 million Southern Californians also dependent on the Delta. To learn more about the California’s rapidly changing water law system, click on the image to be taken to KCET’s Bay Delta Project. Photo: Emily Green/KCET


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