The week that was, 7/13-19/2009

Posted on | July 20, 2009 | No Comments

El Nino map

Click on the Pacific for link to the Sacramento Bee

“We have been too concerned in this country I think with dying of a lot of other things. I don’t think anyone realized that we were also running out of water.” Jon Stewart interviewing Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

“… despite the surge of interest in this region, the crisis did not materialize suddenly. Rather, the people of Mendota and their neighbors — in Kerman, Firebaugh, San Joaquin and a handful of smaller burgs — are the victims of a long and painful slide. This is California’s Detroit.” Los Angeles Times op-ed by Rick Wartzman, co-author of the book on JG Boswell, “The King of California”

“Not all El Ninos are created equal.” Steve Goldstein, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, Sacramento Bee

There’s little doubt that the No. 1 issue in the 2010 gubernatorial campaign will be the state’s fiscal mess. But No. 2 just might be water.” From “Fawning over farmers, fighting against fish,” Silicon Valley Mercury News via Aquafornia

“You guys rent the movie ‘Chinatown’ out in rural Nevada a lot?” Las Vegas TV host Jon Ralston to Great Basin farmers whose valleys have been targeted by a Las Vegas pipeline, Las Vegas Sun

“When we hit elevation 1075, the risk to this community of the levels going down further is so great that we will begin construction…” Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager Patricia Mulroy on why she has linked the elevation of Lake Mead to a construction of a pipeline to bring rural groundwater to Las Vegas, Las Vegas Sun

Click on map for link to the National Drought Mitigation Center

“The threat of fire is blamed on the lack of rain…” Dallas Morning News on Texas Gov. Rick Perry issuing a disaster proclamation Thursday for 167 counties, including Dallas County, due to an extreme fire hazard created by wildfires

“Metro Atlanta and its 4 million residents have almost no rights to a massive federal reservoir and must stop taking water from it within three years unless Congress authorizes continued withdrawals, a federal judge ruled Friday. The devastating ruling against Georgia says nearly all the state’s withdrawals are illegal because the reservoir, Lake Lanier, wasn’t built for water supply.” Associated Press

“The energy policy in the United States  pays no attention whatsoever to the water use.” Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

“If the consensus of the economic experts is grim, the consensus of the climate experts is utterly terrifying. At this point, the central forecast of leading climate models — not the worst-case scenario but the most likely outcome — is utter catastrophe …  How to head off that catastrophe should be the dominant policy issue of our time.” Paul Krugman, New York Times

“We need the moral compass and political will to act to keep the crisis from really becoming a catastrophe.” Robert Glennon

“It kind of has an odor; I can’t describe it.” Gordon Brower of the North Slope Borough’s Planning and Community Services Department in a McClatchy report on a giant blob floating off the coast of Alaska

“…there is virtually no regulation of groundwater pumping in California…” Eureka Times-Standard via Aquafornia

“It is unfair and inequitable to single out water-based beverages, including bottled water, from a myriad of other food and non-food industries and manufacturers in the U.S. that use municipal water.” International Bottled Water Assn on legislation introduced last week in the US House of Representatives by Rep Earl Blumenauer, (D-ORE) via the New York Times

“The companies get [the water] practically free out of a tap and charge you a dollar or more – sometimes a lot more – for a quart or less. The plastic bottles pollute the environment. Worst of all, drinking bottled water makes people less apt to be vigilant about protecting public water supplies.” Marion Nestle in the Atlantic

“People value the convenience of bottled water, so they pay more for it.” New Atlantis review of the documentaries Thirst and Flow

“You live in Arizona. That is a desert. Should we be mad at you for living in Arizona? Should we be mad at people for living in California?” Jon Stewart interviewing Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

“On vacation in Utah, I was dismayed to drive by the University of Utah science buildings and see so much water-consuming grass. Couldn’t they use more natural plantings, especially in this desert area? After all, these were the science buildings!” A letter from  Margaret Atkinson of Patchogue, New York in the Salt Lake Tribune

“The whole individualist what-you-can-do-to-save-the-earth guilt trip is a myth. We, as individuals, are not creating the crises, and we can’t solve them.” AlterNet via Aquafornia

“Use less water on our lawns and driveways. Plant more native, pest-resistant plants in yards. Spray smaller quantities of these insecticides around homes. Dispose of them at household hazardous waste sites rather than pouring them down the drain.” Sacramento Bee editorial after reports that garden chemical run-off from Sacramento is a basic contributor to ecological collapse in the Bay-Delta, via Aquafornia

“If you look at our business model, it pays for people in Southern California to waste water. But we don’t live in that world anymore. The figures look grim. When times are grim, you prioritize. I see this as a top priority. This is right up here at the top.” Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board Director R. William Robinson addressing other directors on the need to resume rebates

“When we set up a [conservation] program this way, we’re setting up an industry, a conservation industry and when we screw people out, it’s very difficult for these people to continue in business,” Chairman Timothy Brick of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California addressing board directors on the need to pay off a backlog of rebates

“Marie Ager, director of California Toilet Replacements, said her family’s business is owed $282,165 for installing high-efficiency toilets in multifamily apartments in Los Angeles, San Diego and Burbank.” Los Angeles Times on victims of the rebate overspend then suspension by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

“This would be equivalent to the water demands of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.”  Debra Man*, Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Water District on the projected conservation from the rebate program decision

“The Central Valley has lost 60 million acre-feet of groundwater since 1961 — enough for every California household for 10 years.” US Geological Survey study reported in the San Francisco Chronicle

“Global warming will mean the seas will rise by a foot. Can’t we use that foot to solve this thing?” Jon Stewart interviewing Robert Glennon on The Daily Show

“Cloud seeding? … that’s a no?” Jon Stewart

This post has been updated. A blog item datelined July 17 about suppliers to the temporarily suspended MWD rebate program has been added. It appeared in the print edition of the Los Angeles Times on July 21st.

*An earlier version of this posting misspelled Debra Man’s surname as Mann. The correct spelling is Man.

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