In praise of ‘Aqua Blog Maven’

Founding editor Chris Austin has stepped aside as compiler of the California water news feed "Aquafornia."

Opposing faces of optimism

Two new books reviewed in High Country News present sharply opposing faces of optimism about the future of Western fresh water management.

On the public record

Myself I planted native plants because I couldn't afford a sprinkler system when I first moved to Southern California. Then of course I became sanctimonious about it. The bees were pure gravy.

On the public record, the most smartly written blog on California water, responded yesterday to the publication earlier this week of the Public Policy Institute report Managing California Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation,  “Reconciliation?  Reconciliation of what? Northern and southern Californians? People living in regions that are about to get screwed with their fates? People and the new Californian dream?

Oh. Environmental and Human Water Uses, apparently. That’s a pretty boring thing to reconcile, because what matters in a political system is people’s expectations and their subjective experiences. Do they feel like they’re having their god-given American right to red meat at every meal yanked away from them, or do they feel like they’re planting

Arroyo Seco water budget

After reading the newly published "A Water Budget for the Arroyo Seco Watershed," those who doubt the conservation cred of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California may still wish that its board would wake up in the 21st century, but they will probably not question the dedication to conserve and educate of Met chairman Tim Brick. Through the Arroyo Seco Foundation, Brick has just published a report that takes residents of the Los Angeles County communities of La Cañada Flintridge, Pasadena, Highland Park, Montecito Heights and Elysian Park through the natural and unnatural water cycles that drive Southern California. The report could not be more layman-friendly, however anyone interested in urban water management should click on the graphic to be taken to the foundation, where the document can be downloaded for free.

The water issue

Print editions of National Geographic’s special issue “Water: Our Thirsty World” (now online) will be on newsstands on March 30th. An accompanying exhibit opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles on March 27th. Among the features is “California’s Pipe Dream,” written by Joel K. Bourne, Jr with photographs by Edward Burtynsky.

Bourne opens, “On a blistering day in the megalopolis that is southern California, Shivaji Deshmukh of the Orange County Water District offers me a cup of cool, clear water that just yesterday was swirling around in an Anaheim toilet bowl … After spending the past century building one of the most elaborate water-delivery systems on the planet replete with giant pumps and thousands of miles of pipes and canals, California has come to this — akin to the last desperate act of lifeboat-bound sailors drinking their own bodily fluids.”

Once a body of water

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