Fuzzy lines and phantasmagorias

DOES Matt Damon’s H2O Africa help water management in developing countries? Todd Jarvis, Associate Director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University, has doubts. “I just wonder how many of his movie dollars are going to go to solving water problems, and how much is going to get soaked up by corruption.”

WaterWired has Jarvis’s autumn lecture on water and ethics,”Fuzzy lines and phantasmagorias,” posted. To access it, click here. Jarvis’s message to up and coming hydro-geologists: “I have been unethical. Everyone is unethical sometimes … As a professional, you will be on that line. You will walk that line many times.”

Citing the World Bank, he said that while Scandinavia leads the world in non-corrupt practices, the US is “not too far away from Italy with respect to corruption.” This offered a natural segue to look at the $500 billion expected to

Capturing rain (and run-off) in the Inland Empire

TO LOS ANGELES, rainfall is storm water and is flushed out to sea. For the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, rainwater and stormwater is water, best treated and saved. For a first class report in the Los Angeles Times by Bettina Boxall, click on the desalting plant.

Smell something? It’s Cadiz, Inc

PULITZER PRIZE-winning columnist Michael Hiltzik is one of a formidable team of Los Angeles Times reporters, including Frank Clifford, Tony Perry, Bettina Boxall and Duke Helfand, who have been all over the Cadiz, Inc ground water mining wheeze for the last ten years. Today, Hiltzik is back in the Times doing what he does best: Calling a stinker a stinker.

From his report:

People who say that nothing’s harder to get rid of than a bad penny must never have met Keith Brackpool.

 The British-born promoter, who has spent the last dozen years pushing a scheme to pump water to Southern California from beneath 35,000 acres his Cadiz Inc. owns in the Mojave Desert, just won’t go away.

 On the contrary, he continues to attract political sycophants happy to attest to his wisdom in the ways of water policy — while they accept campaign contributions and consulting fees from

Nevada Supreme Court to Judge State Engineer

ASK any of the rural Nevadans who stand to lose their water to Las Vegas and its proposed 300-mile pipeline into central Nevada if the proceedings were fair, and they will laugh at your naivete. For them, Las Vegas gamed the table before the rural communities even knew that a game was on. One of their last recourses to stop the pipeline is a suit coming before the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday at 10.30am.

The court’s summary of Great Basin Water Network versus the State Engineer of Nevada reads: “In 1989, the predecessor to the Southern Nevada Water Authority filed applications for unappropriated water rights from rural Nevada for use in Las Vegas. More than 800 interested persons filed protests. In 2005, the State Engineer notified roughly 300 of the interested persons that a prehearing conference would be held to discuss the water rights applications. Some organizations and individuals