Fear of (wild) water: is it necessary to filter?

In February a brave writer in Slate published a column arguing that wild water is much over-feared, and that (with reasonable care) hikers in the mountains in places such as the Pacific Northwest need not reflexively filter or treat wild water taken from streams and lakes. To wit: To be clear, there’s no question that Giardia lamblia, CryptosporidiumContinue reading “Fear of (wild) water: is it necessary to filter?”

Ojai water district “excited” by report of water in mountains

Yesterday the Casitas Municipal Water District‘s management staff and Board of Directors held a meeting and heard a “Preliminary Water Security Project Analysis” report from two consultants, including hydrogeologist Jordan Kear, who has been surveying the Ojai Valley for years for a groundwater agency, and knows its geology well. (Note: the project analysis is attachedContinue reading “Ojai water district “excited” by report of water in mountains”

Can Las Vegas grow without limits in a drought?

Abraham Lustgarten, a top-notch reporter for the public interest site Pro Publica, a couple of years ago wrote the toughest story on fracking ever, in my limited experience. Here's the money quote from that piece from 2012: …in interviews, several key experts acknowledged that the idea that injection [of oilfield wastes in underground wells] isContinue reading “Can Las Vegas grow without limits in a drought?”

California’s water demand: a look at the numbers

Nate Silver's datalab, aka 538, takes a fresh look at the numbers that show California's water demand. Leah Libresco digs up some real gems: California’s water problem won’t be solved by shorter showers or browner lawns. In Gov. Jerry Brown’s executive order setting California’s mandatory water reductions in cities and towns, he called for 25Continue reading “California’s water demand: a look at the numbers”

Ojai “too conservative” w/water: California DWR

From a panel discussion I covered, here's a fascinating anecdote from Steve Wickstrum, who has managed Ojai's Casitas Municipal Water District for many years. Ojai actually is doing okay with water through the drought right now — unlike many communities in the state. According to Wickstrum, Casitas water costs about $400 an acre-foot, which isContinue reading “Ojai “too conservative” w/water: California DWR”

Little known fracking fact: it’s costing us in ice cream

Here's a story from an interesting blog on the Utica Shale, a story on five facts about fracking that you may not know — and a chart. Veteran environmental reporter Bob Downing of the Akron Journal maintains this blog,and said that it gives 10-15k hits a week — impressive.  For those of us on theContinue reading “Little known fracking fact: it’s costing us in ice cream”

Ojai Farmer to Ojaians: We fixed our leaks — your turn

From Kimberly Rivers' thoughtful story in the Ojai Valley News on the panel discussion this past weekend in Ojai on drought/water issues: At the Ojai Valley Inn last weekend, agriculture was a central topic. “It’s impossible to talk about water in California without turning a whole lot of attention to agriculture,” said Timm Herdt, moderatorContinue reading “Ojai Farmer to Ojaians: We fixed our leaks — your turn”

The “monstering” of tamarisk: How the government “found” water for a big copper producer in wartime by vilifying a plant

In her recently published book, The Rambunctious Garden, Emma Marris blithely whirled readers through a whole new world of ideas about conservation.  She wants us to give up on the notion of a pristine world untouched by man, and accept nature's half-wild state today — as long as we are half-wild ourselves.  Along the way, she introducesContinue reading “The “monstering” of tamarisk: How the government “found” water for a big copper producer in wartime by vilifying a plant”

Drought-Proofing Ventura County

How a water district is trying to shelter 600,000 people in Ventura county from the potential for drought or disaster; how the first attempt went awry, and how the second one will work — we hope. (Climate change is in the background of this story, but I didn't get into the projections — no time.) Continue reading “Drought-Proofing Ventura County”