The crystalline waters of Fall Creek erupted into luminous whitewater Thursday as it rushed down the steps of the fish ladder. “We’re incredibly fortunate to have such clear and cold water year-round,” said San Lorenzo Valley Water District’s environmental programs manager Jen Michelsen as she watched from above.
Golf course architect Andy Staples is one person working to change the golf industry. He recently completed a redesign of Rockwind Community Links, owned by the city of Hobbs, New Mexico, earning it recognition from Golf Digest as one of the top 10 new courses in North America. The redesign was intended not only to save water, but to welcome women and youth golfers. It also opened the grounds to non-golfers with amenities such as hiking trails, an events hall, picnic areas and public access to a 5-acre lake.
The North Marin Water District has embarked on a pilot program that will feed data to its headquarters in real time, a change that will help the public and utility save water, according to officials. The district — which serves 60,000 people in Novato and parts of West Marin — now relies on a crew of three to read 20,500 meters, logging in water use totals into hand-held computers while making the rounds.
Fathers & Families of San Joaquin and a host of volunteers will be spending the next several weeks turning a vacant lot at the corner of Lafayette and Sutter streets into an urban forest the entire community can enjoy. The nonprofit organization recently was awarded a grant of about $50,000 from CalFire’s Urban and Community Forestry program.
It would add just a trickle of water, for now, but a potentially historic vote by April could change how San Joaquin County addresses droughts and floods for decades to come. County supervisors may agree to conduct an experiment of sorts with a longtime nemesis on water issues, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which exports much of the Mokelumne River to 1.3 million people in the Bay Area.
Farmers and environmentalists have often been at odds. Farmers, for instance, rarely want it known that their land might host an endangered species, for fear regulations could come crashing down. Environmentalists are fond of regulations to protect natural resources, but rarely do much to help farmers comply. These old patterns are beginning to change as the two camps find they have more in common than stereotypes suggest.
When the Forest Service announced its calculation last November that the Sierra Nevada contained 102 million dead trees, it conveyed the immensity of a tragedy that is unprecedented in California’s history. It also challenged planners and innovators to find a beneficial use for at least some of the dead trees. As it turns out, there is one.
From The New York Times, in a commentary by David Bornstein:
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that public water systems lose, on average, one-sixth of their water — mainly from leaks in pipes. The E.P.A. asserts that 75 percent of that water is recoverable.
After three weeks and about 400 miles, I finished my kayaking (and walking) journey down the “most endangered” river in America: California’s San Joaquin. This page collects the tweets from my adventure.
Three weeks and about 400 miles ago, I started a trip down the “most endangered” river in the United States, California’s San Joaquin. The underloved river is born in the Sierra Nevada and snakes across one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, California’s Central Valley.
Environmentalists who want to bolster endangered coho salmon populations are hoping to launch an initiative to purchase homes along San Geronimo Creek, make them fish-friendly, then return them to market at affordable prices.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal, in a commentary by David Festa and John Entsminger:
“Today, there is water flowing in the Colorado River Delta — where water has not flowed regularly for half a century — all because water managers, conservation organizations and policymakers in both the United States and Mexico were able to find common ground. …Someone cue music heralding the ‘new era of Western water management.’”
From the California Department of Water Resources (DWR):
“Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom brought his technology and institutional change message to the Resources Building Auditorium on Monday, May 12, as a guest of the DWR Enterprise Geographic Information Systems Committee.”
From EPA Connect: The Official Blog of EPA’s Leadership, in a post by Bob Perciasepe:
“The EnviroAtlas combines hundreds of separate data layers developed through a collaboration between EPA researchers and their partners from around the country, including the U.S Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service, states, and a number of non-profit organizations and universities.”
“Inventor David Malcolm always believed the low-flow showerhead he created would do well. But even he has been surprised by the boost in business his tiny Coarsegold company — High Sierra Showerheads — has been getting lately.”