Public Works

Raising water rates v. Prop. 218

Submitted: Jul 13, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 All one has to do is take a drive out of any town in the Central Valley, pass brown lawns in town verging into parched horse lots next to ranchettes on the periphery to the green green orchards and vineyards and flowing canals of the agribusiness zone, to realize just how rotten this state government and congressional delegation really is.

The water board wrings its hands and retired top water bureaucrat, Less Snow, who headed every agency in the last 25 years that helped destroy the Delta, mildly mouths a plea to "reform" Prop. 218, an unlikely course of state-government action. But the water board hides behind Prop. 218, and has the vapors rather than risking a challenge from the redoubtable -- but not always right -- Jonathan Coupal and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association's legal raiders, a very, very Eighties coterie  of  private property selfies that needs to be extirpated along with the endangered species its obstructions would help crash this summer.

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De fimo diabolico

Submitted: Jul 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 In a speech that also touched on the need to rapidly move away from the destructive model of unbridled capitalism—which he described as the "dung of the devil"—Francis went much further than any of his predecessors in accounting for the crimes of the Church while it pursued and perpetuated colonialism and oppression across Latin America and beyond over the last five centuries. -- Jon Queally, CommonDreams, July 10, 2015

 

7-10-15

CommonDreams.com

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The whole enchilada on our front porch

Submitted: Jul 02, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 An editor of Badlands Journal was once studying agricultural economics at a great UC campus established firmly on the back of California agriculture. One night, shortly before leaving these studies, the future Badlands editor looked up from his equations, gazed out into a hot summer night, and formulated the one scientific thought he had ever had: The San Joaquin Valley of California is the greatest laboratory in the world to demonstrate all that is wrong with agribusiness.

As usual, his thought was puny compared to the onrushing reality. -- blj

 

 

 

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Water lawsuits scream overhead

Submitted: Jun 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 There have been a slew of articles this past 10 days about California water-rights lawsuits following the state's announcement of its intention to "curtail" the rights of senior water-rights holders. There have also been articles that try to explain California water rights. And there have been articles about cities and towns under mounting water-supply stress and about farmers ignoring various orders to stop using various sources of water to which they believe they are entitled. Throughout is stated the generally agreed upon ratio that agriculture uses 80 percent and municipalities 20 percent of California water resources.

 

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Finest young minds confront California drought

Submitted: Jun 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences recently developed a tool to quantitatively evaluate these water management options. Working with the Nature Conservancy, we designed the model to assess strategies for restoring populations of native fish on Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento River. -- Jenny Ta, Joshua Viers, California Water Blog, June 14, 2015

 

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The new face of agro-plutocracy

Submitted: Jun 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

"Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent of their gross revenues directly from the government," Phillip Bowles told KGO. "I don't have a good explanation for that. Somebody else might, but it beats me."

Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do -- so few that the Census Bureau quit counting.

-- Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2007.

 

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A good year for fixing dams

Submitted: Jun 03, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 While dams provide many benefits, they also pose a significant hazard.  Dam owners, individuals living and working downstream, first responders, local and state officials all are encouraged to know the risks and benefits of dams located in their respective communities. -- California Department of Water Resources, May 28,2015

 

Last week, we received  a press release from the state Department of Water Resources announcing National Dam Safety Awareness Day.

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New outlooks on Memorial Day

Submitted: May 28, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 The end of school! Summer job outside and maybe in the mountains. The fruits and nuts and grapes have set. Rivers high and canals still chilled by snow water. Maybe up the Clarks Fork before work starts if its not to high to fish it and too cold and wet to camp.

It's was weekend all the mountain resorts and campgrounds and snowed in stores and taverns open for the Season, when the roads were all two-lane and not all were plowed.  Not many lived year round in the mountains the way they do now, except a few light-eating, heavy drinking caretakers who stayed by the fire except to fetch wood and toss out empty bottles and relieve themselves. A couple of those boys caretaking Vikingsholm on Emerald Bay observed the great slide that took out the highway and much more but reported the following summer that they weren't quite sure what they'd seen at the time but they quit drinking for three days.

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DWR Better Weather Reports Preport

Submitted: May 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 As we were looking at the state Department of Water Resources "Reer"leases this morning we had to think about Mark Twain and the weather. No one, however public spirited and desirous of remaining up-to-date on the World Famous California Drought -- dubious a desire as that is -- should have to start their week with a DWR Press Rerlease without at least a short antidotal quote from Twain on one of his favorite topics and the cause for a number of his greatest works long and short, including the blizzard-induced "Cannibalism in the Cars."

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Examples of water-resources colonization

Submitted: May 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

5-16-15

Stockton Record

Uncharted territory: Delta farmers fear losing water supply

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