Welcome.

Hello, new readers.  Thank you for your attention and visits.  I am always grateful to have readers; I hope you also comment.  (Hello, readers who’ve been with me all along.  Dude, we got blog-famous.)

This is not an easy blog to read.  Over time, I have found that I have only one writing voice.  My attempts at anything more basic or gentler just languish in the Drafts section.  For the same reason, I don’t explain background.  If this is not your field, you can find background at Maven’s Notebook, the California Water Blog, or the Water Education Foundation.   Also, I trust you to get jokes without highlighting or explaining them. You can always write me to ask about anything that sounds off or that I left unclear.  One of my primary goals for my writing is to be clear enough that the reader knows precisely why and where she disagrees (if she does).  If I’ve missed that goal, I want to know.

There are a whole lot of archives in the archives. This piece captures a lot of my philosophy.  Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about drought, about paying for damages caused by subsidence, about the new groundwater agencies and griping about water markets.  OK, I’ve been griping about water markets for years.  Every now and then someone will write something very rich, and I’ll be able to do a whole series.

Of all of my posts, I probably like this one best.  I was so angry.  It was near the end of the last drought and the commander at Lemoore Naval Air Station got on the news in uniform, talking about how the ESA protections for smelt needed to be voided immediately, so his base could get water for homeland security reasons.  It is an obscure post that digs into online resources and calls out a weak argument; it lays on the righteousness real thick.  That sums up the blog well, I’d say.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Welcome.

  1. Anonymous

    i’m a newcomer to your blog and saw mark arax as one of the writers you read. i don’t know of any other writer who describes his childhood, community and life as arax does. thank you.

  2. Blog-famous, yes you are! And I can say, I knew you when … from the archives … ;)

  3. Uti

    I’m so grateful to Mavensnotebook, which is where I saw the LA Times piece on OtPR. I hope it brings you many more readers.

    Thanks for today’s post with the links to pieces from your archive. I’m neither a newcomer nor an old timer to your blog, but I’m fresh enough to remember the joy of reading the first post Friends of the Eel River’s Scott Greacen linked in a Facebook Post years ago.

    Thanks to OtPR my California water education has come a long way from the ancient past of Save Mono Lake in the 70’s, or 1986 when I first read Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert.

  4. jrfleck

    “This is not an easy blog to read.” Yes!

    In this regard I have learned a lot from your work about this particular new chaotic, disjointed, bloggy style of longform whatever-it-is that you practice, and to which I aspire.

    Also water. I’ve learned stuff from you about water.

  5. ScottM

    Congratulations on your 15 minutes of blog-fame! It’s well deserved. I hope many people add you to their bookmarks and swing by every once in a while to catch up on your briefing, plan, or expose.

  6. Bill Wilson

    I just got turned onto your blog by James Johnson at Sonoma PRMD, who heads up our list serve from which we rewrote the State graywater code and work on updating the other regulatory frameworks that limit the availability of so-called “alternative” water supplies like decentralized recycled water and rainwater.

    I really like it, and really appreciate it. You really bit off a big chunk on this one. I have been reading through your very educational discussions of markets, and of course for the last 4 decades we have been blitzed with propaganda about “market solutions.” I am an entrepreneur myself, and have a great appreciation of competition, better mousetraps, cooperation in business partnerships, and networking leading to better collaborations, but the religion of “market solutions” as the end-all misses an essential point:
    Markets don’t anticipate problems. They don’t even anticipate catastrophic screw-ups–pretty regularly! Witness the lead poisoning of thousands of children via the rerouting of the Flint, Michigan water supply by ham-handed “free market” political appointees.

    To prevent problems takes regulatory agencies, open discussion, democracy, balance, and planning ahead, followed by monitoring, rules, and enforcement. With lots of daylight that the private sector is very adverse to in a number of sectors when covering up some practices that can’t stand the light… Markets respond AFTER the catastrophe. Like all extremes, they need some mitigation.