A old-style blog commentary post

Maven’s Notebook recently pointed me to Don Wright’s water blog, and I could not love it more. He travels to water meetings in the San Joaquin Valley, writing each up. This is the window I’ve always needed. I regret that I have not been reading every post from the very beginning. Mr. Wright, I love your work and hope that it goes smoothly for you always.

I don’t know whether it needs to be said that Mr. Wright and I substantially disagree, from our base assumptions through to our conclusions. I see myself in his every characterization of an ignorant environmentalist and supporter of a strong role for CA government. That is OK. We don’t have to agree. I can nevertheless look for insight in his reports on San Joaquin Valley water meetings.

But before I try for insight, I will warm up with some simple schadenfreude. From Westland Water District’s May 21st meeting:

Birmingham said the Twin Tunnel plan was withdrawn from the State Board and a one tunnel plan is being looked at. He said Westlands is looking into whether or not it will be able to recover some of the money it put into the twin tunnel program. Shelly Ostrowski reported from Sacramento DWR is looking into this.

A HAH HAH HAH HAHAHAHA HA HaHaHA HA HAHAHHA hah hah aha ha ha ha!  HAH HAH HAH HA Ha hahahahaha hah hah ha hah ha ha.  Oh man. HAH HAH HAH HA Hhahahahaha.  I bet they want some money back. They poured money into that black hole, and got some big ass reports to show for it. Supported some city enviro consultants for years. Unlike the money they pour into buying elected officers and astroturf bullshit, they may get nothing for those millions. Poof! Gone in one announcement.


From Fresno ID’s July 16th meeting:

On a side note local television news recently aired a story about the homeless on FID canals and the danger they pose. Claes said the Fresno City Council members offices often call the district to report encampments. I read in Brown & Caldwell a bill was passed to make it a crime to camp out on a levee and a raised canal bank is a levee.

My guess is that bill was passed on the heels of this footage, which made every engineer who saw it gasp in horror. At a public meeting a couple years back, a county supervisor said that they are finding that their rivers can only be as whole as their community, and as our society lets people fall out, the rivers are reflecting it too.  That was when I realized homelessness is a water issue.


I was intrigued by the mention in a couple different meetings in the southern Valley that their GSP’s are coming up with sustainable yields of 0.1-0.2. Of course they are. That was desert scrub before it was converted to orchards. Planting a permanent crop there was always self-evident folly.


I am real interested in the discussions of SB1 and the voluntary settlement agreements, but those will have to wait until next time. Remind me, if I don’t get back to it.


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7 responses to “A old-style blog commentary post

  1. richard Kelty

    I love the sound of your laugh.

  2. Thanks for reading and the link. I have a rather long disclaimer written by a real lawyer because I’m typing a paragraph behind what’s being said and sometimes things get muddled or lost or out or context. Don’t be too harsh on one of the last bastions of functional government in California – the special district – based on my writing. God bless. Don Wright WaterWrights.net

    • onthepublicrecord

      Hi Don. Thanks for commenting. I love your work!

      I will definitely not be harsh on special districts because of your writing. I have long thought that local government is too close to its constituents to make difficult decisions, and what I read in your blog won’t be the reason I criticize special districts.

  3. Tom Stokely

    Don’t forget that $50 million of Westlands’ BDCP participation was illegally paid by BOR.  See attached. Tom Stokely Salmon and Water Policy Consultant530-524-0315 tstokely@att.net 

  4. eliz273

    Especially enjoyable post. Thanks!

    A Moving Body of Water, Elizabeth

    “We’re probably known around the universe as that really noisy blue planet where everyone pees in their water.” Will Durst ___________________________ Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D. Executive Director, Wholly H2O 510-776-1780 (cell) (I don’t do email on my phone.) whollyh2o.org facebook.com/whollyh2o twitter.com/WhollyH2o

    Wholly H2O 339 15th Street, Suite 208 Oakland, CA 94612 415-323-5966


  5. Noel Park

    Love that schadenfreude.

  6. “I was intrigued by the mention in a couple different meetings in the southern Valley that their GSP’s are coming up with sustainable yields of 0.1-0.2. Of course they are.”

    I take this to mean that sustainable groundwater yields may only be 10 to 20 percent of current withdrawals in some basins. Is that correct?