Author Archives: Alex Breitler

Alex Breitler

A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in Stockton. He has given up on ever finding a giant garter snake, San Joaquin County’s gnarliest-sounding endangered species.

Just another long road trip

Most often, the only Baltimore Orioles you’ll find in Northern California are the 6-foot-tall variety that migrate to the Oakland Coliseum a couple of times each year. Members of Stockton’s Audubon Society, however, are excited about a Baltimore Oriole — the bird, that is — spotted recently at Westgate Landing Regional Park just north of [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Despite drought, new lawn at Delta College

(Photo courtesy Delta College) Unlucky timing? With water use in California coming under more scrutiny each day, San Joaquin Delta College is installing a grass lawn for the new plaza that has long been planned next to the new math and science building on the northeast side of campus. Perhaps sensitive to public impressions of [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good news on groundwater?

Strange to see “good news” and “groundwater” in the same sentence, but San Joaquin County could be close to resolving a reporting problem that right now makes the county ineligible for millions of dollars in water-related grants. Background: Last fall, the state Department of Water Resources determined that not enough information was available about local [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

For Delta smelt, eight is not enough

After locating just one Delta smelt in extensive surveys last month, officials apparently found eight this month, clustered in the area of the Sacramento Deep Water Channel. That’s still a very poor showing. Last year’s May survey turned up 28 fish. The year before that, 19. The year before that, 121. But there was only [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Everyone wants to fix something these days

As if sorting through the different interest groups in California water wasn’t complicated enough, we now have opposing causes that go by virtually the same name. The governor’s twin tunnels plan has been renamed “California WaterFix.” If that sounds vaguely familiar, it might be because independent engineer Bob Pyke already had a website called “Fix CA [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Substantial’ ad buy for twin tunnels supporters

A group supporting the twin tunnels has a new TV spot, airing as of yesterday. Here it is: A spokeswoman for Californians for Water Security said the ad is running in targeted markets statewide, including a “substantial buy” throughout the Bay Area. Asked what “substantial” meant, she said, “well into the six figures.” Californians for [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scary trend at New Melones

Last Thursday, about 9 p.m., New Melones Lake east of Stockton dropped below 500,000 acre-feet for the first time since 1991. What’s the significance of that number? This graph — it kind of reminds me of one of those bumpy slides at the playground — shows storage at New Melones dating back to spring 2011, [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The strangest water story you will ever read

And here it is. Warning: You may get a headache.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The ‘blob’ is back

Federal officials report a 60 percent chance that El Nino conditions will persist in the Pacific Ocean through next fall, which of course is generating the usual speculation about what this means for drought-stricken California. This past winter it meant nothing. After months of toying with us, an El Nino did finally materialize in March, [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A purple lining amid the drought

Calaveras River enthusiast Jim Marsh had an unusually upbeat take on the drought at least week’s State of Our Rivers symposium in downtown Stockton. He pointed out that Stockton is better than 3 inches ahead of last year when it comes to rainfall. And as a result, a 3-acre native grass restoration site along the [...]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
  • Blog Authors

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Latest Tweets