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.

Engineer: Backup water supply for Mountain House was ‘not considered necessary’

Lynn Sutton, a civil engineer who worked for Mountain House developer Trimark and for the Mountain House Community Services District from 1988 to 2003, comments on Sunday’s story about the master-planned community’s water problems: “When the community of Mountain House was first contemplated in 1988, I advised the then project manager for Trimark that, among [...]

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Confused about curtailments? Read the docs

Updated July 4 with Westside Irrigation District, Woods Irrigation Co. and Central Delta/South Delta water agency lawsuit documents I’m no lawyer. So I’m sure not going to offer an opinion on the new debate over exactly what it means to receive a “curtailment notice.” But I can post the documents, and leave the opining to [...]

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What’s on tap — summer 2015 edition

Ah, summer. Your kids have been out of school for a week or two, they’ve beaten every video game in the house and they’re driving you absolutely nuts. No fear. The outdoors beckon, with plenty of organized activities in the greater Stockton area to keep you busy in the weeks and months to come. A [...]

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State relaxes some conservation standards

Some cities won’t have to save as much water as they originally thought this summer, after the state revised its standards based on new and better data. Fifty-nine water suppliers were changed to a new conservation tier based on that new information. All but three of those water suppliers moved to a lower tier, meaning [...]

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Delta farmers ‘eager’ for inspections

State officials on Thursday will begin inspections of those Delta farms that voluntarily agreed to cut back 25 percent on water diversions or crop plantings this year. The farmers who signed up are protected from deeper cuts that could happen later this summer. Not only was there a high response rate — a “very substantial [...]

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Am I a ‘drought shamer?’

There’s an interesting piece today on “drought shaming” — the practice of self-deputized water cops who take video of every little dribble from some schmuck’s front yard and gleefully post it to YouTube. There’s even an app. Gotcha! I read the story with some disdain, only to recall that last night I took a photo [...]

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Asphalt plant proposal surprises Stockton East

The district that provides Stockton with much of its drinking water from the Calaveras River was evidently not told that an asphalt plant had been approved below New Hogan Dam, 30 miles east of the city. The plant was approved by Calaveras County on April 30. The proposal didn’t get widespread media attention until a [...]

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‘Very close’ on Calaveras habitat plan

A long-delayed plan to enhance fish habitat on the Calaveras River may be nearing completion, a federal official told me last week. We’ve heard similar statements before. This “habitat conservation plan” has been on the verge of being released, it seems, for the better part of a decade. The first story I ever wrote about [...]

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Spreading the word

Ripon is San Joaquin County’s thirstiest city, at 162 gallons per person per day in April. And it’s not even close. But give the south county community some credit on the public relations front. I haven’t seen anyone else putting up signs like these. Good timing, since last week marked the start of the state’s [...]

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S.J. County’s great enforcer

Just about choked on my PB&J the other day while scanning drought enforcement statistics for California during the month of April. City of Stockton: 111 water-waste warnings issued. City of Lodi: 213 warnings issued. City of Manteca: 2,006 warnings issued. Whaaa? Out of hundreds of water suppliers in California, that would rank Manteca as No. [...]

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    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
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