Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thirsty son of a…

An anonymous caller the other day claimed that star thistle — scourge of scourges, among the worst of weeds — sucks up 1 million acre-feet of water a year statewide, an amount nearly one-quarter the capacity of Lake Shasta. That couldn’t be right. Could it? I asked Joseph DiTomaso, a U.C. Davis weed scientist. He [...]

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Questions over acquiring land for twin tunnels

Delta advocates want more details about the mysterious “property acquisition plan” (part 1, part 2) that received quite a bit of attention last week. In a letter to state and federal officials on Thursday, the Local Agencies of the North Delta asked loads of questions about the origin of the document and what it might [...]

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S.J. County still in hot groundwater, state says

Groundwater in east San Joaquin County remains “critically overdrafted,” state officials announced this week. That means, according to a report presented to the California Water Commission, that the area shows “obvious and significant negative impacts from chronic groundwater pumping.” The label is nothing new. San Joaquin County was first declared to be “critically overdrafted” in [...]

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El Niño. What’s it mean for Stockton?

So, yeah, you’ve heard. There’s a big El Niño brewing out in the Pacific Ocean. I tried the other day to explain what this might mean for Stockton. “Speculate” might be a better word. Because in the end, all we can do is look back in time and guess. Here, then, is how Stockton fared [...]

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Calaveras County, conservation kings

While Stockton snagged local headlines for its 41 percent reduction in water use in June, it was the Calaveras County Water District that achieved the lowest per-capita water use — a thrifty 57 gallons per person per day, lower than any other major water supplier in the San Joaquin River watershed. Fifty-five gallons per day [...]

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Less conflict, more cooperation

At the close of a groundwater meeting on Wednesday, San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn offered some thoughts about working with, and not against, the south San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. He didn’t give much in the way of specifics, but here’s some of what he said: “I continue to think this (water) problem [...]

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Forward progress on Bellota Weir?

It looks like the Stockton East Water District is preparing to apply for grant funding to improve fish passage at the Bellota Weir, on the Calaveras River east of Stockton. The Calaveras has the potential to provide quality habitat for threatened steelhead. But the best habitat is upstream of Bellota Weir, the largest in a series [...]

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Stan River standard to be relaxed; could be ‘catastrophic,’ enviros warned

State officials will allow water quality in the Stanislaus River to deteriorate in order to hold back more water for later in upstream New Melones Reservoir. The decision this week by the executive officer of the State Water Resources Control Board comes despite an earlier warning from environmentalists that lower levels of dissolved oxygen “will [...]

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Tunnels tune

Listen to the full audio of Stockton music teacher Jon Michelsen’s “public comment” from last week’s twin tunnels hearing in Sacramento:

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Word’s out on the Delta

Hat tip to Bill Wells for pointing out that the Delta is listed on TripAdvisor. And, the reviews are favorable. Fifty of 53 commentators have rated the estuary as a “very good” or “excellent” destination. The one “terrible” review appears to be based on — you guessed it — water quality. Maybe recent efforts to [...]

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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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