October 2010

An overview of the first four years of the San Joaquin Valley Blueprint (2005-2009), including the key players and participants, and the results of the Valley wide planning effort us now available at:



By: Sarah Goodyear, Grist.org

This week’s issue of the journal Nature is all about the connection between cities and science. They’ve put a terrific package together, with lots of great graphics (want to know where the next megacities will emerge, or where the most scientific papers are published?) and feature articles on the synergy between urban areas and scientific innovation. Some of the articles is behind a paywall, but there’s a lot that’s available to non-subscribers as well.

Cities are … home to considerable scientific capital; they hold most of the world’s top universities and the vast majority of its researchers…. The resources that cities offer can stimulate outstanding science for reasons that researchers are just starting to explore. On the other side of the equation, scientists can assist cities in tackling their biggest problems. The Nobel laureate Mario Molina sets a good example, having redirected his research to improving the environment in Mexico City, one of the world’s biggest megacities.


Click here to read more at Grist.org

Welcome to the groundbreaking — watch for snakes and squirrels

By: Alex Breitler, Stockton Record

• With U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, three Congressional representatives and several (I lost count) state legislators present for the groundbreaking of a 500-foot pipe, who will they bring in for the groundbreaking of the 42-mile peripheral canal?

• Reporters hate covering groundbreakings, simply because they’re staged events. Got a snicker, though, when I was handed an ”information sheet” warning attendees of the potential dangers associated with this white-tent and sliced-cake event (water hazard in the California Aqueduct; potential for snakes, lizards, mice and ground squirrels; graveled ceremony site, so watch your footing). A rattlesnake in the tent would’ve really stirred things up.


Click here to read more on Alex Breitler’s San Joaquin Delta Blog

In the first rains of 2009 FLCR documented a fish kill in the Calaveras River. One of our members just submitted this footage of a fish kill in progress the morning of October 18, 2010:

FLCR documented a similar Fish Kill that occurred  in September 2009

SANTA CRUZ (AP) — Steelhead trout appear to be making a comeback in California.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel says scientists on the lookout for steelhead in the San Lorenzo River are finding more young fish making their way back to sea.

Santa Cruz water resource manager Chris Perry says this year’s numbers bode well for a steelhead population that once boomed along the Central Coast. In 1997, the fish was listed as threatened species.


Click here to read more at Recordnet.com

By: Peter H. Gleick,  Huffington Post

Freshwater is fundamental for maintaining human health, agricultural production, economic activity, and critical ecosystem functions. But as populations and economies grow, new constraints on water resources are appearing, raising questions about ultimate limits to water availability. Such resource questions are not new. The specter of “peak oil” — a peaking and then decline in oil production — has long been predicted and debated. A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences I wrote with a colleague, Meena Palaniappan, offers three concepts of “peak water:” peak renewable water, peak nonrenewable water, and peak ecological water. And it looks like the U.S. has passed all three points.


Click here to read the full article at Huffingtonpost.com

STOCKTON – The county’s largest landfill has for the second time been placed on a state list of offenders after inspections turned up high levels of explosive methane gas.

The 567-acre, privately owned Forward Landfill said it plans to correct the problem by building new wells to collect the excess gas, with construction starting next week.

Methane gas forms within landfills as garbage decomposes. Forward’s 300 wells suck up the gas, 75 percent of which is then burned off. Another 25 percent is used to generate power.


Click here to read more at Recordnet.com


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