Category Archives: Conservation

Forest mismanagement fuels California fires

“The Little Hoover Commission (LHC), an independent California oversight agency, has been documenting forest mismanagement in the Golden State for decades. LHC described California’s Timber Harvest Plan in 1994 as an “inadequate tool” for balancing environmental and economic needs.” click here

Student newsletter editor, sociology professor suffer from Christianophobia?

Christianophobia = an irrational animosity towards or hatred of Christians, or Christianity in general. (McMillan Dictionary)

“The article relies heavily on Iliff School of Theology sociology professor Antony Alumkal, whose book Paranoid Science Owens asserts “charts the long and complicated relationship between science and the American Christian evangelical movement, examining the intra-religious tensions that have accompanied various strands of science denial, including the intelligent design and anti-environmental movements.” 

Expanding on this, Owens falsely claims “far-right American evangelicals have been responsible for some of the most radical opposition to scientific positions regarding topics such as climate change and evolution, working in close tandem with secular free-market idealogues.” [sic]” click here

The Permanent Drought in California is in Sacramento?


“Experts say California is in a permanent drought, caused by global warming and disappearing Arctic ice.

Precipitation there was above normal over the past 12 months, and there has been no trend over the past 120 years.” click here

Does Water Loss Reduction Have Negative Environmental Effects?

Pillot J, Catel L, Renaud E, Augeard B, Roux P. Up to what point is loss reduction environmentally friendly?: The LCA of loss reduction scenarios in drinking water networks. Water Research 2016 Jul 13;104:231-241. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.07.025.

In a context of increasing water shortage all over the world, water utilities must minimise losses in their distribution networks and draw up water loss reduction action plans. While leak reduction is clearly an important part of sustainable water management, its impacts have to be reconsidered in a broader objective of environmental protection than strictly the avoided losses in cubic metres of water. Reducing the volume of water abstracted reduces also environmental impacts associated to water production (the operation and infrastructure needed for abstraction, treatment, supply). In the mean time, activities for reducing water losses generate their own environmental impacts, notably as a result of the work, equipment, and infrastructures used for this purpose. In this study, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used to assess and compare two sets of environmental impacts: those resulting from the production and supply of water which will never reach subscribers, and those caused by water loss reduction activities. This information can then be used to establish whether or not there is a point beyond which loss reduction is no longer effective in reducing the environmental impacts of drinking water supply. Results show that the improvement actions that start from a low water supply efficiency are clearly beneficial for ecosystems, human health and preservation of resources. When seeking to improve the efficiency beyond certain values (about 65%), the uncertainty makes it impossible to conclude for an environmental benefit on all impact categories.

Tiered Water Rate Structure CA Court Ruling: A Step in the Right Direction

“In a ruling with major implications for California’s water conservation efforts during the historic drought, a state appeals court on Monday ruled that a tiered water rate structure used by the city of San Juan Capistrano to encourage saving was unconstitutional.” click here

The prevailing view in the water utility industry is that tiered water rates are a good thing and help to “force” water conservation. I’ve thought this way myself for many years. However, it has become apparent that tiered rates are counterproductive and I now have a contrarian view. Using water rates as weapon to force customers and people in general to do anything is not good. It simply confounds the situation by making it look like water is being conserved when in fact it is not.

Los Angeles to Cut Water Use 20% by 2017

We shall see.

“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive on Tuesday requiring Los Angeles to reduce its fresh water use 20% by 2017 as a response to the prolonged drought.” click here

Drought in northern Mexico affecting 1,500 towns

While other areas of Mexico have been troubled by floods and hail, northern Mexico is experiencing drought… here.