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    Fiercely independent. Neutral and non-partisan.

    The Switzerland of California water.

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    About

    About Maven …

    2013_Feb_CFWC_ChrisAustin 133I confess. I am a California water news junkie.

    I am passionate about what I do, and that is to follow endlessly the machinations that are the world of California water. Simply put, I’m dedicated and driven to creating the crazy-best, the most informative and the most useful website on California water.  I never go home for the weekend; this blog is never closed. Following California water issues is just what I do, so if that sounds like it interests you, then you’ve come to the right place.  You might even want to sign-up for my daily emails right now!

    I am Chris Austin, otherwise known as Maven, and I cut my teeth on following California water news with my first website, Aquafornia.  As the creator and former publisher of Aquafornia for over five years, I developed a reputation for presenting all sides of California’s complex water issues and doing so without a personal agenda. Aquafornia is now owned and published by the Water Education Foundation, and I am no longer affiliated with either the Water Education Foundation or Aquafornia.

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    Touring Owens Lake Dust Control Project

    Maven’s Notebook is my vision for the next generation of water news coverage, combining the best of all worlds by providing not only aggregated news content from traditional and non-traditional outlets such as newspaper articles and editorials, press releases, blogs, legislator statements, research journals, academic institutions, and law firm legal alerts, but supplementing that with original and detailed coverage on agency meetings, legislative hearings, and seminars and conferences.

    There are weekly features, such as Monday’s Calendar Notes and Reservoir and Water Conditions, Tuesday’s Blog Round-Up, and Thursday’s Science News and Reports.  Along the way, I try and have a little fun from time to time, because this stuff does not have to be boring!

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    Zocalo Public Square Panel

    Maven’s Notebook focuses on the major planning processes currently underway such as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, as well as the activities of the State Water Resources Control Board, the Delta Stewardship Council, and the California Water Commission.  The blog follows statewide policy issues, such as groundwater, the water bond, and other state and federal legislation.  And because science is cool, this blog focuses on the latest developments in Delta science, including the adaptive management, habitat restoration, and the development and implementation of the Delta Science Plan.

    Maven’s Notebook is proud to be your truly independent source for California water news and information, served to you straight-up, not even on the rocks. It is a bit more raw – perhaps it could be described as more documentation than journalism. I strive to present balanced coverage of all sides and viewpoints, and keep people in their own words as much as possible. This is my vision for a different sort of water news, one where I simply tell you what happened and what they said, without any spin or advocacy.  You can decide the rest.

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    Aqueduct Selfie

    Maven’s Notebook is proud and grateful to be funded in part through a grant from the Rose Foundation, but more is needed.  If this blog is useful to you or your organization, please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

    You can find out more about me and the projects I do by visiting my homepage at http://www.MavensManor.com. You can also view an online portfolio of my work.  If you’re interested in photos of water infrastructure and California waterscapes, check out my photoblog, or flip through my extensive photo library at flickr.

    Scroll down for more about this blog and its features, and check out the Frequently Asked Questions for even more.  And if you have any suggestions or comments for this blog, or simply want to say hi, please email me – I’d love to hear from you!

    Thank you for visiting my blog and being interested enough to look at the About page. And if you like what you see here, please tell a friend.

    Best regards,

    Chris Austin aka Maven

    More on Maven …

    About this blog …

    Maven’s Notebook is published six days a week, featuring both aggregated and original content.

    Aggregated Content:
    • DAILY DIGEST: What’s going on in the world of California water today? The Daily Digest will keep you informed with selected news and commentary from the mainstream press, plus weather, webcasts, events and more. The Daily Digest is published weekdays with a weekend edition posting on Sunday.
    • WATER CONDITIONS: A visual report of reservoir and hydrologic conditions around the state. Posted every Monday.
    • BLOG ROUND-UP: The Blog Round-up is a trip through the wild and varied tapestry of internet blog commentary, incorporating the good, the bad, the ugly, and sometimes just plain bizarre viewpoints existing on the internet.  The Blog Round-up is posted every Tuesday.
    • SCIENCE NEWS & REPORTS: A collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, Science News and Reports is posted every Thursday.
    • NEWS WORTH NOTING: Press releases and statements from state and federal agencies, environmental organizations, interest groups, and legislators.   Posted generally daily, or when there are three or more items of interest.
    • THIS JUST IN … : Breaking news, such as snow survey results, emergency drought proclamations, or the release of the latest report – Maven’s Notebook keeps you on top of the rapid happenings in the world of California water, whenever they happen. Sign up to receive the Notebook by email and you’ll always be one of the first to know!
    Original content:
    • PUBLIC MEETINGS: Too busy to attend that meeting? Maven’s Notebook keeps you informed by covering meetings of Delta Stewardship Council, California Water Commission, State Water Resources Control Board, Bay Delta Conservation Plan and others
    • LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS: Mostly state hearings, but some federal as well
    • SEMINARS, SPEECHES, AND EVENTS
    • REPORT SUMMARIES
    • ORIGINAL ARTICLES: Explanatory articles on topics of interest or whatever water-related topic I feel inclined to write about
    • OTHER: Articles I write for other outlets, such as Capitol Weekly and Estuary News
    Resources:
    • CALENDAR: A comprehensive listing of California water-related meetings, events, and conferences.  Click here.
    • BDCP ROAD MAP: 40,000+ pages of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, sliced, diced, and made more accessible just for you. Click here to check it out.
    • DELTA PLANNING PROCESSES: Too many plans? I try to explain them all to you here.
    • DIRECTORY OF USEFUL INFORMATION: A categorized and searchable database of agencies, institutions and organizations at work in the Delta, as well as other web resources such as information on models, adaptive management, science resources and fish surveys.  Click here for the directory.
    • MAPS AND DIAGRAMS: A treasure trove of maps, graphs, diagrams, and historical photos collected from planning documents and other public domain resources available to download for use in presentations.  Click here to check it out.
    • MORE RESOURCES: Always under development.  Click here.
    Subscribe by email and never miss a post!
    • Daily emails: Be one of the first to know!  Sign up for daily emails and get all the Notebook’s aggregated and original water news content delivered to your email box by 9AM. Breaking news alerts, too. Sign me up!
    • Every post: For those who want it even sooner, you can sign up to receive an email instantly, as soon as anything is posted to the blog.  To sign up for this option, please look to the sidebar on the right hand side and choose “Email option #1″.  My apologies I cannot make this any easier to access for you.
    Follow Maven’s Notebook:
    Other miscellaneous stuff:
    • Photos: All photos on the blog are by Chris Austin unless otherwise noted. For permission to reuse photos, please email me. Permission for non-commercial use is usually cheerfully granted, but please do ask.
    • Italics: This blog makes use of a lot of excerpted and quoted (or transcribed) content. To further differentiate that the material is either excerpted or quoted, the words are put in italics, in addition to appearing in “quotes.”
    • Basic stuff I will never bother to type out: An acre-foot is enough to cover one acre in one foot of water and is equal to about 326,000 gallons. It is generally considered to be enough to support anywhere from two to four households for a year. MAF is million acre-feet. Sometimes I’ll remind you that one cubic foot per second is equal to one basketball, but most likely I won’t remind you of that either.
    Suggestions, comments, feedback … ?

     

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      1 comment

      1. Michael Lehner

        Hi, Chris. I’ve been reading through some of the BDCP stuff and I usually tend towards the conservation/restoration side of the arguments. But I have been wondering about the controversy focused on flows and reverse flows. The estuary restoration and preservation, in order for it to exist as it does today needs a certain flow volume to hold the line where fresh water mixes with sea water. When the flows are reduced, the seawater side of the line creeps inland and impacts the estuary. But even if the plan addresses the concerns about not diverting too much water towards SoCal, it seems that a sea level rise (due to global warming?) will have the same impact on the estuary, effectively driving it further inland. So is there a map that shows both the BDCP and global warming impact on the estuary? Here’s what I’m thinking: It’s sort of a no win situation: The BDCP could come up with some sort of a guarantee that would create the expectation that there would be no reverse flows and the estuary would recover to what it was “in the days of yesteryear”. Then the sea level rise would sneak in there and make the recovery plan look like it was not working and the folks who made it all happen would then be put on the defensive where they would remain ad infinitum. See? I think it’s a certainty that if we all just leave things alone, that estuary will be impacted by a sea level rise as will the whole delta area.

        I know that there is a San Francisco Bay Area model over in a city building in Sausalito. It has a valve you can adjust so that you can see the results of various sea level rises. I’d love to see pictures of the model showing the various stages of sea level rise and what it would do to the shoreline around the estuary and further into the delta area.

        I know that this alone would not tell us where the brackish water area would be and what impact would be on the estuary ecosystem. But I don’t think it’s realistic to think technology can solve what will happen with a rise in the level of the San Francisco Bay, the Suisan Marsh and the Delta. There is just too much area there to install some sort of human engineered infrastructure.

        I don’t know if this will spark an idea on your part for a piece but I now have said my piece and I can go back to reading your posts.

        Thanks!

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