About Maven …

1605163I 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’ve been around on the internet on one website or another aggregating and writing about California water since 2007.  Through the years, I have developed a reputation for presenting all sides of California’s complex water issues and doing so without a personal agenda.

California Water News
Touring Owens Lake Dust Control Project

Maven’s Notebook is my latest creation, a website on California water that features both original news as well as content curated from a variety of internet resources.  My ‘beat’ as I see it are the many state agency meetings, workshops, conferences, and seminars that I attend, and if I have time, I’ll summarize a report or two.  I supplement my original news content with water news content from around the web – newspaper articles, editorials, commentaries, blogs, press releases, legal analyses, reports, and scientific research, as well as breaking news – whenever it occurs.  It is through this unique combination of both original content as well as the aggregated news content from around the web that makes Maven’s Notebook your complete source for California water news unlike any other.

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!

Filming with the KCET Camera Crew in the Delta

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 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.

Aqueduct Selfie small
Aqueduct Selfie

Maven’s Notebook is funded by reader contributions and organization sponsorships.  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.

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
  • 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
  • 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.
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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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