Contact me, I always love to hear from my readers!

Please feel free to send me your comments, suggestions, links, or whatever.  Contact us. 

However, I do get a lot of emails, and I freely admit I can be a poor correspondent.  So to cut down on the expectation of a response from me, please note the following:

  1. I do not do product-placement articles. I do not write about products, nor am I interested in publishing content with a link to any product or website intended to sell readers something or anything along those lines. (However, if you are interested in possibly placing an ad on the website, you can ask me about that.  I remain undecided about implementing an advertising program, but might consider it if there's sufficient interest.)
  2. If you have writing skills and are willing to write on any topic I'd like – well, I don't need this either.
  3. I do post official correspondence between elected officials, legislators, and/or agencies when relevant and of interest to readers; however, I am not interested in publishing documents not intended for public release.  I direct you to your local newspaper or newsroom.
  4. I am not an investigative journalist; I am not looking to break open some big nasty goings-on in the California water world – again, I direct you to your local newspaper or newsroom.
  5. I do welcome press releases relevant to the scope of the blog – which is California water related, but Maven's Notebook is very myopic in its coverage of topics, so if it isn't water-related, please don't bother.
  6. You are free to send me your water-related content for consideration of inclusion. Please do note that I'm not an editor and I'm often too busy to review lengthy documents.  I don't always post these things.

Again, I reiterate, I always love to hear from my readers!  Please feel free to send me your comments, suggestions, links, or whatever.  Email Maven.

(Visited 1,871 times, 6 visits today)


  • David McCabe

    Re: Your video comment on plastic “Pet peeve”.

    Come to the Pajaro Valley which is adjacent to the Monterey Bay Conservancy to see thousands of acres of plastic used in the production of strawberries, raspberries, blue berries, and so called “Organic” crops. Although most of this huge amount ends up in land-fills (Not a good result in itself!) it is impossible that a significant amount does not end up in the Marine Sanctuary through runoff and careless practices. To add insult to injury local agriculture is dependent on groundwater and has severely over-drafted available aquifers. Because the valley borders the ocean subsidence does not occur. The ocean fills the void with seawater!!! Recharge with precipitation is severely hindered by the plastic covering the soil.

  • Garance Fitch Boribon


    I’m Garance Fitch Boribon. I’m from Belgium. I’m actually student in journalism in Brussel.

    This summer we are going to the United State to make a video report about the Colorado’s river situation.

    We will be in the United States from the end of June to mid-July.

    With my group we are searching for information, so with my research on the internet, I found your association.

    Maybe , if you have enough time you could help us with our reportage, by giving us informations and maybe it could be great to meet you when we will be there!

    Thank you in advance for the time that you will accord us!

    Garance Fitch Boribon

  • Thank you for this site. Very helpful.

  • Bill

    May I suggest the State of California look to what is being done, right now, in the State of Nebraska to assess, properly exploit and maintain groundwater. Nebraska, for several years, has and continues to use a technology that operates like a CAT scan, but it sees into the earth. It was developed in Denmark (voted happiest country on earth, surrounded by ocean but with plenty of water for its people, farms and industry)to help manage their aquifers. Don’t believe me – if a picture is worth a 1,000 words then a map on Nebraska’s web site speaks volumes. Please tell whoever is willing to take responsibility for trying to deal with the drought in meaningful ways to go to the Lower Platte South Natural Resource District website at

    The link to their interactive map shows how far beneath your feet the groundwater is, how deep and wide it is and with this you can calculate how much water is available. This information can be had for a fraction of what it would cost to drill one (dry?) well. Farmers would benefit a great deal from this information, as they do in Nebraska. The technology used to create the map is a helicopter-borne instrument developed specifically to map water resources. Not only does Nebraska use this technology, so too does the US Geological Survey, India, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, South Africa, Norway and others.

    Or have a look at a short recently released PBS video on this technology for mapping aquifers The video focuses on recent groundwater mapping projects carried out by NRDs in Nebraska.

    Please have a look and share with others It can change lives, and livelihood, quickly.

    Thank you


  • Todd Shuman


    A small group of us (Ara Marderosian, Todd Shuman, Mike Hudak, and Megan Gallagher) submitted a comment to the California State Water Resources Control Board on October 14, 2015 concerning California agricultural water usage, livestock feed crop production, and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Below is a slightly edited summary of the comment, as well as a link and directions for downloading the comment directly in pdf form from the SWRCB site. I hope that you and your readers might find it of interest. Please feel free to share it widely if you think it worthy of distribution.

    Todd Shuman, on behalf of Wasteful UnReasonable Use (WURU), Camarillo, CA 805.987.8203

    Five Counties, Five Numbers: Livestock Feed Crop Production in the S. San Joaquin Valley, 2014

    The California counties of Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, and Madera recently released 2014 Annual Crop reports. Based on the information within these reports, in combination with other sources, we have compiled and calculated a set of numbers that constitutes the basis for a concise narrative concerning water, livestock feed crop production, and greenhouse gas emission in the southern San Joaquin Valley in 2014. In short, approximately 1.275 million acres were devoted to livestock feed crop (LFC) production in these five counties in 2014. Approximately 4.55 million acre-feet (MAF) of water was used to cultivate this LFC acreage in 2014. Approximately 14.257 million tons of livestock feed crop forage were produced from the application of this amount of water to the acreage cultivated in 2014. Assuming that such forage was fed to milking dairy cows, we have estimated that this amount of forage would have fed approximately 1.56 million lactating cows in 2014. As we noted in earlier comments to the SWRCB, livestock feed crops consumed by cows are partially converted by cows into significant atmospheric methane emissions. Using the best available scientific information, we have estimated that those 1.56 million lactating cows would have collectively emitted (through the process of enteric fermentation) a quantity of methane that is equivalent to approximately 32.22 billion pounds of carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere over the next 20 years.

    Such livestock-associated carbon emissions should not be considered insignificant. (32 billion lbs. of heat-trapping CO2 is just under the amount of CO2 that would be emitted by four yr2010 coal-fired electricity-generation plants [33.6 billion lbs.]). Moreover, it is likely that these emissions have already contributed (and are currently contributing) to the further warming of our planet and the associated severe drought that has afflicted California. This claim is consistent with yet another recently published scientific study concerning this matter: Williams et al. (2015) concluded that “anthropogenic warming is estimated to have accounted for 8–27% of the observed drought anomaly [in California] in 2012–2014 and 5–18% in 2014. . . . anthropogenic warming has substantially increased the overall likelihood of extreme California droughts.” [Williams, A. P., R. Seager, J. T. Abatzoglou, B. I. Cook, J. E. Smerdon, and E. R. Cook (2015), Contribution of anthropogenic warming to California drought during 2012–2014, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 6819–6828,

    We also view the use of such water to grow LFCs as wasteful and unreasonable due to its association with the depletion of scarce groundwater from already-depleted groundwater aquifers in the southern San Joaquin Valley. It is likely that much or most of the water used to grow these livestock feed crops in 2014 came from local groundwater sources, as the southern San Joaquin Valley received little precipitation and almost no surface water allocation from the federal Central Valley Project in 2014. Furthermore, very little CA State Water Project water was delivered to this area in 2014.

    Groundwater use for livestock feed production in Tulare County remains especially (and egregiously) unreasonable to us, due to the recently-established link between livestock-feed crop-related groundwater use and the large number of well failures in the nearby areas associated with East Porterville.

    The full document in pdf form with spreadsheet and derivation notes below can be downloaded directly from

    [Under State Water Project and Central Valley Project Temporary Urgency Change Petition/State Water Board Drought Year Water Actions/2015 Public Comments / Objections / Protests / Petitions for Reconsideration/]
    Click on Comments/Objections/Protest/Petitions for Reconsideration Submitted After April 6, 2015/

    See downloadable entry under Commenter(s): Sequoia ForestKeeper and Wasteful UnReasonable Use; Submitted by Ara Marderosian, Todd Shuman, Mike Hudak, & Megan Gallagher; Date 10/14/2015

    To see and download our previous comments submitted to the SWRCB, see Dates 08/16/2015, 07/06/2015, and 06/19/2015 at the same SWRCB webpage.

    (The 08/16/2015 comment concerns rice cultivation, methane, and the Sacramento Valley, while the 07/06/2015 and 06/19/2015 comments address a number of topics associated with livestock feed production in the San Joaquin Valley and southeast California.)

    “Reducing waste is essential, as is reflecting on the non-food use of agricultural products, which are used in large quantities for animal feed. . . .”

    Address by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, Clementine Hall Thursday 11 June 2015

  • Thomaws Crum

    I am in need of advice and information on envirmental groups that can assist me in my complaints about a hazardious dup site where the Port of Stockton is developing and providing a building for a railroad rail facility that will employ several workers. This site is where the United States Navy dumped oil and radioactive materials and this area was not to be disturbed per the Navy insturctions. This is the area of the port called Rough and Ready Island and the the very far western end of the island. This was orginally a navy base and given to the City of Stockton for $1.00.

  • Jannie Dresser

    I am interested in using one of your photos on a book cover for a book I am preparing which is an anthology of Central California poets. Please let me know if this might be a possibility:

  • Todd Shuman

    A new comment to the California State Water Resources Control Board from a group of us was submitted on April 13, 2016. It is worth a read. You can download it from

    Just click on the link under “Latest News from the Forest” where it says: “13 April 2016 Comment letter on Livestock Feed Crop Production in the San Joaquin Valley, 2014”

    It explores livestock feed crop production throughout the San Joaquin Valley (excluding the Sacramento Valley) in terms of acreage, water, livestock feed tonnage, and methane production associated with the livestock that consumed such feed. It then evaluates recent climate change/disruption studies in relation to such agricultural production and the “wasteful, unreasonable” water use passages of the California Constitution. It is a significant expansion over what was presented in our previous comment, which is summarized above in a previous comment that I posted on Maven’s Notebook comment page last October.

    You can also download the document from my Facebook page. Just go to Todd Shuman Camarillo on Facebook.

  • Concerning the proposed Bay-Delta Plan Amendments and the SED (which would increase in-stream flows for the SJR, Tuolumne, Merced, and Stanislaus Rivers to 30-50 percent if adopted), I, unsurprisingly, believe that the waste and unreasonable use sections of the California Constitution should be used by the SWRCB to limit/reduce water that is used to support the dairy and livestock industry in California. That re-allocated/redirected water can then be used to protect and restore endangered native fisheries in the future. In any case, I have filed a complaint with the SWRCB requesting this, with the basis for the complaint incorporated therein. You can download it (and the original documentation submitted to the SWRCB that is related to it) at my web page: (See 9-29-16 SWRCB complaint.)

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