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January 09, 2023



DJ Letter writer hits the nail on the head:

Could you imagine if the powers that run this state didn’t waste BILLIONS of dollars on a high-speed rail that no one wanted and has no practical use or completion date? What if we used that money to create a water system to distribute water around our drought stricken state? Seems to me that would be more beneficial, but then again I’m not standing to profit from the failed project.

Joe Guttenbeil
Redwood City


Flood watch in effect until 10 pm Monday--3 days from now!!! Got yer sandbags?

Peter Garrison

Not surfing lately due to poo…

“With continued population growth, the demands on our sewer systems have increased, say experts. Meanwhile, more development leads to more asphalt and cement, so the bulk of the rainfall ends up in our sewage systems. And our wastewater pipes, often made of clay, are aging, so water infiltrates through cracks and gaps.

The rate at which the urban Bay Area is adapting to these threats is lagging behind the speed at which rain is drowning it, said Choksi-Chugh. Cities need to invest in replacing pipes and upgrading wastewater treatment systems to increase storage capacity and install more recycling technologies, she said. Cities also could incentivize homeowners to replace old pipes through grants or low-interest loans.” Mercury News 1/15

Let’s stop building for a bit until the infrastructure catches up.


Excellent idea.



I love the guy's analogy at the end:

The most drenching storms in the past five years have soaked Northern California, sending billions of gallons of water pouring across the state after three years of severe drought.
But 94% of the water that has flowed since New Year’s Eve through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a linchpin of California’s water system, has continued straight to the Pacific Ocean instead of being captured and stored in the state’s reservoirs.
Environmental regulations aimed at protecting a two-inch-long fish, the endangered Delta smelt, have required the massive state and federal pumps near Tracy to reduce pumping rates by nearly half of their full limit, sharply curbing the amount of water that can be saved for farms and cities to the south.
The move has angered Central Valley politicians of both parties along with agricultural leaders, who have been arguing for many months that someone must help farmers suffering terribly during the drought. Now they are frustrated that the state Department of Water Resources and the federal Bureau of Reclamation aren’t capturing more water amid the record rainfall.
“It’s like winning the lottery and blowing it all in Vegas,” said Jim Houston, administrator of the California Farm Bureau Federation. “You have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.”


Here's another gem from some dude I've never heard of writing to the DJ. We need MORE SHODDY INFRASTUCTURE:


I’ve heard many people complaining about the proliferating potholes along the newly completed section of Highway 101 in our county.

At first I was sympathetic but after traveling up and down several times I no longer agree with these hazard haters. Here’s why.

The potholes promote safer driving. People need to go slower and watch the road more than their phones (The prospect of a ticket for speeding and/or texting doesn’t deter people, but tire damage might).

It’s more interesting. The new road was smooth and quiet. That got boring pretty fast. Now each drive is a fresh adventure. It fosters mindfulness and tests our skills (Bonus action during the rain and double points at night).
We need more shoddy infrastructure like this. We don’t even get any cool sinkholes. We deserve worse and it’s time to demand it.

Bernard Clouse

Menlo Park
Right on Bernard. You are welcome to comment here at the Voice anytime! Shoddy rules!


"Adversity is our strength."


Kurtis Alexander at the Comicle is basically rewriting a WSJ editorial from this week for this piece:

n 2014, during the throes of last decade’s drought, California voters approved billions of dollars for infrastructure that would catch and store much-needed water from winter storms. The hope was to amass water in wet times and save it for dry times.

Nearly 10 years later, none of the major storage projects, which include new and expanded reservoirs, has gotten off the ground.

As much clamor as there has been for more storage, however, water experts warn that it may not be the panacea that advocates profess, specifically reservoirs. Constructing reservoirs is expensive, meaning the water they sell may be cost-prohibitive for some, while the increase in water supply is likely to be small and not worth the money given California’s increasing aridity.
I love this part "not worth the money". The old saying is "you don't know the value of water until the well runs dry."
Proposition 1 (in 2014), which passed with 67% voter approval, authorized $7.1 billion of bond funding for water projects, the largest chunk of which was earmarked for storage, about $2.7 billion.
You can read about the preference for aquifer refilling at the end of the piece: https://www.sfchronicle.com/climate/article/california-water-storage-17719807.php


I was talking with a local friend who has a new ADU next door and now has a flooding problem they never had before. Are ADUs required to connect to any drain system on the property?

Ron berry

Are the 3 pumps still there before the pulgas water temple would like to see pictures of them [email protected]


The headline at the Mercury News is encouraging:

‘Pretty dang close to full’: Bay Area groundwater back to pre-drought levels after massive winter storms

Groundwater provides 40% of the water supply for 2 million people in Santa Clara County. Following more than a dozen major atmospheric river storms this winter, the main water table in the county has risen 35 feet since last June — and is up 51 feet since the most extreme part of the drought in September 2021 — returning to pre-drought levels. The county’s main groundwater basin is now about 90% full.

In Santa Clara County, there is three times as much water storage underground as the county’s 10 reservoirs can hold when full. That underground water isn’t sitting in giant open caverns, however. It is filling the spaces between millions of tons of sand and gravel. Groundwater projects are often cheaper than constructing new reservoirs and have less controversy than building new dams on rivers.

But because of geology or historical practice, some large Bay Area water providers don’t have much groundwater, including the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s Hetch Hetchy project and the East Bay Municipal Utility District.


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