Valley water keeps flowing toward Southern California

The Dudley Ridge Water District is located in Southern Kings County, adjacent to the California Aqueduct near Kettleman City. The roughly 30 thousand acre district has just a few property owners. They grow mostly almonds, pistachios and pomegranates. But to some critics, one of their biggest cash crops is water.


The Dudley Ridge Water District sold the rights to 14 thousand acre feet of water to the Mojave Water District in Southern California last year for $73-million. Dudley Ridge Water District Manager Dale Melville explained it this way. “It’s an economic business decision the landowners needed to make.”

The sale raised alarm bells in Kings County, and prompted a Grand Jury Investigation. Which found no wrongdoing. But State Assembly member Juan Arambula was concerned. “I think what is going on might be legal, but it’s not right.”

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Swift death heightens concern over deadlier toxins in local snakes

October 16, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – A 67-year old fly fisherman from La Jolla stopped breathing minutes after being bitten by a rattlesnake while wading across a stream near Cuyamaca Reservoir. 

William “Skip” Price was conducting a steelhead trout survey with four other volunteers when he stepped on the snake and was bitten on the foot. He was wearing water sandals, not waders or boots, which could have prevented the deadly injury.  

Gary Strawn of Santee, conservation chairman of San Diego Fly Fishers, told the Union-Tribune that Price stopped breathing within minutes, and that Strawn and other performed CPR for about 20 minutes until paramedics arrived. A Sheriff’s helicopter air lifted the victim to Palomar medical Center in Escondido, where he was declared dead at 1 p.m. today….

“The venom from rattlesnake bites in San Diego County is becoming more potent, causing an extreme reaction in patients, toxicologists at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center reported,” according to a June 2008 10 News article which said USCD toxicologists had reported unusually powerful snakebites for the second year in a row.

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A water economist’s hot links

David Zetland Speed Blogging for Tuesday, July 27, 2010


  • Food and Water Watch has a guide to understanding your utility’s water quality report. It may be useful, but you will have to wade through their human rights and government-knows-best propaganda.
  • Many English speakers cannot understand the passive tense. That may explain why academics and bureaucrats like to use it (to sound smart), but it also explains why people have a hard time understanding them. That’s a problem if citizens cannot understand laws or their rights.
  • Some interesting thoughts on subsidies vs user pays.
  • Pro-citizen groups have put together a tool to help people understand how to draw their own borders for congressional districts. This is a great way of seeing how far politically-biased boundaries drift from boundaries that are objective or that serve OTHER partisan interests.
  • The extra stuff in beer that they (Bud, Miller) don’t tell you about.
  • Details on why clean coal isn’t.

Water with a conscience at Annenberg Space for Photography

As the world faces the challenge of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we have renewed cause to contemplate the role of water in our lives.  A good place to start is at the Annenberg Space for Photography’s current exhibit, “Water: Our Thirsty World.”

The exhibit is in partnership with National Geographic Magazine and features photos from a special issue of the magazine.

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