Response to Sapping the Well

To All, Paso Robles has been dealing with heavy water issues also as many of you know. National Geographic is filming a great story of their area right now. Financiers/vulture capitalists have been buying up vineyards for the water rights, wine grapes are just the window dressing, and selling it back to the residents. The … Continue reading “Response to Sapping the Well”

Sapping the Well

By Alastair Bland Tyler Heck remembers the summer days that often sent him down the hill from his family’s home off Erland Road and into the cool waters of Van Buren Creek for relief. He remembers diving into the water and swimming, even in July and August. It was the 1980s. Heck, now 32, says … Continue reading “Sapping the Well”

Pot Bad, Wine Good

by Will Parrish, June 10, 2015 Let’s begin with some Q&A. In the 1990s, runaway cultivation of a mind-altering cash crop led to a spate of illegal surface water diversions from the streams and springs that feed the Russian River, as well as directly from the river itself. The Russian was home to more illegal … Continue reading “Pot Bad, Wine Good”

New Era on Tap

by Stett Holbrook December 07, 2016 Sonoma and Napa counties respond differently to new groundwater law Call it a tale of two counties. A new state law requires that local governments regulate groundwater for the first time. Sonoma County has begun a lengthy process to create long-term sustainable groundwater management plans for its at-risk water … Continue reading “New Era on Tap”

To All, This Lawsuit Has Put Big Ag On The Defensive In A Major Way A pending Iowa case could set a new national precedent for water pollution stemming from farms. Three highly agricultural counties — Buena Vista, Calhoun and Sac — named in a controversial lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works. … Continue reading “”

Mike Benziger | Water Wizard

vommag July 31, 2015 Vol.1 Issue 2 Story: David Bolling Photos: Steven Krause Winemaking is a kind of alchemy because, at a fundamental level, it involves turning water into wine. A lot of water. UC Davis professor Larry Williams studied a test plot of chardonnay grapes in Carneros and calculated that irrigated vines required a … Continue reading “Mike Benziger | Water Wizard”

Of Water and Wine

New vineyards and resorts rising above the Napa Valley threaten the region’s water BY STETT HOLBROOK This story was produced in collaboration with the Food and Environment Reporting Network, a non-profit investigative news organization. In the winter of 2015, a Hong Kong real estate conglomerate purchased the Calistoga Hills Resort, at the northern end of … Continue reading “Of Water and Wine”

Comment on California Tiger Salamander Plight

The story of the imperiled California Tiger salamander is a story of incremental and relentless destruction.  Californians going about their daily lives may not often think about the destruction of recharge areas necessary to store groundwater, or the loss of floodplains and wetlands that purify and slow rushing waters, but it is happening and the … Continue reading “Comment on California Tiger Salamander Plight”