Friday, May 28, 2010

KYH2O and Basins of Relations

Around 100 people showed up at Chaparral Auditorium in Ojai to see 'Cycle of Insanity' and hear Brock Dolman's talk about water and watersheds. Many thanks to the Ojai Valley Green Coalition for sponsoring this event!

The 'Know Your H2O' video was well received by the audience. Comments included the recommendation to get this out to the schools, and provide more information on agricultural solutions. We love this kind of feedback, as it helps fine tune the message. Remember that the video is streaming online at

It was a real treat to have Brock Dolman visit the Ojai valley from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Sonoma County. Brock delivers a unique message; as we enter the era of 'global weirding' on this planet 'water,' our watershed is our lifeboat. It is essential that we get our Basins of Relations in order...

Much more info here:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Know Your H2O and our film, The Cycle of Insanity, receives an award!

Surfrider Foundation activists were recently recognized with an award from the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters for our work on water issues. It is not only an honor to receive this award, it provided an opportunity to get our grassroots activism and public policy positions on the radar screen of important elected representatives.

According to the LALCV, the annual Smith-Weiss Environmental Champions Award event is held “ recognize individuals in public service, as well as community activists whose efforts in protecting the environment shine.”

Woot Woot!

If you haven't seen our film, please set aside 20 minutes and see what everyone's talking about.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Poseidon Resources desalination plant will cost the taxpayers, ratepayers, and the environment.

This is a great article because Senior Vice President of Poseidon Resources in Carlsbad, Mr.  Peter MacLaggan, admits that for the first 12 years or so of a 30-year bond, there may not be any return on investment for Poseidon’s investors,  and it may actually cost them more along the way.

And it’s REALLY big news that San Diego County Water Authority MAY have to come up with the $350 million in subsidies if there is some complication with MWD.

THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS.   What does that look like?  Is that a football field full of money?  Whose jobs will they cut at the water agencies if they have to pay up?  Or will they just sell us more water to cover their costs?

Even the Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group which generally aligns with business interests is circumspect.  From the article:
Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense in Washington, D.C. said he had no qualms with the company making a dollar on a badly needed commodity like drinking water in dry southern California, but he was wary of the tax-exempt financing, the subsidies, and the lack of access to detailed advance information about the company’s costs and profits.
“Our feeling is essentially the financing, the repayment of the costs of construction, all of that needs to be very transparent and very public,” said Ellis, “because otherwise you’re asking the ratepayers and (San Diego) county to buy a pig in a poke, they don’t really know what they’re getting and what the potential costs may be.”

I’m not sure how I personally feel about Big Business making a buck off me on something like drinking water, but I do know I’m sick of greedy companies taking advantage of average folks, our natural resources, and still asking our government agencies for subsidies.

Read the full article:

Poseidon's Desalinization Plant: Dream Water Supply or Draining the Pacific and Taxpayers?

And see the current timeline of this ill-conceived project.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Washington D.C. is Beginning to Know Their H20

More trees, green roofs, rain gardens, pervious pavers and rain barrels.

Those are elements of the solution to reducing stormwater pollution in many of our urban areas around the country. These types of low impact development solutions have been widely implemented in progressive cities such as Portland, Oregon. But they are also catching on and being implemented in our nation's capital.

Although a massive underground tunnel project which can be thought of as a "giant underground rain barrel" won't begin construction until at least 2011, other green projects are well under way in Washington D.C.

Last spring, Mayor Adrian Fenty announced a goal to increase the District's tree canopy from 34.8 percent to 40 percent. This means adding 8,600 trees every year for the next 25 years and conserving the ones that exist.

The RiverSmart program, managed by the District's Department of the Environment, uses money as incentive. Property owners making stormwater improvements can receive up to $1,200 in assistance. Green roofs up to 4,000 square feet receive a subsidy if the project covers at least half of the available roof surface. Trees and rain barrels can be installed for a modest fee.