Maven’s Notebook: California Water, Verbatim

The challenge:

In California, a state faced with ongoing water supply challenges, access to water is critical. California’s working lands, a $50 billion driver of the state’s economy, need access for irrigation and drought reserve.  California’s growing population relies on the water supply for safe drinking water and sanitary systems.  Both of these needs must also be weighed against the need for protection and conservation of California’s natural resources, include rivers and streams and other riparian habitats that support birds, fish and other wildlife.  Given these demands, the world of California water policy is confusing, complex, and controversial. Californians face a constant barrage of opinions, arguments and assertions of ‘facts’ about water. Making sense of the competing claims is extremely difficult and finding accurate information on California’s water issues can be frustrating and time-consuming, even for those working in the water industry.

What can be done?

An informed public, and informed policy makers, are essential to resolve California’s complicated water challenges. We need a comprehensive source of factual, unbiased information on California water issues that will allow us to effectively weigh competing priorities — a need that will only continue to grow in the face of climate change.

How Maven’s Notebook is meeting the challenge:

Published daily, Maven’s Notebook helps cut through the complex and controversial details of water flow, water supply and water quality and environmental disputes, leading to more rational outcomes.  As a source of objective and understandable information about these multi-faceted issues, the Notebook’s unique value comes from several complementary approaches:

  • Objectivity: To ensure objectivity, the Maven’s Notebook rejects editorializing in favor of reporting. the Notebook covers critical events such as meetings of state agencies and quotes the participants directly and at greater length than conventional media coverage, leaving it to the reader to judge how successful the different interests are in making their case.
  • Comprehensiveness: Maven’s Notebook provides reliable, hard to get information by reporting on major planning/regulatory efforts. For example, the Department of Water Resources, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Water Board all issue a steady stream of press releases which are meant to inform, yet planning and regulatory efforts go mostly unreported in the mainstream media.
  • Timeliness: Maven’s Notebook is the only daily source of complete, comprehensive California water news. Published daily, it posts breaking news, provides weekly updates on reservoir and hydrologic conditions, and provides daily news aggregation of relevant news, articles, and commentary, as well as a calendar of meetings and events that are of interest to readers.

In an effort to make this information as accessible as possible, there is no charge to use the Notebook website. It is reader-supported journalism, made possible by donors and sponsors.

This project aligns with the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • Responsible consumption and production
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