Drought-hit California moves to halt Nestlé from taking millions of gallons of water

By Maanvi Singh : theguardian – excerpt

Nestlé, accused of taking millions more gallons than it is entitled to, receives draft cease-and-desist order from state officials

California water officials have moved to stop Nestlé from siphoning millions of gallons of water out of California’s San Bernardino forest, which it bottles and sells as Arrowhead brand water, as drought conditions worsen across the state.

The draft cease-and-desist order, which still requires approval from the California Water Resources Control Board, is the latest development in a protracted battle between the bottled water company and local environmentalists, who for years have accused Nestlé of draining water supplies at the expense of local communities and ecosystems.

Nestlé has maintained that its rights to California spring water dates back to 1865. But a 2017 investigation found that Nestlé was taking far more than its share. Last year the company drew out about 58m gallons, far surpassing the 2.3m gallons per year it could validly claim…(more)

Over Troubled Water

Restore the Delta

Restore the Delta The San Francisco Bay-Delta, largest estuary on the west coast of the Americas and a national treasure. . . If you have heard of the Delta at all, you have heard that it is both a vital resource and a seriously threatened region. But you’ve probably heard the story of the Delta told by people who want to reshape it to take the water and create corporate wealth…(more)


Delta Flows: Recall Politics? No Thanks. The SF Bay-Delta keeps losing either way.

Today’s blog breaks my heart. 


Because Restore the Delta is focused on water quality issues, flood control issues, future planning, and training the next generation of local water experts – for that is where hope exists. 

We are focused on the future because in some ways we have become very cynical about any positive meaningful change to Delta management presently — from the lack of care at the highest levels of government to local pockets of Delta communities that will not acknowledge the deterioration of the estuary before their eyes…(more)

COVID-19 pandemic drives unexpected housing boom as Midpeninusla buyers seek more space

By David Goll / Contributor : paloaltoonline – excerpt

‘The market has been just crazy. Extremely active.’

Spacious homes on larger properties in more rural areas like Woodside, Los Altos Hills and Atherton that may have moved slowly a couple of years ago are now very popular, said Menlo Park Realtor Brett Caviness. Courtesy Michael Repka/DeLeon Realty…

Berman said prospective buyers are flooding into the Silicon Valley market from outside the Bay Area, but also regularly moving around inside the market. Most are looking for more interior space to accommodate work and school activities and additional exterior space for outdoor activities and recreation, as well as to serve as a buffer of sorts…(more)

Nothing like a pandemic and shutdown to make you want a bigger home.

Why I Hate Living In My Tiny House

By Adele Peters : fastcompany – excerpt

Small backyard houses get a lot of attention as a solution to the housing crisis, but it’s a different idea in theory than it is when you try to put it into practice.

When I moved from Brooklyn back to the Bay Area a few years ago, I thought, at first, that the apartment I found was charming. It’s also very small: At the end of a long driveway, inside a former garage, it’s 240 square feet, or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces.

I still live there—partly because rents in Oakland have surged more than 50% in less than a decade, and in a neighborhood where a typical one-bedroom now goes for more than $2,800, I can’t afford to move. I recognize the value of this type of tiny house, called an accessory dwelling unit or ADU, in theory. In built-up cities with little extra land and residents who fight development, adding tiny cottages in backyards is one way to help address the housing shortage. The small size saves energy and curbs my shopping habits, since there literally isn’t any room for, say, another pair of shoes. But I also question how well tiny homes make sense as a solution for long-term housing—and in some cases, as in the even tinier houses sometimes used as housing for people experiencing homelessness, I wonder if they can sometimes distract from other, more systemic solutions that are necessary.

As tiny houses go, mine is larger than some. One nearby shed-like cottage currently for rent on Craigslist is 120 square feet; another, which rents for $1,600 a month, is 200 square feet. A few miles away from me, a village of 8-by-10-foot tiny houses on wheels is under construction for homeless youth, with a separate communal kitchen and communal bathrooms. Hundreds of others are currently living on the street in much tighter quarters in vehicles or tents. While there’s no official definition for a tiny house, they’re generally said to be around 500 or fewer square feet, making my place somewhat medium-size as far as tiny houses go. (The average size of a new apartment in the U.S., as of 2018, is 941 square feet.)…(more)

A churning Golden State on the eve of new population numbers

By Scott Wilson : washingtonpost – excerpt

ROCKLIN, Calif. — Shannon Sessions has a seat in left field, in the shade of a willow. Her goldendoodle, Yeti, is leashed to her folding chair.

These are prime tickets at the Little League diamond here at Whitney Ranch park, an expanding development of red-tile roof houses, barbecues and backyards. Less than two months into her move to this old-new boomtown in the dry air of the Sierra Nevada foothills, she already knows to arrive early if she wants a good view of Carter, her 8-year-old son, playing first base.

Sessions is a newcomer, a Bay Area transplant, and among a quickening migration from west to east transforming a state once shaped by arrivals heading very much in the other direction…(more)

California Court of Appeal Upholds Validity of SB 35 to Streamline Approval of Affordable Housing Projects

By Ashley Breakfield, Steven Vettel and Farella Braun + Martel LLP : jdsupra – excerpt

The California Court of Appeal issued a unanimous decision that will have lasting, positive implications for developers utilizing SB 35. SB 35 (Cal. Gov’t Code Sec. 65913.4) requires cities and counties to quickly and ministerially approve housing projects with a high percentage of affordable units. The decision directed the City of Berkeley to grant SB 35 approval to a proposed mixed-income residential development in what is now the Spenger’s parking lot on Fourth Street in West Berkeley…(more)

West Prepares For Possible First Water Shortage Declaration

By Sam Metz : huffiest – excerpt (includes video)

North Marin Water District may declare a water emergency now.

Arizona and Nevada could see their first mandatory water use caps as climate change leaves the Colorado River at a historic low.

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The man-made lakes that store water supplying millions of people in the U.S. West and Mexico are projected to shrink to historic lows in the coming months, dropping to levels that could trigger the federal government’s first-ever official shortage declaration and prompt cuts in Arizona and Nevada.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released 24-month projections this week forecasting that less Colorado River water will cascade down from the Rocky Mountains through Lake Powell and Lake Mead and into the arid deserts of the U.S. Southwest and the Gulf of California. Water levels in the two lakes are expected to plummet low enough for the agency to declare an official shortage for the first time, threatening the supply of Colorado River water that growing cities and farms rely on. (more)

North Marin Water District may declare a water emergency now. People are replacing laws with rocks. Only problem with that is that rocks do not hold the amount of carbon that trees and plants do. They do not produce oxygen. How is plant removal going to save the planet?

Why are the states pushing for higher levels of population when the current residents and businesses are experiencing a drought that will limit out water use? If you want to “share” our roads, cut our trees and limit access to clean air and sunlight, and limit production of food, to pack people into dense cities, are you willing to share your limited water supply as well?

When does the inevitable natural cause of events cause enough alarm among the citizens that they will take actions to curb the growth machine? How hot, thirsty and hungry will be be before we fight back against the California’s Devleloper Opportunity Bills like SB9 and SB10 that will remove trees to pack more people into our single family home neighborhoods by up-zoning them?

The problem of up-zoning to remove single family home options when that is the preferred living style of people seeking more space and less crowded living conditions may contribute to the opposition to HR1. People want traditions family homes with private yards , not units in crowded city condos and apartments.

City Policy Favoring Purchasers of Expensive Taxi Medallions Passed Constitutional Muster

By Auria Maleksalehi Perkins Coie : jdsupra – excerpt

A City municipal transit agency did not violate equal protection, substantive due process or state anti-age discrimination laws when it disfavored some taxi cab medallion holders from accessing lucrative airport pickups because, among other things, the law was rationally related to legitimate government interests. San Francisco Taxi Coal. v. City & Cty. of San Francisco, 979 F.3d 1220 (9th Cir. 2020)…(more)

Are there classes of taxi mediation holders?

Court Grants Attorneys’ Fees Against City in Development Litigation

By Amanda Daams : jdsupra – excerpt


CEQA Appellate Court Decision Analyzed by BB&K’s Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

A large attorneys’ fees award under the private attorney general statute was recently affirmed by a California Appellate Court. The case, Building a Better Redondo v. City of Redondo Beach, is notable not just for the large amount of the award, but that the award was issued jointly and severally against the City of Redondo Beach and the private developers, who were real parties in interest…(more)

Interesting. I wonder if any of the current bills are written to override this kind of ruling.

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