Dip A Toe Into California Water Policy


There is no more vexing public policy subject in California than water. I’ve inched into the subject numerous times over the years for a variety of publications, and I’ve nearly drowned every time. Essentially, California’s human population and the ecosystem need a lot more fresh water than the system is able to provide. Every water issue stems from this difficult situation.

To help educate people, a collection of public and private entities is conducting a “Water 101” workshop from 5 to 7:30 p.m. today, September 8, at the McConnell Foundation headquarters, 800 Shasta View Drive, in Redding. Topics on the agenda include water rights and distribution, the State Water Project and Central Valley Project, groundwater, fish migration, and local perspectives on water delivery, use and conservation.

It seems to me that’s enough material to fill about two-and-a-half months, but organizers are going to give it a go in two-and-a-half hours. After a 90-minute presentation, there will be about 60 minutes for questions and answers.

The event is free, but organizers would like participants to register in advance. To register or learn more about the event, contact Kathryn Gibbs at CH2M Hill at 229-3287.

A second workshop, “Integrating Water Interests: The Future of California Water,” is scheduled for October 13.


• Photographer Scot Miller will be appearing at Turtle Bay Exploration Park this weekend to mark the close of his remarkable exhibit “Thoreau’s Walden: A Journey in Photographs.” Miller will be signing books and memorabilia at the museum’s store from 3 to 4 p.m. this Friday, September 10. A discussion of Miller’s work, a viewing of his documentary and a presentation of “Find Your Walden in Redding” award winners is set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Miller will provide gallery interpretations and do more signings.

• Folks in Igo and Ono have a “red barrel” food drive going to help their neighbors facing tough times. They’re looking for food, cleaning supplies, pet supplies and other necessities. The red donation barrels are located inside the Igo Store, at the Igo bulletin board, at Ono/Igo Church in Igo, and outside the Ono Store. This is a purely community-drive effort.

•  The National Park Service is celebrating 140 volunteers who donated more than 11,000 hours of their time at Lassen Volcanic National Park from October 2010 to August of this year. Among the top volunteers are Alan Wilhelm, who has helped with resource management and protection, campground host Tom Ermann, interpreter and educator Rob Horn, and ski patrollers Billy Guild and Walter Schlim. All have donated at least 1,000 hours at Lassen. Well done, gentlemen.

•  The Redding Police Department is recommending people hang up on anyone who claims to be conducting a telephone survey for the City of Redding right now. Last week, someone reported a telephone surveyor who asked questions about living arrangements, credit cards and other personal matters. The city is not conducting any such survey, according to police.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and is afraid to admit he knows what a TMDL is. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.