Tuesday, September 9, 2014

From the archives | Fracking in Sutter County

I lived at the base of the Sutter Buttes between 2009 and 2011.  Known as 'the smallest mountain range in the world', the buttes are actually an extinct caldera.  They are a unique geological formation in the middle of the Sacramento Valley, which is otherwise completely flat. 

The Buttes hold natural gas, and the fracking of wells began in earnest shortly before I moved back to the Bay Area.  I recently drove through the Buttes, and all of the wells have been drilled and tapped.  Made me thankful I stopped one afternoon to make these few pictures.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Water Wednesday | #8 Blooming Desert

Farmland near Fresno, CA

     A common narrative is that southern California is a desert and 'steals' northern California water.  Although there is a small amount of truth in this statement, it does not accurately portray the situation.  A complex systems of reservoirs, canals and pumps bring water EVERYWHERE in California.  There is only one source:  the snow pack of the Sierra Nevada, which includes Mammoth just as much as Tahoe.

Melon picker heading to work, Firebaugh

     The reality is it doesn't rain anywhere in California between the months of June and October (generally speaking) except a tiny portion of the state near the Oregon border.  Effectively, all of California is a desert.  The South gets more water because they have more people and more agriculture.  But they have their own snow pack too.