Will we ever agree on where our water goes?

Water woes, a sweet comeback, a new music column inspired by Capital Region concerts & more

You Oughta Be Saving Water,” the Schoolhouse Rock song about water conservation, covers some of the ways we can cut down on water usage: “Take a minute shorter shower, use a water-saving head, get hip!” Sena Christian’s May feature on the complexities of California’s hydrology might make for a good sequel. Imagine the layered concepts reworked into funky bars and catchy lyrics, the water management players quoted in the story doing a conga line at a well site. The issue of where our water goes takes cooperation, conversation and negotiation — which would make amazing Schoolhouse lyrics! 

In all seriousness, water is complicated because it’s the lifeblood of everything we as humans, especially human Californians, do. It’s critical to agriculture, the economy, ecosystems and wildlife, not to mention drinking and washing. Christian’s story is a comprehensive and fascinating dive into the sometimes scary waters of our state’s H2O woes. We hope you give it a read.

Here’s the latest Capital Region Rundown:

The California Honey Festival is back and sweeter than ever; the slow-going work of water management comes together thanks to skillful negotiations and a desire to serve the greater good; a new Comstock’s column explores the musical stylings of various concerts with ultra-curated playlists; and The Education Foundation for California Schools launches grants to help the California education community inspire more students in the areas of STEM. 

Recommendations from our editors:

In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:

Vanessa: A heartening win for print: I found out yesterday that my favorite literary magazine, The Believer, would be saved! After a tumult of events that nearly led to its folding this year, they just announced the publication would be brought “home” to its original publisher, McSweeney’s. The quarterly publishes some incredible graphic storytelling and some incredibly experimental essays. I’m so happy it will live on. Here’s one of my favorite essays in the magazine by Larissa Pham about the process of falling in love. A good bedtime read.

Judy: As I sipped my always dependable $10 Apothic Red wine, a friend said “I never drink a wine under $20.” To learn more about wine, journalist Bianca Bosker drinks her way through the world’s wines in a quest to become a sommelier in “Cork Dork,” which has been called the “Kitchen Confidential” of the wine industry.

Jennifer: Jennifer: At Comstock’s, we often cover regenerative agriculture and other methods of farming that aim to do less damage to the soil and the environment. To understand the roots of these practices, I recommend the two-part series “The ‘Do-Nothing’ Farmer” from New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Outside/In” podcast — a balanced take on the Japanese iconoclast who wrote “The One-Straw Revolution.” 

Odds and ends

Congratulations to three of our incredible contributors, Steven Yoder, Laurie Lauletta-Boshart and Jennifer Junghans, for winning California Journalism Awards for their work in Comstock’s. Read Steve’s second-place winning piece Powering Through the Pandemic on government ingenuity, Laurie’s third-place winning story Rise and Shine on the women impacting California politics, and Jennifer’s  third-place winning report Energy Revolution on emerging technologies.

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