Essay: California’s Water

California Water Heist
By Anthony Rosario-Licerio

Land Barons continued dispossession of resources and the turning of these resources into commodities has created a turf war over California’s most precious resource Water. California’s State Water Project was a pet project for Governor Pat Brown who pushed the project stalled by state Democrats. The project damned the Sacramento River in order to divert water into the interior of California turning fertile scrub land into fertile farmland and connecting the northern water supply (⅔ of the water is water from Northern California) to southern California (⅔ of California’s population). Achieving the one California envisioned by Pat Brown.

Monterey, California, 1994, The reallocation of water during drought but ultimately rewrote the state water contract, known as The Monterey Amendments.

From this meeting The Kern Water Bank was proposed by the state, the concept of the Kern Water Bank was simple. During high flow years in the North water would flow to Kern County to be stored in an already empty groundwater reservoir to be drawn during a drought. Control of the authority was given to public water districts Tejon-Castac, Semitropic, Kern County Water Agency, Wheeler Ridge Maricopa. Dudley Ridge (water district) and the private entity Westside Mutual LLC (Paramount Farms, Roll International Corporation). The result of the Monterey Agreement, Paramount Farms and Stewart Resnick walking away with 58% control of the Kern County Water bank which is supposed to be allocated during drought. And, since the Monterey Agreement Paramount Farms production has doubled (Almonds, Pistachio, Pomegranates).

The resonating effects of the Monterey Amendments have caused massive drought and has forced the hand of farmers. Who draw 60% of their water from groundwater. Groundwater is an unregulated resource and as a result everyone is pumping water. Subsidence, caused when enough water is drawn from an aquifer, destabilizes the land above and causes the land to sink. 

The ripples continue as over one million California residents are currently without access to clean, drinkable water. And, the privatization of water is only going to continue with big business purchasing swaths of ‘agricultural lands’. Hancock Agricultural Investment Group 24,000 acres, The Wonderful Company 16,00 acres, Harvard/Brodiaea Wineries 10,00 acres just to name a few. If you are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel we have 20 long years to wait.  

To put this simply, Water Brokers and Big Agriculture are out buying Small and Medium farms to turn a profit. And, they are allowed to do so because they wrote the rules to the game they are playing. Our group has a solution we believe will help mitigate the burdens placed on this unsustainable system. And, is why we propose using greywater as the main resource to irrigate the farm lands of  San Joaquin Valley. 

Work Cited

Zenovich, M. (Director), & Arax, M. (Writer). (n.d.). Water and Power: A California Heist[Documentary]. Retrieved March 01, 2018.

Greywater Reuse. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2018, from


Analysis: Environmental Science

Analyzing Environmental Justice
By Anthony Rosario-Licerio

“In Washington, the battle for public control of the waterfront was largely a battle against the railroads.  The arrival of transcontinental railroads in the 1870s was essential to Washington Territory’s development, but to get the transcontinental lines civic leaders gave away large swathes of harbor land to the railroads, handing them a stranglehold over the region’s trade and commerce. Railroad companies used their control over wharf availability and rates to fill their own trains with cargo, rather than to promote trade and make it easier for the area’s merchants and farmers to import and export goods” -Kit Oldham,

Washington State now operates 75 municipality owned port districts. These districts are charged with all aspects of economic growth which may include buying, leasing and selling property; operating trade and export trading companies, and/or providing air and water pollution control works. Authorizing cities to manage resources that promote trade and commerce shifted responsibility on the surrounding communities to decide the operating future of their port district. 

Washington’s trade-dependant economy has made the state a prime target for the fossil fuel industry. Proposed projects include a methanol plant in Kalama, WA, liquefied natural gas plant in Tacoma, WA, and the now defunct oil terminal in Vancouver. These proposed projects pose a threat to the surrounding communities and Washington’s water system.

The proposed oil terminal in Vancouver, WA would have moved hundreds of gallons of crude oil by rail through waterfront communities and would have been built in the working class neighborhood of Fruit Valley. Fruit Valley is a working class neighborhood with 85.7% of the student population coming from low income families and 48.3% of the students being of  hispanic descent. Support to block the oil terminal came from community members of the Fruit Valley neighborhood, Columbia Riverkeepers, Sierra Club, and the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union and on January 9, 2018 The Port Vancouver’s Board of Commissioners voted to end the oil terminal lease 3-0. 

Assuming we can stop placing inherent value on human existence, develop a land ethic, and move away from a conquerors mentality the possibility of a sustainable society is there. For example, Minot, North Dakota from my personal observation is still dependent on propane as a source of energy for homes when the alternative energy (wind) would prevent brain dump and provide the city a renewable source of energy.  In conclusion, I see what is possible when countries like Germany and China are leading the way and taking on the initiative.


Operations: Billing & Shipping Solution

Inventory Management: Inventory pre-count, data collecting on miss ships, mid-month ordering, content calendar.

Existing Customers: Existing customer’s billing & shipping dates were moved to the 1st of the month and continued this cadence until the customer unsubscribed.

New Customers: New Customers subscribing between the 2nd-15th of the month would receive a box on the 15th —  billed and shipped in the second month on the 1st — the initial activation of this subscription cadence proved customers were dissatisfied with the length time they were given to unscribe if the box didn’t meet their expectations.*

*billed and shipped in the second month on the 15th, then billed and shipped in the third month on the 1st. 

New Customers Subscribing between 16th-end of month would receive their box on the 1st — billed and shipped in the second month on the 15th, then billed and shipped in the third month on the 1st. 

Precedent Study: Cairn, When you sign up, you will be charged for the duration you have selected (1-, 6-, or 12-month for our monthly service or every 3-months for our quarterly Obsidian service). All subscriptions* auto renew on the 1st day of their renewal month.

*One exception: 1-month subscribers who sign up after the 20th of the month, will be billed on the 10th day of their second month. Starting with their third month, they will fall into our standard 1st of the month billing cadence.