Posts

Paper Records and Steel Vaults: Can California Water Rights Enter the Digital Age?

From an unremarkable office in Sacramento, Matthew Jay can pinpoint any moment in California history when somebody was granted the right to transfer water from any particular lake, river, stream or creek.

An analyst with the California State Water Resources Control Board, he is a custodian of millions of pieces of paper. Some are over a hundred years old and are crammed into towering filing cabinets and vaults. The room is so heavy that its floor needed to be reinforced.

Gold Rush-Era Mercury Mine Closed in 1972 Is Still Contaminating

Nearly half a century after a Gold Rush-era quicksilver mining operation shut down in northern California, mercury continues to flow into a nearby creek, and federal officials blame the mine’s state landmark status for cleanup delays.