Little help for a million Californians on wells in historic drought

FORT BRAGG, California (Reuters) – Michael Holmes got by at his rural home near California’s rugged northern coast on a disability pension and water from a decades-old well — until the well dried up.

Holmes, 65, is among an estimated million Californians who rely on private wells, many now threatened by the state’s historic dry spell and with no direct access to a multi-million dollar state drought relief program.

“When this place was built in the 1950s, the water was three feet below the ground,” Holmes said, pointing a flashlight down the well’s long, empty shaft. “Now, the pump is down 26 feet and we’re still running out.”

These days, Holmes buys drinking water by the gallon and waits until enough water gathers to take a shower once a week.

The pump hangs an inch off the ground at the bottom of his well, and when the water comes up, it’s full of muck and minerals.

“It turns my white hair yellow,” Holmes said, tilting his head down to show.

California is still counting the number of threatened wells, in the latest sign of how the state is struggling to address and even understand the extent of the worst drought in decades.

A state report released last week showed groundwater levels in California had dropped over the past three, dry years, but focused mostly on issues faced by municipal water systems and agriculture, not well-dependent homeowners.

Governor Jerry Brown declared an emergency in January in the most populous U.S. state, requesting voluntary conservation efforts, funneling millions of dollars to farmers and municipalities, and even providing funds to help farm workers idled by the drought buy food and pay rent.

In a state where the lack of water for irrigation threatens a half-million acres of farmland, and a rapidly shrinking snow pack means less drinking water for nearly 40 million people, help was rushed to those who live within the boundaries of even the smallest municipal water districts.

Even fish got help. As river waters receded, the state trucked 30 million hatchling salmon, a record, to ease their annual migration.

The $687 million drought relief package of grants, loans and other financial assistance programs to fund solutions such as water storage and recycling projects, anti-contamination efforts and emergency water supplies, was aimed at communities in need.

But the relief plan did not include funds targeted at helping those relying on private wells to dig deeper or make other improvements.

They are not considered part of the public delivery system, and finding relief for them is more complicated, said Debbie Davis, the governor’s drought liaison to counties.

Oversight of water systems in California is limited and fractured.

Counties are responsible for oversight of private wells, she added, and it wasn’t until homeowners started calling a drought hotline in Mendocino County seeking help that state officials realized there was an extensive problem.

“For the most part, domestic well users are expected to be responsible for their own resource,” said Davis, who estimated a million people depended on wells. A working group is tracking down well owners and assessing needs, said California Natural Resources Agency spokesman Richard Stapler.

About 10 miles south of Holmes’s home in Ft. Bragg, many wells are going dry in the tiny beachside village of Mendocino, whose 900 residents rely entirely on private wells, said Roger Schwartz, president of the village’s tiny water district.

One woman in Mendocino County called the drought hotline to say she needed water to bathe her disabled husband, who was incontinent, said Brandon Merritt, a county analyst. Another family said it could not afford the $350 a private dealer was charging for a month-long supply of water.

Schwartz, of the Mendocino Community Services District, has pushed the state to offer grants or loans to help residents purchase water or dig deeper wells.

But Davis said the state will focus first on helping those who can be hooked up to existing water systems.

Such efforts would likely not help Arthur “Mark” Fontaine and his wife Ellen. They estimate it would cost $20,000 to improve the well that serves their property, which lies four miles from the nearest town and is likely too far away to be hooked up to municipal water.

Since October, they have been buying water from a broker.

“We’ve always had to conserve here,” said Ellen Fontaine, who grew up on the property, about 24 miles from Willits. “But I have not been able to do laundry here for almost two months.”

Very strong and shallow M 6.8 earthquake hit Guerrero, Mexico

Very strong and shallow earthquake measuring M 6.8 on the Richter scale hit Guerrero, Mexico on May 8, 2014 at 17:00 UTC. Epicenter was located 13 km (8 miles) WSW of Tecpan de Galeana, 39 km (24 miles) W of Atoyac de Alvarez and 303 km (188 miles) SW of Mexico City.USGS is reporting very shallow depth of only 10 km. However, this might change after manual revision. EMSC is reporting same magnitude and depth.There are about 400 000 people living within 100 km radius.ER reader from Mexico City (303 km from epicenter) wrote: “The quake in itself was not as bad as the one two weeks ago. I got worried because it lasted longer… at least it seemed like it. Nothing damaged, but some things fell of the contraption I use to dry my dishes.”Seismote…

US Pacific Kelp; Fukushima Radiation Testing Results

Kelp Watch has released their first batch of testing results. The program is a mash up of university, national lab and citizen efforts to test Pacific sea kelp for radiation. The main focus is on cesium contamination but also has been screening for natural sources of radiation.
This first batch of test results are considers a “control” set. This establishes the radiation readings considered to be before any Fukushima related radiation would make it to the western Pacific coasts. They will be used to compare future samples to see if any change happens over time.
The first set of readings did not find any cesium 134, considered an indicator of Fukushima contamination. Cesium 134 has a short half life of about 2 years. So at low levels as this isotope decays away it may not be detectable. The cesium 137, with a 30 year half life should be detectable for changes over …

Source: Fukushima Sub

My personal PayPal account and Japanese account were also blocked / Back to “700$ in pocket”

I’m back to the beginning. Now all I have is 700$ as when I left Japan.

After PayPal closed the account of Fukushima Diary, I noticed they blocked my personal account too.
And this morning, I noticed even my Japanese personal account was blocked too.

I can’t withdraw fund to the bank. So, I can’t pay for the health insurance of my potential cancer. Now it’s not the PayPal account, it’s me.

When they suddenly suspended the account last week, I had really a bad feeling for some reason. It was like how I felt on 16th March 2011. Intuition is always correct.

Like I wrote last time, I’m not informed of why.
However I have tried to collect as much information as possible and starting to figure out how it can happen.

From my research, PayPal has a background info of each user across the multiple accounts.
If you have a problem with one account, it can affect other accounts of “yours”.

I ” ” ed yours because I can see a problem in it.
What do they define “your profile” based on? Name ? Birthday ? Nationality ?

Actually when you open a personal account, you are not required deep information such as passport number or social security code etc..

So it’s likely that they investigate all the “possible” accounts of “possibly” the same person when someone causes a problem with his or her account.

This explains why so many people have gone through their sudden investigation and baseless account closure.

So, if someone opened a fake account with my ID info, and violates the rule on purpose, it can affect my real accounts.

I learnt that this background user info of theirs is connected from regions nor regions when they blocked my Japanese personal completely irrelevant account.
Even if the fake account made for some malicious purpose was in Japan, it can affect my Romanian accounts.

This is just my hypothesis.

I actually have many enemies. Pro nuke side, nationalists, and others.

I have been criticizing some groups with a certain political view in Japan because I knew what’s in it for them. I had a lot of possibilities to get PayPal accounts closed.

In short, the PayPal accounts won’t be back. PayPal clearly said to me that I can’t open a new account anywhere in the world.

I refunded all the money that I can. So, I lost all the donations from 8th March to Today. I’m going to cancel all the monthly donations accordingly too.

PayPal rule stipulates that my fund will be released in 180 days. But who trusts them now? I can’t even call them without a voice recorder.

This is why I refunded. I felt guilty for all the donors.

Fortunately, my bank and poBox are alive at this moment.

I’d would be very happy if you come back to the bank or send me something to poBox.

The bank info is …



Beneficiary/受取人 : FUKUSHIMA DIARY SRL (not Iori Mochizuki)

IBAN : RO71PIRB4203739401002000 (For Eur/ユーロ建てでいただく場合)
RO37PIRB4203739401003000 (For USD/ドル建てでいただく場合)

… I heard Japanese banks require the address of branch and beneficiary etc..
If you needed them, I’d be glad if you kindly ask me by any means.

The poBox is…



I used to have the monthly donors to cover the fixed cost such as server or rent. But I lost them all. I don’t know how to cover them.

Thank you for reading this.


You read this now because we’ve been surviving until today.

Source: Fukushima