Mark L. Johnson
TA Tidbits #23 Dried Fruit
Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Hiked the Upper Javelina Trail this morning at 5 AM to beat the heat. The saguaro fruit are beginning to ripen. See photo above that clearly shows the seeds embedded in the pulp. Each fruit contains about 2,000 to 2,500 small black seeds. Only 50 out of 1,000,000 seeds make it through the first year of life in the Tucson area according to Ecology of the Saguaro-II. The current drought will probably make those odds even worse. In addition, the cows trampling the baby saguaros that do survive in the Tortolita Preserve does not help.
Tucson Water Rate Increase Decision Postponed
Tucson postponed any decision on raising water rates for customers in unincorporated areas until June 22. See AZ Star article. TA provided public comment opposing this water rate increase. 80% of the public that made comment agreed with TA. This water rate increase does not impact Tucson Water customers in Marana now but we are probably next and need to stop this one before it becomes popular. Send Mayor Regina Romero an email and let her know what you think.
Lake Mead Hits Lowest Level Ever
On June 9, Lake Mead hit its lowest elevation at 1,071.56 feet above sea level since the reservoir was filled after construction. This puts Lake Mead at 36% full. Lake Powell is at 35% full. Not a good situation. See Associated Press article.
Tucson Water Shuts Down PFAS Plant
Tucson Water made the decision to shut down a treatment plant that removes PFAS from polluted local aquifers. PFAS are chemicals that are used to make commercial products that have seeped into the aquifer and are deemed unsafe for consumption. The levels in the aquifer have risen so high that treatment is no longer efficient. See AZ Star article.
Marana Water also has PFAS contamination in portions of the aquifer and recently built two water treatment plants to remove the contaminant. See Know Your H2O Part X. Let's hope the same situation does not happen in Marana as happened in Tucson.
Marana Water Hires New Water Director
Jing Luo started as Marana's new Water Director on May 10. I look forward to working with Jing as a new member on the Marana Utilities Board. Our first meeting is being scheduled for August.
Cocci Chronicles (Valley Fever) Errata
The physicians are reading Cocci Chronicles and guess what? They all do not agree on some of the science related to Valley Fever. One area that I believe we now have agreement is related to immunity. I had previously written (based on research and discussions with physicians) that once infected with Cocci spores you would get lifetime immunity. Turns out that after infection if your immune system is compromised by chemotherapy, HIV infection, etc. Valley Fever can "wake-up" and the symptoms can reoccur. I have corrected Cocci Chronicles with a footnote.
Dove Mountain Development Update
An update regarding development in Dove Mountain is coming soon. Stay tuned.