Next week:  We will have a review of our club’s budget so that everyone can better understand the financial implications of our choices around fundraising activities and possible forgiveness of the Rotary Park loan.  We will discuss the future of Rotary Park, and our fundraising options.

Past President Erich Schmidt presided over our meeting today. He opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the singing of “God Bless America” led by John Porter.

Thought For the Day: “No matter where you go, there you are.” -Gary Hopper.

Guest: Walt McKeown, our guest speaker today.

Happy Dollars:

  • Dean: last week he went to a Lakeport Rotary meeting.  He was in the area for the Annual Konokti Challenge bike ride — he rode 67 miles around Clear Lake!
  • Jeff: is happy to be celebrating his 1 year anniversary in Rotary!
  • Donna: is happy that she attended last night’s sister city fundraiser.
  • Lindsay: happy about 3 things. 1) annual Zaccha art society dinner is coming up; 2) Mendocino – our town in art and film project is happening (with an $8000 grant); and 3) the Mendocino Art Center’s latest magazine is published with great article about the history of the arts in our town.
  • Bruce, on behalf of John C: John’s wife is done with surgery, and they are happy to report that she is doing well.
  • Sad dollars: our former member and good friend Don Hill passed away.

Sunshine Report:
Wilma was diagnosed with a medication allergy that was messing with her electrolyte and blood sugar balance. Now that the mystery is solved, she is recuperating, at home.  Hooray!  We look forward to seeing you soon, Wilma!


Heather receives a surprise Paul Harris Fellow honor, presented by Kevin.

Heather receives a surprise Paul Harris Fellow honor, presented by Kevin.


  • The purchase of Rotary Park is completed as of a half hour ago!  Congratulations to all of us!!
  • John P. provided an update on our Adopt-a-Highway project.  Our adopted road goes from Big River bridge to Lansing/Hwy 1. On Oct. 23 there will be a training at the new CalTrans building — Harold, Bruce, Dean volunteered to go with John and John.
  • There will be a partial solar eclipse at 3:15 on Thursday, 10/23. Watch it, though not directly!
  • Buy your raffle tickets to support the annual Rotary Foundation dinner — it counts as your Every Rotarian Every Year contribution. Tickets are $20/each, or 6/$100, or 7/$120.  Our Foundation goal is $125/member for the year.
  • Kevin made a surprise presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow award to Heather Paulsen, from the Board.  (What an honor! Thank you very much!)
  • Member Bonnie Kintner is moving, and therefore will be withdrawing from our club.

Today’s Program:
Dr. Walt McKeown was introduced by John Porter. Walt is a scientist and climate specialist, with several publications to his credit. Today’s topic: How to make opportunities out of this drought.

Dr. Walt McKeown.

Dr. Walt McKeown.

Walt shared his observation that many things that are changing now: same-sex marriage, legalization of marijuana, how we use water… Walt thinks our grandkids will marvel at the fact that we flush our toilets with potable water. This prolonged drought is changing our relationship with water. Prices are rising on water storage devices. A man in LA is making a living painting lawns green.  There are several opportunities arising:

1.  Saving water: we should use low flow toilets, water-saving washers, etc. Business idea: water audits and recommendations for households.

2.  Finding new water: improve rainwater collection systems, which is a source of water perfect for toilets and gardens. We’d need to re-plumb to accommodate this, but it will become worth it. In cities, we need to come up with ways to store and share water among neighborhoods… An existing technology is the use of UV radiation on water that comes in ships’ ballasts, to sterilize the water. This can be used for rainwater as well. A system costs about $2000 — perhaps another business idea is to make smaller UV units for households?  Also, Walt suggests that we collect more water at higher elevations.

Cloud seeding in about 40% effective; most major nations are doing this. Silver iodide is shot into the clouds, providing surface area for water to condense upon. Where to hit the cloud is important. A new radar has been developed to find the “right” spot in the clouds, determined by density of the existing droplets in the clouds. Drone technology is making this more feasible.

Another idea is to combine two existing technologies for a new purpose. Wind turbines’ load levelers (which store the wind-generated electricity until it’s needed), could be combined with a reverse osmosis system (used on all Navy ships): most of the time it would push water to a storage area, and when it’s needed, it would push the water through a reverse osmosis system (Editor’s note: I’m not sure I got that quite right… ask Walt if you have questions!). Solar desalination is another technology that could be linked with this system. This is the type of creative thinking that will be needed in the future — or in the present, if the drought continues.

Donna’s comments: Conservation of existing water supplies is crucial, and this is the low-hanging fruit that we’re not taking advantage of very well. When you replace your roof, consider metal roofs and a cistern to collect rainwater (Tanks A Lot makes custom cisterns). We need to focus on the low-hanging fruit first, which may have a huge impact on conservation of our existing water resources.

Ray’s comments: we in the U.S. are used to plentiful supplies of everything… double-flush toilets are common in other countries, while we are just now starting to use them. There has been a picket fence water collection system developed… it’s unobtrusive, and a great way to collect additional rainwater.

Run-off from washing machines can be used to water the garden. Is this regulatorily allowed yet?  There are lots of gray-water re-use opportunities.

Walt says that this drought doesn’t need to cause panic. We just need to keep our wits about us, and use our brains to better manage the resource.

Raffle drawing: Sean Leland — got the $20 prize. 🙂