The Cambrian

UC watershed adviser to speak in Aug. 4 presentation

Mother Nature has blessed the North Coast with beautiful landscapes, moderate weather and many other benefits, but also threw the area a curve with fairly small, shallow watersheds from which the communities draw their water supplies.

But how many residents really understand what a watershed is, how it varies from an aquifer, and what those differences mean to the amount of water people are allowed to draw from their taps?

To help answer those questions, the Cambria Fire Safe Focus Group is sponsoring a free presentation from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1000 Main St. The Cambria Community Services District is providing the use of the hall for the event.

Royce Larsen, the area’s natural resource watershed adviser from the county’s UC Cooperative Extension, will be the featured speaker. The extension is an educational arm of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, which rings proven scientific information to local agriculture and area consumers. The extension also provides the Master Gardener program.

Focus Group Chairwoman Shirley Bianchi told group participants July 13 that Larsen’s “discussion is not site-specific. He won’t be giving data for the San Simeon Creek or Santa Rosa Creek aquifers,” but what he will be explaining is “how watersheds function. It’s amazing the number of people in Cambria who don’t know where their water comes from,” how the water gets from, say, the creek headlands to the taps in their homes, and how events such as earthquakes and droughts can affect the quantity of water that’s available.

Bianchi said Larsen’s talk could also include some historical data on the “past history of droughts in the Western U.S. and California and what can be predicted for the future.”

She said there would be time for a question-and-answer period after Larsen’s presentation.