Big week for KVMR guy who talks water |

Big week for KVMR guy who talks water

To hydrogeologist Steve Baker, this is a pretty important week for an award-winning water guy like him.

That’s because the Nevada Irrigation District is hosting a Water Summit from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Don Baggett Theater, Nevada Union High School, Grass Valley.

And Nevada City radio station KVMR is planning to carry the important event live (89.5 FM, 105.1 FM Truckee, streaming).

“Locally, there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about water until this week,” Baker said. “At least, this is putting it on people’s radar, but it still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Baker — not to be confused with KVMR Program Director Steve Baker — is heard Monday nights on KVMR’s 6 p.m. Evening News in a segment called “Water Is A Many Splendid Thing.”

“It’s about the relationship that water has in our lives,” explains Baker, “and about the vulnerability of both surface water and well water to us.”

And the result has been over 230 episodes of the feature over the years.

“Given this ongoing drought, this part of our news has become more and more crucial,” KVMR News Director Paul Emery noted. “People come up to me on the street to thank us for airing it.”

“It’s really developing a buzz,” Emery added.

Each week, Baker tackles a different aspect of the issue. Recently, it was wells. Another week was an explanation of water rights.

A variety of his reports are available as podcasts under “Water News” at the radio station’s website,

“Radio is a very good way to capture the attention of the public,” he pointed out. “You can listen while you’re doing other things, but you absorb what you’re hearing.”

In 2012, Baker won a special recognition award from the National Groundwater Association for supporting local and regional water issues through the media.

He’s spent more than 30 years working on water issues after developing a love for it in college.

“In geology, everything’s dead,” Baker quipped. “ But water is alive, it’s flowing, it’s interacting…”

“I like the idea of people getting access to it in a way that it’ll be sustainable whether Mother Nature delivers more of it or not.”

After watching the catastrophes surrounding events like 9/11 and Katrina, Baker and his sister co-founded an organization called Operation Unite, something else he likes talking about.

“It’s so we’ll operate in a more unified way in the future,” he theorized “It’s people working together to find solutions in advance.”

Can’t argue with that.

Good time dept.

Mild temperatures and overcast, sometimes sprinkly clouds helped bring out several hundred KVMR broadcasters and listeners for the station’s 36th birthday party last weekend.

“It was a wonderful day of mingling and community” said volunteer organizer Kim Rogers. “Little (musical) jams springing up here and there offered folks an opportunity to play with people they’d never played with before.”

Rogers estimated the event — because of a drawing and drink receipts — cleared $1,300 for the non-profit station.

Winner of the 4 1/2 foot “Tower of Gifts” was broadcaster Dave Olsen, host of the early morning “Good Foot Radio” show alternate Thursdays 4 a.m. to 7 a.m.

A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video and other information about the station’s new building is available at <> Complete program listings are available at

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