Thanks to all who supported this project, I've handed in a second draft which is now being edited.
Originally the story was assigned at 1200-2400 words (about 1.5-2.5 pages of magazine, typically). It was to be about, as you read in the pitch, the hazards to the water supply for millions of Californians due to the decrepit state of the levees in the Delta. I went out and reported that story, and in the course of doing so I learned that the issues there are really much broader than just the levees-- hence the delay.
So late this year or early next, expect to see a much longer story--6000 words or so--that attempts to describe levee safety; California water history; environmental concerns in the Delta; and political intransigence.
I'll no doubt need to update it slightly before press, but unless the levee-destroying earthquake hits by then (knock on wood) it'll still be very newsworthy.
Thanks again for the support & patience. I promise it will all be worth it in the end.
Posted by Paul Tullis on 08/19/10