Let’s hope that 2015-2016 comes in like a lion and we have more water than we’ve seen in decades here in California because this is beyond ridiculous!
The only thing I can see from my perspective that’s larger than the rainfall deficits of the last four years is the ego of state and federal regulators who continue to play games with water as if the impacts don’t have real and dire consequences on human beings.
Earlier this year there was a rumor that State Water Resources Control Board Executive Director Tom Howard would seize control of Shasta Lake to protect salmon at any cost. He did and the cost will likely register on the Richter Scale.
Growers with the oldest water rights in the state are beside themselves, though one would imagine that they’re not surprises - not in today’s political climate.
Some articles over the past week suggest that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation mismanaged water behind the Shasta and Trinity dams. Now, two large California water agencies are accusing the agency of violating the federal Endangered Species Act.
Meanwhile, a state agency has effectively ordered outflows halted from Shasta Lake to save water for later in the season when migrating salmon make it past the hordes of predatory bass in the San Francisco Delta region to spawn in the Sacramento River.
As long-range weather forecasters are beating the El Niño drums in an effort to predict we will see (not could, but “will”) a rainy season to rival the 1997-98 season, California is arguably out of water and political common sense. At least there is hope that the water will return. I’m not optimistic about the other.
While there’s more storage today behind Shasta Dam than there was in 1977 when a much-younger Jerry Brown was Governor, all of this is inconsequential as none of the water mankind has paid to store for times like this can be used by mankind.
It must be used solely for fish.
How much water again does it take to grow one smelt or one salmon? Apparently a heck of a lot more than it does to grow an almond, which I’m told that some Marin County consumers refuse to buy since news reports continue to rake almond growers over the coals.
The lack of common sense in Sacramento and Washington D.C. is staggering. While California residents go without running water for a second year and are forced to line up to bathe in portable showers, trillions of gallons of water is wasted on fish that may not even exist.
Meanwhile the state has agreed to cut environmental corners and red tape to build a bullet train that is said to already be millions over budget.
Where’s the widespread outrage over these decisions to put human beings at the end of the line for basic needs like sustainable water?