Water Districts Must Face the New Reality
From now on any surplus water will need to go directly into the underground to replace any water that has been pumped. The days of surplus surface water are over.
Dec 09, 2014
"First, let me make it clear: OID does not pump groundwater and then sell it. That is called water mining. It is prohibited in Stanislaus County. We don’t do it." - Frank Clark, Oakdale Irrigation District Director.
We're glad to hear Oakdale Irrigation District doesn't pump groundwater and then sell it. That is a practice that, for sure, needs to end for all who do it.
"Whenever OID has more water available than its customers can use, we are going to sell that “surplus water” to generate revenue. This is done by dozens of other agencies all over California every year." - Frank Clark
Frank Clark and other directors of other water districts are going to have to adapt to what we see as the new reality with the new sustainable groundwater rules. From now on there will be no more 'surplus water' to sell to generate revenue. From now on any surplus water will need to go directly into the underground to replace any water that has been pumped. The days of surplus surface water are over.
"OID has a “use it or lose it” agreement with the federal Bureau of Reclamation. That means any water left over from our annual allotment at the end of our irrigation season is forfeited to the government and sent down the Stanislaus River." - Frank Clark
Frank and other directors will be using it all right. They won't need to worry about losing it. They will just have to find a way to get it back underground. They'll have to make tough decisions about how they're going to get their revenue. They are probably going to have to buy land for ponding basins to allow percolation into the aquifer. Revenue will probably have to be generated from farmers. No more easy money.
We don't think there are going to be many, if any, water districts that will have any surface water left over after making sure their underground supplies are sustainable. If farmers are forced to take land out of production while their district is selling surplus surface water instead of recharging their aquifer, all hell will break loose.
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