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A (Only In) California Water Story

So, instead of releasing the water for farm benefits which can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, they hold back the water for some speculative, maybe, can't-be-sure event in the future.

Aug 18, 2015

The Bureau of Reclamation is still trying to determine what they are going to do with water in Trinity Reservoir.  Because of the drought and a recent discovery of the presence of Ich, a fish disease thought to be responsible for the fish die-off in 2002, the Bureau is considering how much water to use to prevent another die-off.  The problem is there is no scientific evidence from the last attempt that proves it will do any good.  That never stops the Bureau or environmentalists from doing what they do.  

The Bureau also has obligations to farmers in the Central Valley Project who have secured the rights to this same water and have already paid for it and are waiting for it.  So, instead of releasing the water for farm benefits which can be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, they hold back the water for some speculative, maybe, can't-be-sure event in the future.  

This all falls on the heels of the temperature fiasco on the Sacramento River where a mis-diagnosis of the water temperature led to non-delivery of farm water earlier.  

So, both the Sacramento River (Shasta Dam) and the Trinity Reservoir are now holding water for fish and farmers aren't getting any of it.  There are 70,000 more acre feet of water in Trinity than was forecast, and Reclamation said the water would be delivered to farmers because of the Sacramento temperature mistake.  But, now that's not going to happen because of a possible, maybe, situation in the future that they can't prove will even help.  

California agriculture and municipalities are expected to demonstrate benefits to using water through transparency and accountability, but it's never the case with environmentalists.  Why aren't they held to the same standard?

To make matters worse, the Bureau began releasing water from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River to support the Hoopa Valley Tribe's Boat Dance ceremony.  This is estimated to be a total of 10,000 acre feet.

Just so you know how much 10,000 acre feet are, Families Protecting the Valley board member Russ Waymire spells it out:


I'm a numbers guy and worked with water all my career.

He is what 10,000 acre feet of water would mean to the 3,000 people in Porterville with no water:
 
10,000 acre feet of water x 328,000 gallons per acre foot x 10,000 = 3 Billion 280 million gallons of Water.
 
At a minimum of 50 gallons per person per day it would provide the 3,000 Porterville residents 50 gallons of water for each person for over 21,000 days!!  
 
Or in simpler terms the 10,000 acre feet of water = 3,280,000,000 gallons of water would = 50 gallons of water everyday for 3,000 people for 57 YEARS.

And that's just 10,000 acre feet.  Hundreds of thousands of acre feet are subject to these kind of bureaucratic decisions each and every year, all for the supposed sake of the environment.  But, when it doesn't help the environment, they just do it over again and again anyway.  And it's killing the rest of us.  

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