When water records are being set all over California, the only decision that should have been questioned is whether farmers should get more than their 100%.
Apr 14, 2017
It's nice to see farmers are getting 100% of their water allocations for the first time since 2006, but the delay in making the decision is unacceptable. As Ryan Jacobson, CEO of the Fresno County Farm Bureau said, "That should have been a no-brainer – 100 percent allocation. With one of the wettest winters in years, there shouldn’t have been a question mark … this is something we should have seen in February.”
When water records are being set all over California, the only decision that should have been questioned is whether farmers should get more than their 100%. Westlands Water District spelled out the problem saying, “for farmers who had to make planting decisions several months ago, (Tuesday’s) announcement of an increase in supply comes too late in the season to aid their operations."
It's not like no one knew. Water bureaucrats have been releasing water from reservoirs to make room for the anticipated runoff from the Sierra snow pack. This announcement should have and could have been made a lot sooner.
Meanwhile, the bigger problem remains the lack of storage for big water years like this one. All the water going out to sea is really a waste for everyone, even the environment. The state continues to study the possibility of Sites and Temperance Flat as storage projects, but how much more study do we really need? It's been 2&1/2 years since the passage of Prop 1 with $2.7 billion for storage. No storage yet in sight.
These rainy years come every 7 or 8 years. If we started building Sites or Temp Flat right now we wouldn't be ready for the next big rain season, but we would likely be ready for the one after that in 15 years or so. We need to get moving, but our guess is that it will go on for many more years before a shovel hits the ground, if ever.
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