The loss of these unimpaired flows "could reduce the volume of water delivered to south-of-the-delta users by two million acre-feet a year."
Sep 17, 2018
The current battle for water on the Toulumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers is called Phase I. The coming battle for water on the Sacramento River is called Phase II. Central Valley farmers have already lost their river battle for water on the San Joaquin River with the Restoration Settlement in 2006. When Central Valley farmers went to Sacramento to support their Northern Valley friends they might have thought it was only to show that support, but what they might not realize is how the North Valley fight will impact them directly.
The Phase I plan by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to impose average unimpaired flows of 40% on the Merced, Stanislaus ane Merced rivers will be followed by the Phase II plan of 55% unimpaired flows on the Sacramento River. In case you're unclear on the meaning on unimpaired, it means no one can use the water. It flows right down the river to the Delta and out to sea.
According to the article below the loss of these unimpaired flows "could reduce the volume of water delivered to south-of-the-delta users by two million acre-feet a year." That's two million acre feet that won't be used for farming, drinking, or recharging the underground aquifers. Two million acre feet could also put 500,000-600,000 acres of farmland out of production.
If you're in the Friant system you might be thinking, what does all this mean for me? Well, it means that west side farmers like the Exchange Contractors will have to find water elsewhere. Remember, the Exchange Contractors exchanged their rights to San Joaquin River water out of Friant/Millerton for water out of the Delta, but didn't totally give up those rights if they don't get all they need. They can still call on the Friant water if they need it and they will need it.
So, everything going on in the North Valley will circle right back to the Central Valley and further damage farmer's ability to grow their crops.
West Side ag could be hit hard by water plan
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