End of Water Year
Oct 02, 2018
As you may have seen, the 2017-2018 water year ended on Sunday, Sept. 30th. With the onset of a new rainfall period on Oct. 1, now is a good time to take a look at some past water figures. In the last two years, 15.3\% of the fresh water flowing through the Delta (10,763,300 AF) was captured in water storage and saved for future uses. 82.2\% of the fresh water flowing through the Delta (57,775,900 AF) continued on to the salty ocean becoming unusable by anyone. The amount of water now in the sea is roughly five times the amount that is required to prevent saltwater intrusion into the Delta-a necessity in which no one disputes. This excess flow is what we are talking about when we say, "Water is being wasted to the ocean." One acre-foot is a year's worth of water for about 10 people, and 25 million people in CA rely on the Delta for their water. After pushing saltwater back with freshwater outflows, the amount of additional water that was wasted is equal to 18.8 years worth for all 25 million people who depend on it. We could not have stored that much water of course, but we also did not store all that we could have, nor did we break ground on additional reservoir storage for the next cyclical dry spell historically guaranteed to occur. Farmers were again shorted on their water allocations. Families were made to continue using less water while paying more. And water suppliers who have water to sell but can't, continue to raise rates to cover fixed costs to bring water to homes and businesses.