Percolated to the Ocean
When you get water that could be used to percolate into the underground supply and don't use it, it's a crime.
Apr 12, 2019
Everyone, even environmentalists, believe in groundwater banking. We've been told we don't need above-ground storage or dams because we should replenish the underground. But when you get water that could be used to percolate into the underground supply and don't use it, it's a crime.
This week the San Joaquin River Restoration Program announced the release of restoration flows. Restoration flows "are dedicated for preservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife resources pursuant to Water Code section 1707 and are protected under the California Water Code."
They go on to say "restoration Flows shall not be diverted or stored unless otherwise authorized by Reclamation, subject to the conditions of Reclamation’s water rights." That's right, they cannot be stored.
This year 528,000 acre feet will flow out of Friant Dam, down the river and out to sea. The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is coming and it requires that to take water out of the underground an equal amount must be put back in. That's 500,000-plus acre feet that we won't be able to recover. It'll be gone.
This water was was historically delivered to Friant water users who put their land up as collateral to build Friant Dam to prevent flooding and control the flood water for delivery as was agreed.
San Joaquin River Restoration Program: Restoration Flows Resume on San Joaquin River
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