California Needs More Water Storage

Virtually everyone—except the out-of-touch-environmentalists—understand this truth, captured well in this article by the Executive Director of the California Water Alliance in the Sacramento Bee, but, so far, anyway, that out-of-touch view prevails, sadly.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

Californians deserve rational and complete answers to their questions: Why has our state failed to initiate a meaningful response to not just one or two, but three catastrophic droughts we’ve experienced over the last 45 years?

California simply needs more water. Its people, fish, wildlife, food producers and others – all have been harmed by delays in our response to periodic droughts and climate change. What was an inconvenience in 1973 and a severe shortfall in the 1980s became an economy-stopping, public-health-threatening assault on our state’s residents in 2012-15.

In his commentary, “Nostalgia, not facts, drives Congress’ drought proposals” (Forum, April 17), Matt Weiser calls building dams and tinkering with the federal bureaucracy’s regulations under the Endangered Species Act “radioactive options.” He calls instead for groundwater recharge, water conservation on farms, stormwater capture and wastewater recycling.

From 2000 to 2014, Californians have passed $27.1 billion in water project bond measures, some funding projects he claims we still need. Another 33 percent was earmarked to ecosystems enhancements. Of the total, only $2.7 billion – 10 percent – can lay claim to funding water storage projects.

We have 50-year-old regulations with 21st century problems. Structural defects in the federal Reclamation Act and Endangered Species Act were starkly revealed during the current drought. Reclamation isn’t permitted to consider building new facilities, only maintain its existing ones….

California’s water system desperately needs new surface storage to operationally balance demands for ecological water use with the needs of California’s cities, farms and even the wildlife refuges that depend on water imports. That means we need new federal legislation with provisions that Weiser finds radioactive, but many thoughtful and caring Californians deem essential.

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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