Sacramento -- Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford), and a bipartisan coalition of state legislators, sent the following letter to the state and federal water agencies expressing the critical need for increased water flows, rather than wasting millions of gallons of storm water:
January 25, 2016
The Honorable David Murillo, Regional Director
Bureau of Reclamation
2800 Cottage Way
Sacramento CA 95825-1898
The Honorable Felicia Marcus, Chair
State Water Resources Control Board
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Director Murillo and Chairwoman Marcus,
We write today regarding the recent determination by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service which ultimately resulted in the curtailment of water exports from the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta. This decision will only leave us in a position where we must watch millions of gallons of additional storm water rush out to the ocean every minute since we are not able to capture any portion of it under this order.
Last year the State Board worked with the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources to temporarily allow for increased pumping from the delta following times of high inflow into the delta following a storm. This approach allowed for us to capture water runoff associated with winter storms while maintaining the delta ecosystem.
While recent storms have helped to partially and temporarily ease the drought conditions facing our state, California is nowhere near the amount of snowfall and rain that we would need to end the drought. To help prepare us for the dry summer months we request that the Bureau of Reclamation and State Board work towards enacting a policy that would allow for increased exports from the Delta during periods of high Delta inflow due to recent storms.
While such flexibility will not solve the drought, any additional water will help to stretch the amount of water that we have available in our reservoirs for the times of the year when those resources are truly needed. We stand committed to working with your agencies to address this issue.