Sacramento, Calif., (March 29, 2017) – Many south-of-delta water users learned, after months of waiting, that they will only get 65% of their allocation this year. The initial announcement, delayed beyond the usual date comes late for growers looking to make critical decisions on-farm.
“While nature has provided an abundant supply in this record-breaking year and dams continue to be managed for flooding constraints, the broken bureaucratic system is not only unable to deliver full contract amounts, but now comes so late that farmers are left scrambling to make planting decision,” said Wade.
“If this is the best that can be done in the wettest year on record, what do future average and dry years hold?” Wade continued.
Communities who endured years of drought-induced water restrictions must now confront the consequences created by the failure to modernize and improve our system- from delays to increasing water storage and resolving conveyance constraints, to rejecting holistic management of the threats facing native species.
“Water that passes South could be used not only to reduce groundwater use, but to actually recharge and bank it in many places. Recharging water is as important a part of the future of storage as new reservoirs are. We must look to maximize the water we get during wet years and prepare for the future- we have to use the tools and supplies we have.” said Wade.
The State and Federal governments must now work quickly to adopt new, commonsense policies that not only encourage water storage during times of abundance in preparation for times of below-average precipitation, and ensure that agencies pursue outcomes-driven and holistic management strategies of native species, but that these policies are executed working in partnership with water experts from local and regional water management agencies to promote the most effective and efficient management of resources.