Millions of Gallons of Wasted Storm Runoff Ignored 

Assemblyman Jim Patterson
Assembly Member Jim Patterson represents the 23rd District, which includes portions of Fresno and Tulare counties.

Last week the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation heard testimony from several of the state’s water bureaucrats about how they are spending water bond funds. Surprising to me was that after all the back-patting, there was not one mention of all the water we are wasting.

According to the Coalition for a Sustainable Delta, more than 208,000 acre feet of water was flushed out to the ocean during the month of January.
We should be pumping that water out of the Delta to refill and replenish the reservoirs we will rely on for our next dry season.

Fresno County Farmer Wayne Western has been crunching numbers to keep the public aware of all the water waste.  “The people of California have been conserving for a major drought for over three years.  We’ve also been paying for it by lost jobs, fallowed fields,” Western said. “It’s time for the government to end the man-made drought and start pumping and saving water.”

Unfortunately, pumping restrictions have drastically limited pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. I joined several of my legislative colleagues last week to call on the State Water Board to work with the necessary agencies to at least allow for some pumping after drenching winter storms.

If our voices are not heard and action is not taken we will lose millions of acre feet of water this year.

FAST FACTS ON WATER RELEASES

  • During the month of January 208,000 acre feet was lost to the ocean
  • That’s enough to supply 462,000 families for a year
  • Resulting in 69,000 acres of fallowed farmland and 16,000 lost jobs

Follow Jim Patterson on Twitter @jimpatterson559

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