When a drought hits, we should Take A look at how ready We’re – have we conserved enough, retailerd enough, assembleed enough To Guarantee residents and the environment have enough water?
Over the previous 20 yrs, Southern Californians have raised the bar When it Includes water conservation and revolutionary native water current tasks—like world class water reuse, groundwater replenishment and desalination amenities. We now have carried out Tons, however There’s extra We will and should do as a area and as a state to create A very resilient and reliable water future.
Drought is devastating communities throughout California, and we Have not even hit The most properly appreciated, driest months but. To place this drought in context, That is solely the second yr Of The current drought, and traditionally droughts have lasted As a lot as six yrs, Based mostly on Public Coverage Institute of California. Water supervisors are already wrestling with a extremely difficult yr, and Southern California enterprisees Are not any exception.
Are we as ready as we might or Ought to be? In our opinion, The reply Is not any.
The circumstance We uncover ourselves in right now is A critical event of why We now Want To assemble Websites Reservoir now. Simply a few yrs in the past, in 2017 and 2019, we expert a collection of atmospheric river events that produced Tons runoff that it overtopped our flood administration system inflicting super flooding and vital damage all by way of Northern California.
If Websites Reservoir had been in place all by way of That time, not solely might we have prevented Lots of these flooding impacts, however we additionally would have seized and retailerd a lot of this extra runoff To be used in a dry yr like We’re presently experiencing. Truly, if Websites Reservoir have been assembleed and operational over these previous few yrs, We’d have almost A million acre-ft of water retailerd To be used right now To assist mitigate the impacts We’re presently experiencing all by way of this already troublesome drought state of affairs.
Websites Reservoir is a proposed multi-revenue, off-stream water storage facility, located north of Sacramento in rural Colusa and Glenn counties. Websites will serve To grab and retailer stormwater and flood flows Inside the Sacramento River, In any case completely different water rights and regulatory requirements are met, for launch primarily in drier yrs, Similar to 2021.
Websites Reservoir May even be A sensible transfer for the environment. A great portion of the water retailerd in Websites Reservoir Shall be Put aside for environmental features. This water will assist aquatic species and habitat Get up to dry yr circumstances. This turns into a win-win, serving to the environment and creating extra flexibility for statewide water operations.
Different than completely different huge water storage tasks that require primary dams, Websites Reservoir is off-stream, which means it Does not dam any of our primary rivers. This Is Amongst The numerous many causes it has broad assist and illustration from the native counties the place the enterprise is located, Collectively with cities, counties, water and irrigation districts all by way of the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Bay Space, and Southern California. Collectively, the individuals On this enterprise serve water to over 24 million Californians and over 500,000 acres of farmland all by way of California.
This Is usually a enterprise We now Want to advance – It is a generational alternative to assemble a multi-revenue water storage enterprise that assists reretailer flexibility, reliability, and resiliency to our statewide water current.
Our current water infrastructure was not designed with future local climate circumstances in thoughts. But in depth modeling has indicated that Websites Reservoir actually performs greater, and currents even greater water current advantages to farms, people, and the environment of California, beneath even In all probability the most difficult local climate change circumstances.
The distinctive nature Of internet sites Reservoir is illustrated by its assist. The enterprisees collaborating in Websites Reservoir are numerous, recurrenting primary metropolis facilities and rural agricultural areas all by way of California, together with the Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, Bay Space, and Southern California. Supporters embrace farming teams, cities, counties, enterprise leaders and water enterprisees recurrenting metropolis areas.
As we advance the environmental consider course of in late 2021, the Websites Project Authority will proceed to strengthen partnerships with landowners, communities, and key stakeholders that recurrent environmental, agricultural, enterprise, labor, and completely different pursuits and proceed to pursue funding To maneuver the enterprise forward by way of the planning and feasibility stage and into implementation in 2022.
Whereas native water tasks are important to our areaal sustainability, we Even have to strategically Pay money for forward-considering statewide tasks Which will current a lot-needed water As quickly as We’d Choose it most. Partially, That is the rationale Websites Reservoir was embraced in Gov. Newsom’s Water Resiliency Portfolio. It is This Sort of planning That currents us confidence that we Could be sustainable by way of future droughts.
Robert Cheng is assistant widespread supervisor of the Coachella Valley Water District. Charley Wilson is authorities director of the Southern California Water Coalition.