More Water Storage is What is Needed
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
At the capitol building in Sacramento, more than one thousand farmers and other stakeholders attended a big rally to protest the California State Water Resources Control Board’s proposed water grab of 40 percent of the water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers to increase flows for salmon. California Ag Today met with Steve Malanca, co-founder of My Job Depends on Ag, as he explained the concerns for water storage.
“Being in western Fresno County at Ground Zero, where the water take has been going on for 30 years, we have continually asked for more storage,” he said.
The lack of surface delivery water and the lack of storage in the state of California is not good for anyone.
“The fish need water. The farms need water. We need fresh drinking water, and the problem continues to get worse with the amount of water we lose every winter out to the ocean,” Malanca said. “If that water could be saved and properly stored … this would generate more cold water for the salmon to live and spawn in. We just want them to know that we need help, but we need more water.”
U.S. Representative for the 16th district Jim Costa also attended the water rally and explained the devastating impact of the water restrictions.
“If there are 40 percent unimpeded flows were allowed to go through, it would have a devastating impact on those counties,” Costa said.
California has reallocated water in the past and has not had very good results.
“What we have really got to do is talk about other proposals that take into account habitat, non-native predator species, non-point discharge and a balance that makes sense,” Costa said.