Water Regulators Operate in Silos
February 22, 2016
State Senator Cannella Says Water Regulators Operate in Silos
By Laurie Greene Editor
California State Senator Anthony Cannella, (R-Ceres), who represents District 12, the Westside of the Central San Joaquin Valley from Modesto to Coalinga, knows how growers must feel about so much fresh water from recent rain and early snowmelt flowing out to the ocean instead of being stored for future use. Cannella, who is currently serving as vice chairman of the Agriculture Committee said, “Obviously growers are out there; they have their life savings out there; they have been relying on water from the State Water Project or they have been relying on reservoirs; and the state has been taking more and more of their water due to ESA restrictions.”
“If farmers do not have surface water again this year,’ he continued, “they are going to pump from the groundwater. But state and federal officials do not see the connection that no surface water means more groundwater pumping. It would be much more sustainable if farmers could receive more surface water instead of having it flow out to the ocean.”
Cannella said, “Water regulators operate in silos. On one hand, they say groundwater has to be at an equilibrium; and, on the other hand, they say that they cannot pump much fresh water into reservoirs. They don’t combine the two; they don’t connect the two; and I think that is wrong.”
“If you are going to regulate or take away surface storage, there will be an impact on groundwater,” explained Cannella. “But the state does not operate that way, and that is why we are having the problem we are having,” he said.