Additional Water Storage is an Absolute Must for California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (MAY 28, 2021) – On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that multiple water agencies that rely on the Central Valley Project will have this year’s allocations slashed from 55% down to 25%, placing additional pressure on communities around the state to depend on supplies from already stressed storage projects like Shasta Lake and Folsom Lake. 

“Water policy and the water allocation process in California is broken,” said former Congressman Doug Ose.  “We need to actually do something about these challenges.  We must prioritize water storage and focus on long-term solutions like building Sites Reservoir – the water stored there is money in the bank for a ‘rainy’ day.  Imagine how different our current predicament would be if Sites had been built within the last six years instead of just being studied to death.”

Mr. Ose announced the following solutions following the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s recent announcement:

  1. There comes a point when the cold water release issue must be secondary to human need.  California is beyond that point.  The regulatory requirement for preservation of cold water behind Shasta Dam needs to be waived.
  2. Responsible operators in the federal and state regulatory agencies need to expedite any and all market-based water transfers.  Individual water rights must be respected as we deal with this drought.  Let water flow to the highest and best use without government micromanagement or regulatory interference.
  3. Third parties that routinely insert themselves into federal and state water issues need to stand down.  Attempting to leverage this situation to obtain political or regulatory advantage will push this into court and nothing will get done.
  4. The federal government needs to confirm its commitment to help fund the construction of new storage facilities north and south of the Delta.