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View Diary: The Emptying of Northern California Reservoirs (134 comments)

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  •  SoCal reservoirs really aren't much better. (6+ / 0-)

    In San Diego County, for example (all names -= reservoirs, all figures % capacity):

    Barrett  34
    El Capitan  38
    Hodges  36
    Miramar  83
    Morena  4
    Murray  88
    Lower Otay  71
    San Vicente  51
    Sutherland  10

    Source.

    "Life is the crummiest book I ever read - there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock, and characters an amateur would never dream up." - Bad Religion

    by TheOrchid on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:45:29 AM PST

    •  Those are local lakes dependent on rain water (10+ / 0-)

      Most of those lakes are small local watershed reservoirs. The two big reservoirs operated by the State Water Project, the ones that receive exported water, are in great shape. That's why the Metropolitan Water District says it will have sufficient water through 2016. You just made my point for me.

      •  Well la-te-da. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat, jakedog42

        Guess I'll go water my f*cking lawn then.

        "Life is the crummiest book I ever read - there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock, and characters an amateur would never dream up." - Bad Religion

        by TheOrchid on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:35:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The two 'big' reservoirs you reference (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ypochris, jakedog42

        are Castaic and Pyramid, which are small by Northern California standards.  Since you mention the relative size of storage at SoCal reservoirs, I thought I'd share the relative size of storage at NorCal reservoirs.  The below numbers are approximate, but not deceptive:

        For instance, water stored today at both Castaic and Pyramid combined is ~443kaf.

        Water stored at Shasta alone is 370% of that, at Oroville is 286% of that, at Trinity is 261% of that, at Folsom is 36% of that, at New Melones is 236% of that, at Don Pedro is 235% of that, at San Luis is 137% of that, at Exchequer is 48% of that, at Millerton is 42% of that, at Pine Flat is 40% of that.  

        http://cdec.water.ca.gov/...

        Total current storage on the system's major reservoirs, exclusive of the two 'big' reservoirs you mention, is about 16.9X the storage at those two.

        Those two 'full' reservoirs represent less than 6% of storage on the system of 'empty' Northern reservoirs.

        I don't minimize the severity of this statewide drought, and the underlying problems it reveals, but I think you are showing a lamentable tendency to reductive presentation of the facts in favor of a certain viewpoint.

        Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

        by benamery21 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 12:47:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A lamentable tendency? (6+ / 0-)

          Actually, it appears "lamentable tendency to reductive presentation of the facts in favor of a certain view point" is exactly what you are doing.

          Castaic and Pyramid lakes are big by Southern California standards - and are the ones that received the State Water Project water, along with Diamond Valley. Diamond Valley, the biggest reservoir in Southern California, isn't updated daily like the other ones are, but it is in very good shape compared to the Northern California reservoirs. (Diamond Valley is an MWD reservoir that receives water from both the Colorado River and the Delta). These three reservoirs received their water after the majority of water had already been delivered to subsidized agribusiness water barons farming unsustainable, drainage impaired land on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

          As Bill Jennings, Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, explained in my article, “We entered 2013 with Shasta, Oroville and Folsom reservoirs at 115 percent, 113 percent, and 121 percent of historical average storage. In April, they were still at 101 percent, 108 percent and 96 percent of average," said Jennings.

          "With no rainfall and little snowpack, the Department of Water Resources and the Bureau (of Reclamation) notified their contractors that water deliveries would be reduced. But they didn’t reduce deliveries. Instead, they actually exported 835,000 acre-feet more water than they said they would be able to deliver," said Jennings.

          Again, 835,000 acre feet of water more than the projects said they would be able to deliver was exported south to corporate agribusiness interests, the Kern Water Bank, oil companies in Kern County, and finally, Southern California reservoirs.

          It is undeniable that Folsom, Oroville and Shasta were systematically emptied to dangerously low levels - and now there is little water left in storage in Northern California reservoirs. Rather than do the right thing and conserve water in a drought, the state and federal water agency officials made sure that the corporate agribusiness, oil companies and Southern California water agencies got their water - at the expense of northern California - while "relaxing" State Water Resources Control Board water quality standards on the Delta and violating the Endangered Species Act by moving the winter run chinook water temperature compliance point on the Sacramento upstream from Red Bluff to Anderson.

          •  I simply make clear one point you elided (0+ / 0-)

            There is MUCH more water in storage in NorCal than in SoCal.

            Also,

            State Water Project allocations are at 0%

            The amount of SWP water in storage in SoCal is small in comparison to demand.

            Unless there is a dramatic change in the statewide drought situation, SoCal will be relying primarily on other supplies, not the Delta, for water this year.  The largest sources of water will be local (normally 40%) and Colorado River water (100% deliveries of 4.4maf), as deliveries from the Eastern Sierra are also likely to be minimal this year.

            None of this means the SWP is properly managed or that there are not serious concerns on multiple levels with the statewide drought.

            One of the many rational steps on which we could likely agree is that recycling of the 5maf of treated wastewater in CA should be increased statewide.  As of 2009, 87% of this water was not recycled.  

            Iron sharpens Iron. Normal is a dryer setting. STOP illegal immigration NOW! -- Make it LEGAL. If Corporations are People--Let's draft them.

            by benamery21 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 02:22:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Otay, Miramar, Murray and San Vicente (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater

        Are attached to the State water project (for sure) and get their water from the North.  Those are ones I'm certain about, because I used to fish in them.  Some of the others may be.  Moreno and Hodges--definitely not, El Cap, not sure but I don't think so.  Miramar and Murray are quite a bit smaller than the others.

        Note that the ones with the most water are definitely attached to the State water project.

        •  Bulk of project water goes to agribusiness (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Richard Lyon, RainyDay

          Reddog

          Lots of reservoirs store State Water Project water. However, the two major State Water Project storage reservoirs in Southern California are Pyramid and Castaic. The largest Southern California reservoir is Diamond Valley, but it receives water from both the Colorado River and State Water Project.

          It is interesting that the ones in San Diego County that get their water from the State Water Project have the most water, as you point out.

          But again, the bulk of state and federal project water went to corporate agribusiness interests on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, NOT to urban users! Also, oil drilling operations in Kern County use project water - and that amount will increase if fracking is expanded.

          Restore the Delta will hold a teleconference on Monday, Feb. 10, during which experts will release new information showing where California’s water went, how the State of California contributed to the current water scarcity through egregious mismanagement, and offer better policies for a sustainable water future.

          The speakers will include Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta; Adam Scow, California Campaigns Director, Food & Water Watch; Bill Jennings, Executive Director, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance; and Lloyd Carter, investigative reporter, expert on Westlands Water District.

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