The rain has provided, but why aren’t we saving the water?
California has been in the midst of one of the rainiest winters in recent memory. Although the wet weather has caused plenty of flooding and mudslides, there should be a positive side to all of this: refreshed and refilled water reservoirs throughout the state.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Only a small fraction of the rainwater has been added to storage. State officials are more interested in diverting 95% of the rainwater into the San Joaquin River Delta and the Pacific Ocean instead of storing it in historically low reservoirs that provide needed water for farmland and drinking.
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Behind the outdated water policies
So why are California officials diverting much-needed water into the delta instead of reservoirs? The reason is that they are trying to ensure that the delta smelt — a tiny fish — thrives. You read that correctly; the state of California is prioritizing tiny fish over the health and livelihood of California citizens. Shouldn’t we be ensuring that our residents thrive instead of fish?
Don’t get me wrong — I support protecting natural wildlife, but environmental rules protecting certain fish shouldn’t be prioritized over human beings.
The Governor and Democratic staffers are taking no action
In a recent letter to Governor Newsom, I implored him to take action, saying, “When Mother Nature blesses us with rain, we need to save the water instead of dumping it into the ocean.” I went on to ask him to relax water restrictions across the state. Unfortunately, the Governor and his Democratic administration have not jumped into action. His priorities are misplaced, especially concerning how we are investing in the state’s water infrastructure.
The fact is that California’s water policies must change. Water needs to be available to our communities, and the state needs to build more water storage infrastructure. And if we don’t act quickly, the well-being of our state is at risk.
The drought hasn’t ended, so we need to take action now
Even though the state has received substantial rainfall during the last month, California is still under a significant drought. But the recent rain was a missed opportunity to save essential water for the upcoming dry months.
Instead, insane policies let it flow out through the delta and into the ocean. In fact, according to the Public Policy Institute, the state directed 84,000 acre-feet of water into the delta. If that water would have been directed into reservoirs and storage facilities, it could have supplied enough for 150,000 homes and 25,000 acres of farmland!
There is no reason we can’t divert a significant portion of this recent rainwater to the farmland that so desperately needs it.
And it’s not just Republicans calling for changes to the water policy. Leaders from both sides of the aisle are now on board for changes that will help our state save water.
It’s time for you to get involved
California needs to change its outdated policies to help the state save more water. If you are ready to support Vince Fong and his water-saving initiatives, please make a donation today. Visit his website to learn all the ways you can help.
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