Feb 28, 2015
Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) today announced the introduction of H.R. 1060, which will accelerate the completion of a feasibility study of Sites Reservoir and authorize the project should it be found feasible. Located in Colusa and Glenn counties, Sites Reservoir is a proposed off-stream reservoir that would store as much as 1.8 million acre feet of water for cities, agriculture, and the environment.
“Californians have spoken strongly in support of investing in new surface storage, with over two-thirds voting to invest in projects like Sites Reservoir,” said Rep. LaMalfa (CA-01). “Sites provides more storage per dollar invested than any other proposed project, ensuring that California has water available for cities, farms, and the environment during future droughts. It’s time to fulfill the promises made to voters, move forward on Sites, and build the infrastructure that will allow our state’s economy to continue growing for generations to come.”
“California is famous for bouncing back from adversity and emerging stronger. Sites Reservoir will play a key role in making our state drought resilient by expanding our water reserves. The Sites project would help meet the water needs of our communities, farms, and environment. It has galvanized bipartisan support across California. The water bond, which provides significant funding for storage, was passed by an overwhelming majority of California voters. Let’s continue this momentum, pass this bill, and start building California’s water future,” said Congressman Garamendi (D-CA-03).
David Guy, President of the Northern California Water Association, urged support for the measure: “This bi-partisan effort promoting progressive water management is a step forward for California. The dry years in California have shown the importance of surface storage for all beneficial purposes–water needed for cities and rural communities, farms, fish, birds and recreation. An off-stream regulating reservoir on the west-side of the Sacramento Valley (Sites) is critical for all these beneficial purposes in the Sacramento Valley, as well as providing state-wide water system operational improvements.”
Fritz Durst, Chairman of the Sites Joint Powers Authority (Sites JPA), supported the Congressmen’s action: “Once again, our representatives, Congressmen LaMalfa and Garamendi, have exercised leadership by advancing this legislation and project. Sites Reservoir will improve statewide water reliability so desperately needed in drought years to protect and enhance the lifeblood of our economy, while also providing the necessary water to conserve our rich wildlife and natural resources.”
Sites JPA Vice Chair Leigh McDaniel highlighted the importance of expeditious Congressional consideration of this measure: “With the eyes of the country focused on California’s historic drought, it is vital that we work jointly to seize this opportunity to develop the infrastructure needed to store additional water at Sites Reservoir and beyond. Doing so will go a long way toward enhancing operational efficiency of the Central Valley Project and serve to mitigate the impacts of similar droughts going forward.”
The California Department of Water Resources recently reported that Sites Reservoir would generate an additional 900,000 acre feet of water during droughts, enough water to supply millions of Californians for an entire year.
The California Alliance for Jobs has also profiled Sites Reservoir and released a video detailing the project’s benefits to cities, farms and the environment. As an off-stream reservoir, Sites has the ability to recapture water released upstream, allowing improved conditions for salmon and reuse of water for urban and agriculture purposes.
The Northern California Water Association produced an infographic on Sites Reservoir and its operation in conjunction with other water infrastructure.
Attached photo: Congressmen LaMalfa and Garamendi respond to questions at a forum sponsored by the Association of California Water Agencies (Photo Credit: ACWA).
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.
Feb 19, 2015
Desperate plea for more water at the state capitol
From: Mariana Jacob, KFSN
Valley leaders headed to Sacramento to push state lawmakers to reverse a decision to cut back the flow of Delta water pumped south to local farms and communities.
Everyone in the Valley is facing the major possibility of a fourth year of a devastating drought. With little snow in the Sierra and a lack of rain, local water districts are anticipating another extremely dry year for farmers.
NorCal vs SoCal: Battle over Delta water intensifies
It’s a battle that has gone on for years, but as the drought intensifies, so does the argument over who should get the water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
“Last year, we got zero,” Fresno County-based Harris Farms Vice President William Bordeau said.
Bordeau joined growers from the Central Valley as they packed buses and traveled to Sacramento to make their case.
“Thousands of people are going to go without work as a result of not having water and letting the water go out to the ocean,” Bordeau said.
Last year, some communities in the state received no water from the Department of Water Resources (DWR). They had to rely on their wells, which have now gone dry.
“We need water from the Delta because our reservoirs are real low,” said Alvaro Preciado, who works at a water plant in Coloma. “The quality of the water is not good. It’s very poor quality.”
“We’re asking to turn on those pumps,” said Paul Villareal, who also traveled to Sacramento with the farmers. “Consider the human element, not taking care of the Delta and the fish.”
But, those who campaign under the banner “Restore the Delta” say for them, it’s also about the people.
“We’re talking about the fish because the fish supply more jobs than this small area of California farming,” California Water Impact Network lawyer Michael Jackson said. “It’s not a matter of fish versus farmer. In this particular circumstance, it’s farmer versus farmer.”
However, people who live near the Delta are asking, “what about us?” Those residents worry that as freshwater leaves the Delta, salt water will come in. The state limits how much water can be pumped out.
“If they weaken it, all it is, is a transfer of wealth,” Delta resident and landowner Rogene Reynolds said. “It’s the better water leaving and the salt water intruding.”
On Wednesday, no decisions were made; but moving forward, state officials will face the challenge of trying to please both sides.
Feb 12, 2015
PNP comment: Just what is needed — a liberal biased Democrat-led conference on the state of water in California! Is the “Grizzly project what I think it is? And really, California agency bureaucrat employees get $100 off the attendance fee! Sure hope that everyone is wearing their knee-deep rubber boots for this one! — Editor Liz Bowen
On February 19, 2015, Capitol Weekly & UC Center will host a conference: WATER 2015, a day-long program looking at the future of water in California. It marks the 14th conference on critical state issues jointly sponsored by Capitol Weekly and the UC Center.
WATER 2015 will feature two dozen water experts and decision makers looking at water policy in California. Panelists will discuss The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the distribution of supplies, storage options, the impact of the Water Bond, new groundwater legislation, and conservation of the state’s most precious resource.
Our Keynote speaker will be California State Senator Lois Wolk, (D-3rd District).
The program will feature four panels: The Money, Drought Impact, The Delta, and Storage, Supply and Distribution.
Confirmed speakers include:
Assemblyman Henry Perea, Chair, Agriculture Committee
Jeff Kightlinger, Metroplitan Water District of Southern California
Joe Caves, Conservation Strategy Group
Marguerite Patil, Contra Costa Water District
Cindy Tuck, Association of California Water Agencies
David Orth, Kings River Conservation District
Denise Kruger, Golden State Water
Doug Obeji, Natural Resource Defense Council
Joe Byrne, California Water Commission
Thad Bettner, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District
Mary Piepho, Contra Costa Board of Supervisors
Richard Atwater, Southern California Water Committee
Adrian Covert, Bay Area Council
Osha Meserve, Soluri Meserve Law Corporation
Jim Branham, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Laurel Firestone, Community Water Center
Jennifer Bowles, Water Education Foundation
Anthony York, Grizzly Bear Project
Amy Quinton, Capital Public Radio
Chris Austin, Maven’s Notebook
Register now to save your seat. $199 registration fee includes: coffee, lunch and all conference materials.
Special $99 rate for California state government staff!
For Sponsorship information, contact Tim Foster at 916 444 7665 or email@example.com, or Michelle Matheson at Aim-Point, at 916 669 9372 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Registration questions, contact Capitol Weekly, at 916 444 7665 or email@example.com,
For questions about content, please contact John Howard at 916 444-7665 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsors include The California Endowment, the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations, Californians for Water Security, The California Channel, Capital Public Radio, The California Center for Civic Participation, The Gualco Group Inc., The Water Education Foundation, KP Public Affairs, Fiona Hutton and Associates, Comcast Spotlight, Maven’s Notebook, the California Building Industry Association and the California Water Association.
Jan 13, 2015
By Liz Bowen
California State Attorney General Kamala Harris is not a friend to the rural agricultural areas or small business. She has specifically agreed to lawsuits that affect water and the environment in Siskiyou County. Personally, I believe she will make a worse Senator that Barbara Boxer did! This is bad, sad news for the North State.
Dec 26, 2014
The federal Climate Prediction Center now foresees a wet winter throughout California, particularly in areas south of Sacramento, as a result of a weak El Nino combining with the state’s normal wet season. The updated prognosis comes as the U.S. Drought Monitor shows drought conditions are slowly improving as a result of recent rains.
Published: December 19, 2014 4:42PM
SACRAMENTO — Federal forecasters are going bullish on California’s winter prospects, predicting higher-than-average precipitation for the drought-parched state through March.
The anticipated southern storms from a weak El Nino are combining with the storm activity that California normally gets this time of year to produce the rosy outlook, observes Michelle Mead, the National Weather Service’s warning coordinator here.
The federal Climate Prediction Center’s updated three-month outlook map shows a wet pattern extending throughout the Southwest and into Texas, while northern areas of the Pacific Northwest appear to be headed for drier-than-normal weather.
“The probabilities are increasing that we’ll stay in a progressive pattern,” Mead said. “Seasonally California is entering its wet season. It started out well, and the long-range models indicate that pattern will continue.”
The prognosis comes as some areas of Northern California have been receiving nearly daily rainfall since Thanksgiving weekend and are approaching precipitation records for December.
The Sacramento airport — which sits amid prime rice ground just north of the city — had recorded 7.63 inches of rain for the month as of Dec. 18, making it likely that area will surpass its December record of 8.22 inches before the end of the month.
Redding — which measured rainfall in 17 of the first 18 days of December — was at 8.68 inches for the month, well above its normal 5.44 inches, according to the weather service. However, the city still has a ways to go to achieve the 14.72 inches it sopped up in December 2002.
All the rain is beginning to have an impact on the state’s three-year drought, albeit slowly. The U.S. Drought Monitor’s updated map shows a majority of Northern California has seen a one-category improvement, mostly from “exceptional” to “extreme.”
State and federal officials have said California will need 150 percent of its normal precipitation to completely recover from the drought, as major reservoir levels have been near historic lows.
The state would need 150 percent of normal snowpack, too, since snowmelt in the spring continues to replenish reservoirs after the winter rains are over, Mead explained. So far, the state is still at only 47 percent of its average snowpack for this time of year, as most of the storms have been warn with higher-elevation snow levels.
That trend is expected to continue into the winter, as the Climate Prediction Center envisions above-average temperatures throughout the West through March.