A Wasted Opportunity
If there’s any silver lining to the brutal drought we’ve faced these last several years, it’s that wasteful water practices and insufficient water storage infrastructure has been exposed to the public at large. One glaring example of this is the lack of water storage between Shasta Reservoir and the Delta. There’s roughly 300 miles of river between the two bodies of water. During rain events, that’s 300 miles of run-off that can’t be captured and held. Right now, in these very wet El Nino storms, there’s about 40,000 CFS of Sacramento River water running through the Delta, and into the ocean. That’s nearly 1 acre/foot per second, lost into the ocean, which is a terrible shame. What’s makes it all worse is that there’s a solution, which has been passed over for decades. The solution is the Sites Reservoir Project.
If the California Water Commission ultimately awards Prop 1, Chapter 8 bond money to the Sites Reservoir Project, much of this excess rain water could be captured, held, and reinjected into the Sacramento River (and ultimately the Delta) at a more appropriate time. All this water flowing through the system right now provides no tangible benefit to fish, birds, farmers, and cities. But come May, June, July, August… it would be liquid gold.
Earlier this week, I sat and watched the Sacramento River swell, and felt incline to document this situation with a short video.