The California Water Commission is evaluating a variety of projects to store water, either above ground in reservoirs or underground in aquifers, or a combination of both. We asked readers what advice they would give to the water commission as it allocates $2.7 billion of funding from the water bond approved last year.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Dredge the Sacramento River
Re “Where to store water?” (Forum, March 29): If the California Water Commission is trying to spend $2.7 billion in the best way possible, why not dredge the Sacramento River and get the water back into the clay banks like it used to run? The river would be one heck of a water storage and flood control project that is already there. The fish could have cooler water to survive. We would not have to truck salmon smolt to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Daniel Brian Emery, Yuba City
John Fierro – Above ground for recreational opportunities. Below ground isn’t monitored enough; the water would disappear. Why are domestic users funding all of the cost when we use only 15 percent of the water? Big businesses should be providing additional storage. … Don’t make me pay for storage I don’t need and don’t scare me into thinking that I’m going to run out of water. Current storage is adequate for domestic use.
Château Bettina – Why are the farms watering in the middle of the day when water is most likely to evaporate, while the rest of us are regulated to certain times in the morning or late afternoon?
Carrie Astorino – Below ground in aquifers has the advantage of minimizing surface evaporation.
Usha Paul Macgarvey – What a silly question! The obvious answer is both.
Jim Mathes – It’s more expensive, but I think desalination is the only answer when the snowpack is gone, the reservoirs are empty and the groundwater is being depleted.
Jay Raj Narayan – Above ground. Nobody can tap into it without someone noticing it. Put solar panels above the canals to prevent evaporation. It’s that simple.
Robert Volk – Build more dams and quit flushing it to the ocean to protect a stupid smelt.
Harold G. Dahl – It’s all moot until they stop any and all new water and sewer hookups in the state for the foreseeable future. Hooking up new construction in a long drought like this is criminal, especially when they want to ration all of us.
Casey Vandenburg – Any effort to build more dams and reservoirs will be met with years of legal battles. Remember, there are folks out there who want to remove dams. The solution is twofold: First, we need to store water underground. We have virtually everything in place to make this happen now. Second, we need to be willing to move water like we move electricity and oil. We pump oil 800 miles across Alaska, and we are looking to move oil from Canada to Texas, so moving water from up north into California is very doable. I know that buying water will not be cheap, but if the price is right, states will sell what they don’t need. This is a time for big, bold decisions, not a time for people to be told to water lawns only three days a week.
Liz Taylor – Both, but there also needs to be a focus on reducing runoff by using more water-permeable paving, home rain barrels, and drought-resistant landscaping. … We need technology to capture, filter and reuse fresh water above desalination or conveyance schemes.