Here are some of the most common questions we get related to water issues. If you have a question that we didn't answer, let us know! Contact Us
If you can't fill one reservoir, why build more?
Rain comes in cycles and in "wet years" our reservoir will fill with enough water to last through a few dry years. Presently our reservoir system is used to grow your food, quench your thirst, wash your clothes, and so much more. Most of our stored water is used to maintain a steady flow for the environment. In fact, without reservoirs, our rivers would often dry up to nothing! Adding more reservoirs will greatly help catch more water in the wet years to help us make it through dry seasons. This isn't California's first drought. Thankfully, we have the reservoirs that we do otherwise we would be in much worse shape. Now is the time to prepare by adding more reservoirs.
If reservoirs are almost empty, why would we make them larger?
For example, even in times of drought, mild rain will fill some reservoirs beyond what they can contain. A famous situation of this is Folsom Reservoir near Sacramento. Extra water is then sent out the floodgates and to the ocean accomplishing nothing for people or the environment. It would not be wise to make every reservoir larger such as the reservoirs that take many years to fill. But, if select reservoirs, similar to Folsom, are made taller, there would be less wasted water in drought conditions.
What is a 40% Unimpaired Flow?
Our California reservoir system collects water in the wettest months to prevent flooding as well as to store water for dry months. This stored water will be used for environmental purposes, cities, and growing food. In the wet season, when California collects most of the water in reservoirs, the State Water Board want to limit the amount of water that can be stored. They are demanding that 40% of the water that flows from the mountain range into the reservoirs to be immediately sent back out of the reservoirs.
What's the greatest threat to endangered fish?
What's the greatest threat to endangered fish? Bears, reservoirs, eagles, fishermen, bass? The State Water Resource Control Board thinks it's lack of water. They are trying to protect endangered fish by sending more water out of depleted reservoirs into rivers and off to the ocean. Unfortunately, their outdated science hasn't helped them understand that about 98% of the fish found in our rivers were artificially introduced and do not belong in California's ecosystem. Many of the fish that were introduced between the late 1800s and the 1970s are very aggressive predators, such as Largemouth Bass. Studies conclude that at least 95% of our endangered fish are lost to predation, not lack of water. According to the 2009 Recovery Plan by NMFS, "reducing abundance of Striped Bass and other non-native predators must be achieved in order to prevent extension or prevent the species from declining irreversibly."
Who is using most of the water?
Most people think that the majority of water flowing from our reservoirs goes to farms--but is that true? Well, it depends how you look at it. 80% of the water used for people is sent to farms. Many would make the argument that all farms result in goods and food for people so they lump all human and environment consumption into two separate categories. According to the Public Policy Institue of California, roughly 50% of our water is used for environmental purposes, 40% for agricultural, and 10% urban.