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OPINION: Water Releases Need to be Better Managed for all Wildlife

I have only lived six years in Redding along a branch of the Sacramento River and feel extremely fortunate to be able to view and enjoy the abundant wildlife that lives in and along its waters.

The personnel who regulate the amount of water released from Keswick and Shasta Dams have a great responsibility and must take many factors into account. They must guard the public against possible flooding so public safety is a huge concern. Water in the lakes for recreation is important as is water needed for agriculture. All of this must balance and is very difficult with California drought problems.

Snowpack is Melting Fast, Despite April Storms

Throughout late March and into April, much of the West experienced unseasonably warm days. Then, in late April, temperatures plummeted in Southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and more than 2 feet of wet, heavy spring snow fell. Suddenly, ski boots were out again and for a day or two, it felt like winter was back.

But those storms have only helped a small fraction of the West, with much of the moisture buoying snowpack levels along the Eastern Rockies in Colorado and Wyoming. Meanwhile, the rest of the region is on the opposite trajectory, losing snowpack at record-breaking rates.

Cities Look for New Ways to Meet Demand for Water Supplies

A quarter-century ago, San Diego and its suburbs imported 95% of their water supplies. Thanks to investments in desalination and other efforts to boost supplies, that figure has already dropped to 57% and is projected to fall to just 18% sometime in the next two decades.

San Diego has gone from being one of the most vulnerable areas of California during drought to one of the best prepared—and in so doing has become a model for the future of water use in cities.

California’s New Desalination Plant Wins International Award

“The Claude ‘Bud’ Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant has been honored with a Global Water Award as the Desalination Plant of the Year for 2016 by Global Water Intelligence, publisher of periodicals for the international water industry,” the San Diego County Water Authority said in a press release on Friday.

“The largest seawater desalination plant in the nation, it started commercial operations in December 2015 and is providing the San Diego region with a drought-proof water supply during one of the most severe droughts in California’s recorded history.”