These are difficult times on the Colorado River. Diminishing flows and population growth are exacerbating the already contentious Colorado River allocations among the Colorado River Basin states. To move forward, state-level legal frameworks will have to be strong and comprehensive to ensure that water from existing allocations is conserved, and that states are prepared for the inevitable climate-induced shortages. While efforts around these issues are in play in varying degrees among the Colorado River Basin states, there is still a lot of strengthening that can be done.
Archive for date: May 4th, 2018
There is broad consensus that California’s water challenges are only going to get worse as climate change continues. We will have more drought, more major rain events with consequent flooding and more uncertainty. In this era of global warming, we need new approaches to help solve our water problems. The Trump administration proposal to raise the Shasta Dam by 18½ feet, along with the recent vote by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to support the delta tunnels, illustrate our complete and outmoded dependence on built infrastructure to provide water.
A far-reaching measure before California voters in June would authorize the state to borrow $4.1 billion for investments in outdoor recreation, land conservation and water projects. But Proposition 68, which needs a simple majority vote to pass, is not your typical water and parks bond measure. The proposition steers clear of flashy, big-ticket items like new dams and major state park expansions. Instead, it favors upgrading smaller neighborhood parks, protecting local greenways and open space and cleaning up polluted riverbanks and groundwater supplies, largely in urban and suburban areas.
Two water-storage projects in the Sacramento region are closer to becoming a reality after getting another bump in state bond funding. The California Water Commission announced Friday that the Sites Reservoir project was eligible for $1 billion in Proposition 1 funds, up from $933 million the commission had said it might receive last month. It’s the most money tentatively awarded to any of the 11 projects that have applied for Prop. 1 funds. If completed, the project near Williams along the Glenn-Colusa county line would store water piped in from the Sacramento River.