….Correspondence between the National Marine Fisheries Service and Congressman Jeff Denham’s office shows the Bureau of Reclamation wants to flush as much as 15,000 acre feet of water down the Stanislaus River in order to “save” six fish.
In an email Sunny Snider of the federal fish protection agency sent to Denham Chief of Staff Jason Larrabee, it indicated a previous pulse flow in March that significantly raised water levels on the Stanislaus River through Ripon despite being in the middle of a severe drought had moved out 76 percent of the out-migrating steelhead by March 30.
The email stated that National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS) only expects 29 out-migrating steelhead a year and that their plan was to release 30,000 acre feet by the end of April to help them reach the Delta.
That means there are six steelhead left that the Bureau ordered South San Joaquin Irrigation District and Oakdale Irrigation District to release water this week to help on their journey. The 15,000 acre feet of water based on a statewide per capita use average could supply 174,301 Californians with water for a year to the combined populations of Tracy and Santa Barbara. Combined with last month’s pulse flow release, the 30,000 acre feet of water is the equivalent of the combined annual water needs of the cities of Stockton, Lathrop, Ripon, and Escalon…..
My Fox LA op-ed:
…On March 24th of this year, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act, the federal Government ordered a release of 5 billion gallons of water sent down the Stanislaus River, which eventually emptied into the ocean.
The purpose of this release or “pulse” as it’s called, was to raise the level of the river, so 23 steelhead trout could spawn.
So, in effect, just to allow 23 adult fish to possibly mate, water was wasted that could have supplied 150,000 Californians — for a year.
On April 10th, the Feds sent another 5 billion gallon pulse of water (enough water for another 150,000 Californians) down the Stanislaus, for the purpose of helping six steelhead trout reach the ocean and eventually return upriver to spawn.
It all just seems unbelievable.
In this terrible drought situation California finds itself in, it seems incredible to waste this massive amount of precious water.
It deifies common sense.
Billions of gallons of water being flushed to the sea.
This unfortunately is not the only example….
It’s hard to ask Californians to save water – when government is wasting it so needlessly.