Posted by: Jan | September 7, 2015

Less Water might be Plenty


Good article in the L.A. Times:
Across California this summer, residents have been racking up water conservation numbers that defy expectations — a 27% reduction in June, followed by 31.3% in July.

Perhaps more impressive than the percentage figures, however, is the actual volume of water saved over two months: 414,800 acre-feet.

That’s a lot of water — more than twice the amount projected to be available annually from two proposed storage facilities that would cost a combined $3.5 billion to build: the Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River and an expansion of Shasta Dam.

“The reality is that there are so many soft paths that we can take that might have a lot less environmental impact and be a lot less expensive, and still meet our future demand,” said Newsha Ajami, director of urban water policy for Stanford’s Water in the West initiative. “This is probably a smarter tack than building more infrastructure, and moving more water around long distances.”

Of course Lester Snow, Delta Tunnel advocate, disagrees. He says “”Conservation is one of the tools, but I would not want to count on it completely.”

Hopefully, though, the advocates opposed to major infrastructure projects to move water around and who propose, instead, regional self-sufficiency, will win out. Else they will destroy the Delta with a huge construction project resulting in empty tunnels many years as snow in the Sierras becomes less prevelant.

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