[Ed. – Be clear on this. Today’s “environmentalists” are leveraging the man-made water system to funnel rainfall and Sierra run-off away from where it would naturally go — much of it to replenish the Central (San Joaquin) Valley, where thousands have lost their farms — and into the Pacific Ocean. The enviros aren’t letting nature take its course. They are making a choice against farmers, using artificial means.]
Reservoirs and rivers are overflowing as storms have pounded California this winter, and after years of drought that should be good news. The problem is that misguided environmentalism is wasting the water windfall and failing to store it for a non-rainy day. …
While farmers and communities downstream can capture some of the discharges, millions of acre-feet will invariably flow into the ocean due to lack of storage capacity and rules to protect endangered fish species. One problem is that while the state population has increased 70% since 1979, storage hasn’t expanded. Water districts in southern California have developed small local reservoirs and groundwater basins, but what’s most needed is storage in the north where most of the rain and snow falls.
The Public Policy Institute of California estimates that five proposed reservoirs could add four million acre-feet of storage capacity at a cost of $9 billion. Yet environmentalists have opposed every significant surface storage project for three decades.