THE DISTRICT THAT WENT FROM DROUGHT TO EXCESS IN JUST ONE SUMMER - BIG AG HAS WATER TO STORE AFTER EARLIER CALLING FOR A STATE OF EMERGENCY?
From the Planning and Conservation League
September 22 -- Earlier this month, Westlands Water District (WWD), the largest single recipient of water from the Central Valley Project south of the Delta, filed an application to store 50,000 acre feet of water from this year's water supply for the District to use in future years.While water storage is not unusual, this particular action is perplexing given that the same water district reported severe water shortages, resulting in lost crops and lost jobs earlier this year. In fact, the district's shortages were the primary motivation for the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency for several California counties. In response to the emergency declaration, water quality standards were relaxed for the Bay Delta as well as the California Aqueduct. In both cases, water quality for the environment and urban users was degraded in an effort to help the district get through the growing season.
This month, however, the water district is singing a different tune. According to the water storage announcement, the district is seeking to store "supplies that are excess to its immediate demand."
Hopefully, this new found excess also signals the end of farm worker layoffs and restoration of water quality standards for the Bay Delta Estuary and the California Aqueduct.