Temperance Flat reservoir could assistance solve water crisis

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 3:24 PM

That’s what Central California’s newest water agency has been formed to do. The San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority started work over the past few months with the goal of finding ways to expand new surface water storage and other infrastructure that benefits the all region.

Temperance Flat reservoir could assistance solve water crisis

Four years of record drought have demonstrated that CA needs to discover ways to rescue more water. That’s what Central California’s newest water agency has been formed to do.

The San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority started work over the past few months with the goal of finding ways to expand new surface water storage and other infrastructure that benefits the entire region.

New storage has long been talked about in Central and Northern California. The proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County would be the largest in the N state.

In the San Joaquin Valley, a new reservoir with the title of an elderly gold mining camp, Temperance Flat, is the leading candidate and the one in which the new authority is most interested.

It'd be located on the San Joaquin River upstream from Friant Dam and within Millerton Lake, about thirty miles northeast of downtown Fresno.

The Temperance Flat proposal, initiated in two-thousandth, has successfully passed four highly technical reports, one preliminary federal feasibility report and it's expected to pass its final feasibility study in April.

There are excellent reasons why five counties – Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare and Kings – created the new authority. Our counties have borne the brunt of massive reductions in Central Valley Project water availability that's occurred over the past decade as a result not only of drought but of ever-more-stringent federal regulatory actions and court decisions.

Hardest hit have been farms irrigated with Central Valley Project water and the surrounding rural communities in the nation’s most productive agricultural counties. Many of the 600.000 acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland that have been fallowed in recent years are within these five counties.

Distant too many people, the vast majority low income, have lost their jobs on farms and in support industries and presently should stand in lines for food and seek public assistance.

The San Joaquin River discharges an average of about 1.8 million acre-feet a year into Millerton Lake, but it can keep only 520.000 acre-feet. The Temperance Flat reservoir would expand the capacity to approximately 1.5 million acre-feet.

In moist years, Millerton can’t contain the river. That’s why over the past thirty years, fifteen million acre-feet of San Joaquin River flood releases have been lost to the ocean – sufficient to supply Fresno for about one hundred years.

A new reservoir would boost water supplies, enhance flood protection, assistance the environment and assistance us meet the new state groundwater rules by recharging aquifers and thereby halting land subsidence.

The cities, counties, water agencies and tribal councils that create up the authority are actively seeking state funding from the two thousand fourteen state water bond. We’re also working to be engaged in the federal government as a partner to obtain design and construction on Temperance Flat moving.

We know any new reservoir will be challenging and expensive. However, having already seen what happens when water supplies running dry for so many Valley people, we simply can’t afford not to create such an investment.

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