For the past several decades, leaders in the Sacramento Valley have been developing innovative partnerships and projects to improve salmon, while assuring reliable water supplies for farms, birds, cities and rural communities. These efforts have significantly improved the migratory corridors and habitat for salmon throughout the Valley, leading to mixed success in restoring certain runs of salmon in the region. To further improve salmon runs—there is more work ahead. Now is the time for action!
A recent survey published in the San Jose Mercury News shows that the Sacramento River Basin has reduced its consumption by 13% this May, compared to May 2011-2013 (see map below). This is a good sign as we grapple with the third year of a drought, although there is more work ahead…. A story in the Chico Enterprise-Record also highlights the efforts that are underway by Sacramento Valley municipalities to conserve water during this challenging years. Kudos to the folks in the Sacramento Valley who are taking this drought very seriously.
This year, 2014, is the year that will be remembered by my family for two things. It is the year my son, George, was born. And, it is the year the reservoir did not fill. These two events, although both individually extraordinary, could not be more juxtaposed from tremendous joy to stomach churning apprehension. Well, to be fair, George is a newborn, so apprehension plays a role there, too.
Groundwater is one of California’s most precious hidden assets. In the Sacramento Valley, between 26% and 31% of the total farm and urban use is groundwater according to a new fact sheet by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). Access to high quality groundwater is vital to this region, particularly after three consecutive dry years where surface supplies are not available in certain parts of the Valley.