Many contractors in the CVP are scratching their heads at the latest USBR allocation announcement for South-of-Delta deliveries that was finally released late in the farm planning season.
In the wettest year on record, with approximately 200% of average precipitation, a lot of people are asking questions-
Why is the allocation only 65%?
Why did the announcement come so late?
If this is a record-breaking water year, what will normal years look like?
How can the system be so broken?
Read the responses from some of those impacted:
While California water officials deal with historic flooding and neglected infrastructure as well as emergency efforts to protect people and property from the next storms, our federal bureaucracy is also hard at work. Except its hard work is directed at putting up roadblocks to the very emergency repairs California officials are rushing to complete.
A four-page letter sent recently to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) makes outrageous recommendations that will confound efforts to begin repairing the damage at Oroville Dam. FERC maintains authority over the Oroville Hydroelectric Project.
The California Department of Water Resources stopped releases from Oroville’s main spillway on Monday, February 27 in order to begin dredging soil and concrete that are blocking Oroville’s power plant. Getting the power plant back on line will help regulate releases from the dam during the remainder of the rainy season, which will enhance public safety.
The NMFS letter makes 22 requests that it believes would minimize the effect on anadromous fish species and habitat on the Feather River. Those recommendations include:
There are more storms on the horizon as well as a record snowpack eager to melt this spring. Time is of the essence. DWR was right to shut the spillway and begin work as soon as possible in order to begin the clean up. The 180,000 people who evacuated two weeks ago should not be held hostage to a bureaucratic process that will slow progress on repairing the storm damage.