Dwindling Water Supply

December 22, 2008 2:09:16 PM PST
California's aging water system is in need of an upgrade.Friday in Fresno, State and local leaders talked strategy to meet future needs.

Despite the recent storms we've had...water officials say the push to conserve remains a priority.

Developing a statewide water plan is easier said than done.

"I'm kind of concerned people will see the rain and say we've got no water problem. No we've got a big water problem."

The latest survey showed the Sierra Snowpack at 123-percent of normal.

But state officials say it's not enough to put them into a comfort zone.

Mike Chrisman, State Sec. For Resources: "We're ahead of average but we fell quite a bit behind last year because we had a significantly dryer than normal year not only here but in Southern California. We're playing catch-up."

The California water supply crisis forum aims to help educate the public on where their water comes from.

Mario Santoyo, Friant Water Users: "Amazing as it may sound, Southern California has never really understood their water comes from the Delta. So correcting the delta becomes a critical issue for them."

Friant Dam stores much of the water used by Fresno residents.

When you look at the low levels of Millerton Lake and Lake Kaweah in Tulare County you get a better feel for how much more rain and snow we actually need.

Lester Snow, Water Resources Director: "Because of the growth of the state, because of environmental needs, our water system is less reliable now than it has ever been."

For that reason...the State is looking to improve its water management practices to provide for future generations.

"We need to see investment in wastewater recycling. We need to see investment in groundwater storage and surface water storage - building new reservoirs."

State Secretary of Resources Mike Chrisman expects farmers to see water deliveries this year which will be close to average.

Similar forums will be held in the Bay Area and Southern California to educate people who may be asked to vote on water issues in November.


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