California U. S. Representative Tom McClintock complains about water releases from California reservoirs:
One of the worst droughts in California’s history has devastated more than a half-million acres of the most fertile farmland in America. In communities like Sacramento, “water police” go from door to door to enforce conservation measures. There’s even a mobile “app” to report neighbors to city authorities so they can be fined for wasting water.
With the Sierra snowpack at 4% of normal as of May 20, Californians will desperately need what little water remains behind its dams this summer. Authorities have warned some towns like Folsom—home of Folsom Lake—to expect daily rationing of 50 gallons per person, a 60% cut from average household usage.
Yet last month the Bureau of Reclamation drained Folsom and other reservoirs on the American and Stanislaus rivers of more than 70,000 acre feet of water—enough to meet the annual needs of a city of half a million people—for the comfort and convenience of fish.
This has always been the paradox of California. California doesn’t have enough native supplies of water to support a large population. Ultimately, California will need to choose among agriculture, the environment, and the large population. I think that subsidizing agriculture and preserving the environment should be the priorities rather than subsidizing a population larger than the land’s ability to support but, then, I don’t live in California.