The Madera Tribune

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What we have is a storage shortage

January 20, 2017

There is no water shortage. What we have is a shortage of water storage.

To emphasize this point; last week at Friant Dam, they began releasing 6,000 cubic foot of water per second to make room for runoff  due to potential flooding. That is the equivalent, per day, of Bulldog stadium filled to 12,000 feet high. 

Every year, there is an average flood release from Friant of 500,000 acre feet; the equivalent of Bulldog stadium filled to nearly 100 miles high. 

The storage capacity of Friant Dam is 520,000 acre feet. The proposed Temperance Flat Dam would more than double the storage, and allow us to capture the water that is now released every year for flooding. This can be used to recharge the underground aquifer through interconnected recharge basins. 

The yearly loss of this water means that jobs, food, community health and prosperity are flowing down the river out to the ocean. This leaves our already disadvantaged communities at a greater disadvantage. 

It is likely, with the new presidential administration, that federal water policy will be reexamined and changed in a manner favorable to our region.  We need to build Temperance Flat Dam to preserve our water, recharge our groundwater, and protect jobs and our future.

— Madera County Supervisor David Rogers


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