In the 15 years we have lived here, we have only seen one flood, and that one was in 2004 when downtown was inundated with water. People still remember that.
It used to be Madera flooded a lot more than it does now, and saving up water from those floods didn’t seem very important.
But it is important now.
One of the most creative ideas for saving water is also one of the cheapest and easiest, which is flooding orchards and letting the excess water seep into the aquifer.
Settling ponds are another cheap and easy way to store water. Fill those ponds up and let the water in them seep into the ground.
This is important, because the average annual rainfall in the Madera area is only about 11 inches. Yet, we use more than that. And we will continue to use even more because large-scale ag and new housing developments both require water.
And we need to save more water because the stupidest conservation plan in America, the half-hatched scheme to try to restore salmon runs to the San Joaquin River, is using huge amounts of water on a plan that isn’t working.
For that idea to work, we have to build Temperance Flat Dam so some water can be stored to try to help the salmon runs.
That won’t give us more salmon of course, but it will keep more biologists employed on that zany idea.