Simple logic tells us that as climate change alters precipitation patterns, California must expand its capacity to capture and store water.
Even if the overall amount of precipitation remains unchanged, we will receive more of it in the form of rain and less as snow, which means the natural reservoir of the Sierra snow pack will decline as a water source.
Sites Project has ‘Turned the Corner’
We can prepare for that decline by creating more storage, either in new reservoirs or by replenishing underground aquifers. However, despite the urgency of the situation — one underscored by the current drought — California politicians have been lackadaisical about doing what needs to be done.
Local and regional water authorities have been more diligent. Southern California’s recent construction of more storage capacity is one reason it is less affected by the current drought than Northern California.
About the Author
Dan Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers. He began his professional career in 1960, at age 16, at the Humboldt Times. For more columns by Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.