In “We need more urgency on our sinking Valley” (Jan. 9), The Bee Editorial Board correctly notes our Valley is subsiding due to high levels of groundwater pumping resulting from huge shortages and uncertainties in surface water supplies brought on by the drought and increased environmental restrictions on water projects.
In that context, The Bee and its readers should note that high river flows from “Godzilla” El Niño-driven storms first reached the Sacramento-San Joaquin River delta about Dec. 20. And from then until Jan. 9, total Delta outflow (water lost to the ocean) was 468,296 acre-feet, enough water to almost fill a bone-dry Millerton Lake. That while state and federal Delta pumping averaged less then one-half of capacity and were virtually idling most days. Why? Environmental restrictions on their operation.
Lest there be any doubt, readers can see that data on-line for themselves at:
Finally, if past is prologue we can expect to see water losses to the ocean (Delta outflow) of well over 10 million acre-feet before this El Niño rainy season is over.
Lance W. Johnson, Shaver Lake