Anyone purporting to be an expert on Valley water policy should do better than to conflate numbers to mislead the public.
Aubrey Bettencourt of the California Water Alliance complains that the half-million acre-foot capacity of Millerton Reservoir is an insufficient fraction of the total discharge of water into the Delta by the San Joaquin River (May 6), which she cites as 4.5 million acre-feet, as if all that water comes down through Friant Dam.
Unfortunately for her argument, that is the flow past Vernalis, 25 miles above Stockton, which includes water flowing into the San Joaquin from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers, not to mention the bone-dry Fresno River. Discharge through New Melones Lake, Don Pedro Reservoir and Lake McClure is irrelevant to what can be stored by the proposed Temperance Flat Reservoir.
Total flow into Millerton Lake is 1.8 million acre-feet. Because water is being distributed out of the lake to farms and cities while it is coming in, the actual useful capacity of Millerton is 1.2 million, not 508,000. That doesn’t leave much water to fill the new reservoir, which would hold the most expensive water in the state.
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Robert Turner, Clovis