Sacramento, CA – Today, Mother Lode U.S. Congressman Tom McClintock took a double-barreled aim towards mitigating water releases during current and future drought times.
This afternoon, McClintock introduced H.R. 1668, the Save Our Water Act, which would suspend federal and state agencies from making water releases to adjust river water temperatures during extreme times such as under conditions of exceptional drought. According to the Congressman’s office, the new bill is not intended as an emergency measure but seeks to prevent future releases under such conditions.
In explaining his specific reason for introducing the measure, McClintock states, “This bill incorporates language that will stop the appalling practice of sacrificing tens of thousands of acre-feet of water for the comfort of fish when the human population is in immense peril.”
With regard to water release activities that are now underway at New Melones Reservoir, as previously reported, McClintock and Congressman Jeff Denham, earlier today, co-signed a letter of support to California State Water Resources Control Board Chair Felicia Marcus. In it, they urge the board to approve a temporary urgency change petition submitted earlier this week, which provides a collectively brokered plan for New Melones water operations through Sept. 30, reported here. The petition strikes a cooperative agreement between the US Bureau of Reclamation, fisheries agencies and local irrigation districts, allowing the parties to implement operational plan criteria and biological opinion specified flow schedules through the end of the current water year. It also mandates increased conservation efforts and maintains Lake Tulloch Reservoir levels for municipal and recreational use through the summer season.