If the perceived thinking is that California’s drought is over – and the wet weather we had only helped get the state out of critical condition – thinkagainfriends.
Anyone driving on Highway 152 to or from Pacheo Pass and spies San Luis Reservoir would confirm that we still have a long way to go in digging out of danger.
Here’s the San Jose Mercury News with some sobering details:
But the San Luis Reservoir, the vast inland sea along Highway 152 that is a key part of Silicon Valley’s water supply, is only 10 percent full, its lowest level in 27 years.
“Normally that’s an island,” the Santa Clara Valley Water District maintenance supervisor said, pointing to a towering hill.
The nation’s largest off-stream reservoir is high and dry this summer, and it’s not really because of the drought. Northern California received its most rain in five years this winter.
Instead, a “perfect storm” of controversial human causes — from an attempt to save endangered salmon hundreds of miles away, to age-old water rights that give rice growers near Sacramento the water first — has left the state’s fifth-largest reservoir so low that the last time some now-dry areas were exposed to the air, George Bush Sr. was president, Joe Montana was quarterback of the 49ers and the Loma Prieta earthquake hadn’t happened yet.
“It is extremely frustrating,” said Melih Ozbilgin, a senior water resources specialist with the district.
Some relief may occur in about a month. But for now, not only has the situation enraged farmers, it has sparked algae problems and other headaches for nearly 2 million residents of Santa Clara County who drink the water.