FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – With record rainfall over the last several weeks, farmers and local leaders are urging the state to take further action to store more water to help during times of drought.
“2020 to 2022 was the driest three-year period in California history, and even if we do find ourselves potentially coming out of a drought this year, the fact is we need to start planning for the next drought that is just around the corner,” said Ceo of the Fresno County Farm Bureau Ryan Jacobsen.
Jacobsen says there are many problems with California’s water storage facilities, many of which are outdated such as the Friant Dam at Millerton Lake, built in 1942.
Local reservoirs like the Friant Dam were designed to handle seasonal rainfall and collect water as snow melts in the Sierra Nevada.
“These reservoirs were not designed to have that water come, all out one time it was designed for the gradual melting of the spring and summer months and we definitely need more above-ground storage,” said Jacobsen.
A group of California lawmakers gathered outside of Sacramento last week to call out state leadership for failing to invest in water storage.
“Gavin if you’re listening, I will work with you bro I will stand next to you side by side in partnership and make water happen for this state more than happy to do that,” said Assemblyman Devon Mathis.
During Governor Newsom’s recent visit to Merced to assess the damage in the county he addressed his administration’s efforts to store water throughout the state.
“We’re making sure we capture these flood flows and that we’re doing more to restore the aquifers and replenish deficits that are pretty pronounced here in the valley,” said Governor Newsom.
While leaders debate the best course of action to store rainwater, people all across California are preparing to weather the next storm.