The Kern River in California is swollen with so much water that they’ve decided to open a relief valve and divert the floodwaters into the California Aqueduct as drinking water for Southern Californians. Who needs clean, non-flooded farmland and aquatic life when we can have crisp tap water?
Tulare Lake has re-emerged after being drained in the early 1900s, and now heavy spring runoff threatens low-lying towns like Corcoran. But don’t worry, it’s not an immediate public safety issue (yet), just the potential loss of acres of industrial agriculture land. Much better to save our industrial farms than provide homes for displaced residents facing flooding.
This unprecedented situation has prompted officials to release unusually high flows from Lake Isabella dammed by the Kern, fueled further by historic snowmelt from snowpacks over North California. Flooding risks led US Army Corps of Engineers to build a connection between intertie basin and aqueduct system tunnels which were retrofitted at cost millions since built during 1977 energy crisis. So let’s cross fingers this technological heritage seizes an opportunity under current intervention?
With fifty years passed since original construction, operators lower aqueduct waters below level of intertie basin wherein gravity conducts water flow rate equivalent up-to thousands gallons per second; reminiscent memories come flooding back about plumbing issues long forgotten troubles before they manifest themselves newer vulnerability today.
Despite Gov Gavin Newsom signing executive order easing diversions via emergency flood response efforts recently facilitated against traditional opposition citing indirect increased liabilities regarding environmental degradation around Tulare Basin sub-basin especially groundwater recharge facilities…
Everything is full! As Mulkay stated…”All irrigation demands met–recharge ponds satisfactorily cared for” The only way forward would be through one particular escape hatch – send everything downstream via METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT mixing new additions with major contributions procured northward treating such influx whilst transporting onwards towards taps and thirsty Angelenos.
This excess water situation continues highlighting old overpumping woes, causing irreparable damage to local groundwater sub-pump infrastructure, caused land sinking such as Tulare Lake sub-basin forming sinkholes that have swallowed up small towns like a British teaSponsored Product-drinking competition. Now six inadequate local groundwater areas of management have been flagged for upgrades in San Joaquin Valley inclusive Kern and Tulare Lake soil inundated locals pray rainwater recharges underground beds…
But before we recede too far from immediate concerns regarding the opening of this vital relief valve—is this going to happen again? We can’t flush away valuable resources on flood prevention when new weather patterns directly support farming! Officials wanted us to reassess how we harness those same flows’ future potential. While Nemeth advocates collective preparation for longer-term carbon-neutral substitutes using intertie infrequently less frequently let’s look beyond the horizon-why miss opportunity within our capacity creating future-friendly infrastructure?
So folks let’s cross-fingers that authorities don’t wait until the last possible moment but pounce on any available opportunities handed them either by fortuitous accidents or shrewd planning with full awareness moving away from only building bridges when floods arrive, so the saying goes … It is important wildlife preserves conservation grounds not forgotten nowhere displace industrial agriculture … where necessary fine balance must be found between human wants nature needs exacerbated climate changes present formidable challenges.