I want to thank Assemblyman Anthony Rendon for personally visiting the North State and listening with an open mind to explanations of the benefits of new water storage. At a December hearing of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in Redding, Chairman Rendon and other members heard how Sites Reservoir could provide new flexibility for managing the Sacramento River, more effectively capturing floodwaters to save for use during droughts like the one now squeezing California. At a February visit to Lake Oroville, committee members from around the state witnessed firsthand the severe drawdown of the State Water Project's main reservoir and learned how past generations' investments laid the foundation for today's water system -- one that has served the state admirably but is stretched thin by population growth.
History shows California's weather swings unpredictably. One year is too wet, the next too dry, and nothing so rare as an "average rain year." Building new water storage, especially environmentally friendly off-stream reservoirs like Sites that don't block fish passage, is critical for smoothing out those booms and busts, delivering water when needed for California's farms, cities, fisheries and wildlife refuges.
I will not support any version of a water bond that does not include protection of the area-of-origin rights of Northern California as well as new storage.