Sen. Ted Gaines Talks About Massive Snowpack and California’s Water Supply

by Placerville Newswire / Mar 05, 2017 / comments

[Senator Ted Gaines]

The California Department of Water Resources conducted their February snow survey, a measurement of the water content of California’s snowpack. This monthly survey is used to determine the amount of runoff the state can expect throughout the spring and summer. Typically, melting snow provides roughly 30-percent of California’s water supply. 

The snow survey showed that California’s stormy January was a drought-buster. The state is buried under a thick blanket of snow that will keep our reservoirs full all through the summer and make this a better year for recreation, agriculture, and for people who have had to cut back on personal water use.

But all this water also highlights that staggering lack of foresight and political will on the part of politicians who have neglected to build enough water storage to keep up with our growing population. The Sacramento River was recently surging with enough water every day to supply the needs of 150,000 families for an entire year. But instead of capturing that water in reservoirs it was being diverted into open fields or running out into the sea. 

It won’t matter how much rain and snow we get if we don’t have a way to store it and move it around the state. This extraordinary winter is a gift but we aren’t ready to accept it. I’m tired of delays. I want to see concrete and steel in the ground, workers and bulldozers in action so the next time Mother Nature opens up, California can capture the water it needs.


During a February meeting, the California State Water Resources Control Board made the decision to extend the state’s emergency drought regulations. By voting to extend the regulations, urban water districts will be subject to an additional 270 days of consumption reports, “stress tests,” and water-use cuts. 

This decision is blind to the snow survey results and the plain fact seen on every mountain, river and reservoir in the north state. We are flush with water, and they know that, but this lays bare their “permanent drought” plan that will let them limit and control water use forever to meet their environmentalist agenda.

There has been so much talk about “sanctuary cities” and “sanctuary states” lately, all relating to immigration. But now I’m convinced that California citizens need a sanctuary from unelected bureaucrats who won’t call off the drought when people are all but having to canoe to work because of the rain. 

The state needs to waive every rule, expend every dollar it has to get Sites Reservoir built and complete other surface storage projects so we can bank more of this water instead of letting it run out into the sea. Even a Sacramento bureaucrat with an agenda couldn’t fail to see the drought is over if we have more reservoirs filled to the brim.