Water Storage Flexibility, Conservation Get Committee Review

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Stan Van Vleck and Valerie Nera

Stan Van Vleck and Valerie Nera

Eric Oppenheimer (left) and James Watson

Eric Oppenheimer (left) and James Watson

Stan Van Vleck, co-chair of the CalChamber Water Committee, and Valerie Nera, CalChamber policy advocate for water, get an update on the status of the Sites Reservoir Project from James Watson, general manager of the project. If Sites Reservoir had been operating this year, it would have captured and stored 904 million acre-feet (295 billion gallons) of water from the Northern California rains this year through April 7, providing flexibility that would have enabled state water managers to better balance water supply needs with environmental goals, such as protecting fish. Following the presentation on Sites Reservoir, the committee heard from Eric Oppenheimer, director of the Office of Research, Planning and Performance at the State Water Resources Control Board. Oppenheimer talked about the emergency conservation regulations and possible changes to be considered by the State Water Board, as well as the framework for long-term conservation measures, building on the current reduction mandate to a 20% savings rate by 2020.

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