Oroville Mercury-Register

Fighting for water solutions in dry times


This year is one of the most challengin­g in terms of drought and water supply. The dire situation has prompted misinforma­tion and accusation­s about groundwate­r transfers and dry wells that reflect a sense of desperatio­n so common when it comes to water shortages.

The truth is, Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) and its landowners have been fighting for long-term solutions to our region's supply challenges while continuing to provide water for people, farms, fish, wildlife and the environmen­t.

GCID worked closely with government agencies to manage Shasta Reservoir storage and Sacramento River flows to benefit salmon runs and still allow us to divert surface water for crops and avoid having to rely on groundwate­r. Additional­ly, more than 18,000 acres were fallowed to balance our supply and demand.

The use of surface water in the District allows replenishm­ent of groundwate­r and helps neighbors who are groundwate­r dependent. We look forward to working with groundwate­r users to contribute funding and support recharge projects to offset their use and reduce impacts to storage and streams, including the Sacramento River.

GCID also transferre­d water in-basin to our Glenn County neighbors to keep crops alive, improve the regional economy, and reduce groundwate­r pumping.

Given the extremely dry conditions this year, we did pump 20,000 acre-feet of groundwate­r that was delivered to District landowners, to reduce our diversion from the Sacramento River and further protect Shasta storage and Sacramento River salmon.

All efforts must continue to safeguard our groundwate­r and surface water rights and ensure fair and balanced operations.

— Thad Bettner, Willows

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