FOLSOM LAKE (CBS13) — Rep. Ami Bera toured the low levels at Folsom Lake, walking through areas that should be underwater.
“You can see the pictures and so forth but when you’re actually standing in the lake and seeing how low the water level is it really is dramatic,” he said.
Recent rain has provided a little leeway, but it’s clear there’s still a long way to go.
“We may have a very wet winter but if we don’t have dramatic snowfall and so forth we’ve gotta still be conscious we’re still living through this drought,” he said.
As has been long discussed, Bera says the state must find better ways to store water and he’s pushing the proposed Sites Reservoir, a potential water storage option west of Colusa. The planned reservoir would hold twice the water of Folsom Lake.
Bera says that would take some of the pressure off of Folsom Lake, which supplies drinking water to half a million people in the region. With lake levels teetering near historic lows, he says the time to act is now.
“The urgency, that’s why we’re down here. We’re gonna continue talking about Sites. I think that’s one the governor supports; instead of talking about it, let’s actually do it and get the process moving forward,” he said.
Bera says once building starts on the Sites Reservoir, it would still be six to eight years before it can start storing water.
Environmental groups oppose the project, because they worry it will kill off fish.