OROVILLE (CBS13) — A California congressman is making a push to change how two of the state’s largest reservoirs release water, saying regulators have been too cautious with releases.
Rice farmer Rep. Doug LaMalfa says Lake Oroville and Shasta Lake continue to rise, but despite both being at 91 percent capacity, he argues it’s not enough this late in the season.READ MORE: California Lawmakers Relocate To Make Way For New Building
“I don’t know where the water is going to come from to fill that last big wide part, then we’ve left water on the table on the heels of a drought,” he said. “Until this lake hits 900 feet, which is the full elevation, and until Shasta hits 1067, I’m not going to be completely happy because that means mismanagement of water supply.”
Filling Lake Oroville to its highest capacity could run the risk of dam failure. Earthen dams like Oroville Dam are not meant to overflow. If water went over the top, it could damage the integrity of the structure as a whole.READ MORE: Thieves Hit UC Davis, Rite Aid, CVS, Safeway Over Weekend
LaMalfa is also pushing for answers on the building of the proposed Sites Reservoir in Colusa County that could add nearly 2 million acre-feet of water. That money is from a state bond to provide up to $2.7 billion for the reservoir.
“I have a bill called HR 1060 to say quite talking about it, finish the study, sign your name on the bottom line and authorize it so we’ll be eligible to receive that money that’s going to start being allocated this December for water storage,” he said.MORE NEWS: Home Burglary Suspect Arrested After Nearly 20-Hour Standoff In El Dorado County
He’s says he’s also looking at drafting legislation that would give the Army Corps of Engineers more flexibility when it comes to how much water both lakes could hold at certain times of the year.