August 13, 2015

Reclamation to Release 83,000 Acre-feet of Water to Stave Salmon Die-off

Geographically speaking, the Trinity and Klamath Rivers are worlds apart from the over-crowded population centers of Northern and Southern California. The water that collects in the Trinity River Reservoir from the confluence of these two rivers, which eventually flows south via an intricate plumbing system, has a wide range of beneficiaries, including cities, farmers and the environment.

Now, amidst a four-year drought, the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau) is looking to send 83,000 acre-feet of water, or 27 billion gallons, to the sea in a gamble that it hopes will prevent an historic salmon die- off on the Lower Klamath River.

How much is 83,000 acre-feet of water? According to the San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA), it’s enough to supply the water needs of a city like Sacramento for a year. Put into other terms, using data from USDA NASS, any single one of the following could be produced on 83,000 acre-feet of water:

Apples: 1.053 billion servings

Avocados: 3.966 billion servings

Cherries: 585.8 million servings

Leaf Lettuce: 4.4 billion servings

Head Lettuce: 6.071 billion servings

Oranges: 2.802 billion servings

Peaches: 2.815 billion servings

Pears: 2.560 billion servings

Strawberries: 3.045 billion servings

Tomatoes: 2.970 billion servings

The benefits from previous releases have never been scientifically demonstrated and the SLDMWA is striving to educate the public about how the Bureau’s decision will affect people and other endangered species.   

For more information, contact Gail Delihant at (916) 446-1435.