Home>Articles>Newsom Administration Wasted So Much Water, Oroville Just Ran Out

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, Sen. Nielsen, Assemblyman James Gallagher at Oroville Dam. (Photo: Sen. Nielsen)

Newsom Administration Wasted So Much Water, Oroville Just Ran Out

Rep. Doug LaMalfa: Power Plant at Lake Oroville stopped making power

By Katy Grimes, August 6, 2021 7:57 am

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale), Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), and Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Marysville) met this week at the top of the Oroville Dam to decry Governor Gavin Newsom’s “lack of leadership and gross mismanagement of the state’s water, power and forests/wildlands.”  They demanded urgent action because Californians are suffering, and it’s about to get worse.

The wells that rural communities depend on – which LaMalfa, Nielsen and Gallagher represent – are running dry, and farmers are being denied water to grow food. Currently there are weekly threats of rolling blackouts and Public Safety Power Shutoffs, as hundreds of thousands of acres burn throughout the state, threatening lives, property and wildlife.

It was only in April when California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a press event in Oroville, with a 60% empty Oroville Dam Reservoir as his backdrop, and said he was not ready to declare an official drought emergency – despite that the previous two weeks 91% of Delta inflow went to the sea, state pumps were at -97%, federal pumps at -85%, and outflows showed 6,060,828,600 gallons. Since April, Oroville has been drained almost dry.

Lake Oroville, the second-largest state reservoir in northern California, experienced low water levels during drought. (Photo: California Department of Water Resources)

“While he still has his emergency powers, can’t the governor order stoppage of this outflow if California really is on the precipice of severe water shortages and a ‘rare mega drought?’” the Globe asked.

People forget the winter of 2019 brought 200 percent of average rains and snow pack. The state’s reservoirs held enough water for 5 to 7 years. Yet the state still held back on water to farmers, and residents faced rationing, the Globe reported May 2019, proving that water in California is a political football.

The Globe reported:

The state uses about 47.5 percent of its developed water supply for the environment, including wild river flows, managed wetlands and wildlife preserves, habitat and water quality control for fish, and required Delta outflows, according to the Department of Water Resources. Water is diverted in times of drought and times of plenty to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, leaving much less for irrigation or for Californians to drink, and now a recently passed law requires residents to be limited to 55 gallons per day in the near future.

“Hyatt Power Plant at Lake Oroville officially stopped making power today,” Congressman LaMalfa said in a statement.  Hyatt can make up to 900 megawatts and typically produces 450 megawatts of power, enough to power 800,000 homes.  Because of low water levels, only 10 megawatts had been produced recently. “Today the power plant went offline as the lake’s water level sank to one of the lowest levels on record.”

“Lake Oroville was at full capacity two years ago, as well as in 2017,” said LaMalfa. “This dam was designed to provide water and power through five years of drought. Governor Newsom’s administration mismanaged and wasted so much water that Oroville ran out of water in just a year and half. Throughout the winter and spring, the state let water out of the lake, ignoring that we were in a drought. The government has used our water for its pet projects like the delta smelt, a fish no one has found a single one of in over three years.  Yet families and farms have seen dramatic cutbacks in their water availability. Mismanagement of our water means we lose 450 megawatts of power, recreation, drinking water, water for farms and water for fall run salmon.  Everybody loses because of the states wasteful management,” LaMalfa said.

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42 thoughts on “Newsom Administration Wasted So Much Water, Oroville Just Ran Out

  1. Comrades
    The chaos is planned…..being elected shields the Commissars from personal responsibility…..so feel the pain Comrades….feel the pain.

  2. Thought it was interesting that Newsom IMMEDIATELY figured out that his most threatening opponent in the Recall was Larry Elder, so he started attacking him (from afar and behind his back on Zoom), but he mysteriously has never been able to figure out that a water policy of flushing all the water to the ocean and not building infrastructure means we might run out of water. So either he is stupid or this is purposeful. Knowing Newsom I’ll go with purposeful.

  3. This is all by design. Next they will turn the power off and blame it on “climate change”. Greens don’t want you to have power and they don’t want you in California.

  4. The Chinese want that farmland to grow food to send back to China….

    Think I’m kidding??? This is nothing new as this article demonstrates :

    Here’s the Cliff’s Notes excerpt for posterity :
    “China Is Desperate for Farmland and Food”

    China is in dire need of both food and farms.

    Moderate to severe soil degradation affects more than 40% of the country, exacerbated by overuse of fertilizer, intensive grazing, and the reliance on biomass for rural energy, according to a 2016 report by Time.

    And while the country may look huge on a map, only 11% of Chinese land can be farmed, according to a 2016 report from Mercola. When you combine that with China’s huge population of over 1.3 billion people, you’ve got a recipe for a food disaster.

    “There could be massive social unrest if they screw up the agriculture industry,” said Erlend Ek, an agriculture expert at the China Policy research firm, to Time.

    “Chinese agriculture is effectively a cottage industry,” added Sun Chang, chairman of Black Soil group, which aims to modernize Chinese agriculture by consolidating these plots into larger farms. “China is so far behind the U.S., Australia, or Europe because of unorganized, subscale farms with no scientific management.”

    Now, with few options left, China is investing in the best agricultural technology and best farmland – regardless of where it lies – to feed its citizens.

    And the United States, with six times more arable land per capita, is the perfect contract farmer. [My edit : Even BETTER if they can BUY IT FOR PENNIES on the DOLLAR…]

    China’s Increasing Landholdings
    Since 2011, Chinese businesses have made dozens of transactions for U.S. farmland, according to USDA data. Indeed, as of 2015, China owned $1.4 billion worth of U.S. farmland… and now, it’s likely to buy a lot more.

    China is expected to increase its holdings of U.S. agricultural land in coming months as the China National Chemical Corporation, or ChemChina, just completed a $43 billion takeover of Swiss-owned seed producer Syngenta on June 28.

    Citizens and lawmakers alike are concerned….”

    RIGHTLY SO!!! Check Newsom’s accounts for payments from his ChiCom overlords…

    Why ELSE would they be draining SIX BILLION GALLONS of precious rainwater??? Not only should Newsom & the water resources people be RECALLED – they should be put on trial for TREASON… and we know what the punishment for THAT is…..and it appears that they are GUILTY of crimes against U.S. interests…

    1. you r so right their all treasonist n newsome took dams out to build the shoreline as he said everyone loves the beach but wed all rather have drinking water n bathing water i think every drop pouring into the ocean they should charge him for n on a tier program then seize his accounts then try him for treason!

  5. He did it to make things worse. Then he can cram the nutty electric cars down our throats!

    But there’s no juice.

  6. He did it to make things worse. Then he can cram the nutty electric cars down our throats!

    But there’s no juice. He is dumb as a post.

    1. This is also by design. Force people into electrics and you can control their freedom with the power supply. Democrats HATE freedom.

  7. This is shocking. The level of mismanagement, neglect, and outright incompetence is beyond horrific. We really wanted to stay in California, but it is imploding. My heart hurts.

  8. I was from Lake Oroville but moved out in 2014. However, my family and friends still live near LO and this is heartbreaking! We should not only blame GN, but we need to also blame Biden and his open border policy. Many -thousands of people are coming in with COVID and many of these people are using the water resources once they cross into California. Get my point!!! Close the borders. I live in Utah now and we are also in a drought of mismanagement of water…There is an Amtrak full of immigrants going to Salt Lake City almost every week! More people coming in means more water is needed….Duh, Mr. President Biden and his minions…..you are killing the USA and its citizens!
    3 minutes without Oxygen- Face masks
    3 days without Water- draining water resources
    3 week without food- killing American farm and animal by letting China access
    Biden, China, Iran, and Dems policies!

  9. Columbia River has 11times more water than Colorado River -> Move water south!

    Make a 368m long tunnel from Columbia River to Red Bluff. No pumps needed. CA saved! The USA made great infrastructure, before: In 1913 the 233m the LA Aqueduct opened and The Colorado Aqueduct is 242m long (5 pumping stations) opened 1939.

    China`s new aqueduct is 716m with 23 pumping stations…

    A tunnel, no land cost. Make a relative small diameter (cheap/fast to make) tunnel, because if water move fast, it need a smaller tunnel, to move an amount of water.

    If CA gets water from thenorth, the other can keep more Colorado River water themselfs, and theyr life gets easyer to.

    1. The Columbia River is not for sale. If you want water from the Pacific Northwest, you can move up here to the Pacific Northwest. We’d sooner see California die of thirst than divert a single ounce to California.

  10. Of course most of that is nonsense. Oroville holds 3.5 million acre-feet of water full, but 800,000 acre-feet at the bottom is unusable unless they open the river release valves, which they do not because they are not sure they can close them. So that leaves 2.7 million acre-feet of water that is usable. The State Water Project contracted for 4 million acre feet of water per year. So somehow Oroville is supposed to make it through a 5 year drought? And it is Newsom’s fault it is out of water? The fact is the SWP was supposed to develop another 5 million acre-feet of storage and it never did, thanks to Ronald Reagan who put those rivers on the Wild and Scenic River list. And it takes 3.5 to 4.5 million acre-feet per year just to keep the Delta fresh so the SWP can pump fresh, not salty, water to its customers. And Delta farmers use about 2 million acre-feet of water per year.

  11. They were recklessly draining the lake as they were spending $2 billion to repair the now useless spillway…

    1. Who’s they? The dam was only built to ship water to Southern California and that’s where it went. Big surprise. As of now, the reservoirs in SoCal are nearly full… Where did that water come from? Have you noticed that rather large canals heading south? That’s why they were built. Because that’s what the people of CA decided they wanted. That’s where the population is concentrated.

  12. Why are people so gullible as to believe that the Governor controls how water is stored in Lake Oroville? The same old right wing propaganda that is polarizing opinion and preventing productive discourse. It will ultimately destroy the country if it continues. If the lake had been left above the typical spring levels (which couldn’t happen because of the drought), and we had gotten more rain and flooding, he would have been blamed for that too. Just like this year, much of that water was sent to LA, which is the only reason that the dam was built in the first place: “To Send Water To Southern California”. You might as well blame Reagan for the drought…

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