Barbara Vlamis

Executive Director, AquAlliance

Over California’s 169 years, extraction of resources for wealth has been the dominant paradigm in which massive water supplies were developed. This propelled California’s economy into the global top ten, but with devastating environmental
consequences. The over-promise of water supplies for human uses led California to a tenuous place. The average unimpaired runoff of the Sacramento River basin is 21.6 MAF, but the consumptive use claims are an extraordinary 120.6 MAF – 5.6 times more claims than there is available water.[1]

Dreams of an endless supply of water continue to propel agricultural and urban/rural demand that pose present and future threats to California’s environmental, economic, and public health. North state examples will be cited.

[1] California Water Impact Network, AquAlliance, and California Sportfishing Protection Alliance 2012. Testimony on Water Availability Analysis for Trinity, Sacramento, and San Joaquin River Basins Tributary to the Bay-Delta Estuary.