Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Speakers tout storage at packed water meeting

North state farmers, water district officials and other residents packed the Shasta County supervisors' chambers this afternoon to beseech an Assembly committee to include plenty of money for water storage in an updated bond measure set to go before voters next year.

Members of the lower legislative house's Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee -- including north state Republican Brian Dahle -- were gathering input on what should be in the bond measure as a bill is proceeding in Sacramento.

"Water shouldn't be a partisan issue. There are solutions," said Ed McLaughlin, an almond and walnut grower who serves on the Third District Agricultural Association board in Butte County. McLaughlin said dams provide a resource for agriculture as well as power and flood protection.

During the nearly three-hour meeting, Dahle, committee chairman Anthony Rendon and two other legislators heard a presentation from Fritz Durst, who chairs the Sites Reservoir Joint Powers Authority, on that proposed project west of Maxwell. Among other needs mentioned by speakers were measures to improve the health of the forests and meadows that provide the runoff that becomes California's water supply, and measures to remove mercury and other pollutants from water.

In the photos, from the top: Committee members occupy the dais where the Board of Supervisors usually sits; Rendon speaks as Dahle and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada listen; Dahle (right) reads a statement; a standing-room-only audience watches the proceedings; and Jeff Sutton, general manager of the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority, testifies.

For my complete coverage, check soon.

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