BY JESSICA LAW
SPECIAL TO THE SACRAMENTO BEE
When the Water Forum Agreement was signed over 20 years ago, the occasion marked an unprecedented show of regional cooperation and an end to the water wars that had plagued the Sacramento region for decades. For years, business interests, environmentalists, water suppliers and others had sparred over the water needs of people vs. the environment. At the center of this conflict was the lower American River.
Now, a decades-old application by San Joaquin County is threatening to ignite a new era of water conflict by petitioning California to take 147,000-acre feet of water from the American River — an amount of water equal to 15% of Folsom Lake when full.
As we are painfully aware, Folsom Lake is nowhere near full, raising more urgent concerns about how San Joaquin’s application, if approved, could threaten supplies in times of drought.