El Niño alone can’t save us

By Tim Johnson

Lots of headlines these days include predictions about the impact of El Niño this winter. Some are hopeful it will end the drought. Others seek to dampen expectations. Reading the stories and it seems like it could go either way.

While it is within the human experience to hope for salvation from the skies, the better question is not if El Niño will save the day, but rather if we can muster the discipline to save ourselves.

Politics aside (and there are enough to fill every reservoir in California to capacity) the issue is fairly simple. Can we muster the will and commit the resources necessary to get beyond the saving hope of a winter deluge?

We have two opportunities. First, is the water bond being discussed in the State Legislature. It needs to be passed with adequate funding for storage and groundwater clean up. The second is the drought relief effort in Congress struggling to find traction in an ever–deepening political divide.

When asked about the water bond and the drought relief package my answer is clear. The only places where there is angst about the cost of the bond and grind over politics of water are in the two Capitols. My neighbors, friends and family all have the same expectation – we expect our elected officials to get it done. I bet that is the view of every Californian.

Let’s not let the hope of a changing weather pattern be an excuse for inaction. We need to make it clear that we expect action and leadership that goes beyond politics and the hope that Mother Nature will bail us out of a problem we can go a long way to solving on our own.


Tim Johnson, CRC President & CEO