Water Expert Wants Climate Change in Federal Regulations

SACRAMENTO -- The 2017 Environmental & Water Resources Congress kicked off Sunday evening at the Convention Center in downtown Sacramento with a panel regarding the Oroville Spillway that failed, causing nearly 200,000 people to evacuate back in February.

The panel featured federal, state and other water experts speaking about the spillways failure.

Among the panelists was American Rivers California Director Steve Rothert.

While the investigation as to what went wrong at the spillway is still yet to be published, Rothert wants updated changes to federal regulations for water ways, specifically to include climate change.

"The climate is already changing, we know that it is already affecting rainfalls and snowfalls and rivers flows, and although there is some uncertainty of the magnitude how things will change, it is clear that things are changing," Rothert says.

The issue at hand is the record rainfall experienced this winter including a two week stretch that saw more than 40 inches of rain fall leading up to the crisis at the Oroville Spillway.

The Oroville Dam released two and a half times as much water this year into the Feather River than any other past season.

The California Department of Water Resources approved a $285 million bid to fix the corroded spillway.