My question about California's policy re: Trinity Lake reservoir function was closed with "not good faith" etc. However, I have not used any partisan sources nor unfounded assertions.

(I understand that some commenters choose to believe that California can't control Trinity water releases, the releases are caused by construction, etc. But such commenters have not provided any sources that back this up: the sources they cite only re-iterate the sources I already provided in the question, confirming that water is being released for environmental purposes only. Therefore I fail to see how these commenters' opinions have anything to do with question closure.)

Closing this question seems detrimental to the quality of the site's content. It merely shuts out users like Fizz, who have researched the topic and are potentially ready to post an answer. (Leaving the question open only to commenters, many of whom just make a lot of noise with repeated, unfounded claims.)

How can the question be re-opened?

3 Answers 3


It is not strictly about "good faith". It is about appearance. From the close reason:

The primary purpose of this question appears to be to promote or discredit a specific political cause, group or politician.

The "specific political cause" that appears to be discredited is the Trinity River Restoration Program (TRRP).

In April 2023, California is dumping 19,000 acre-feet (6 billion gallons) per day of Trinity Lake water into the ocean for the Trinity River Restoration Project (TRRP).

And later,

The water currently being dumped from Trinity Lake would be worth $40M/day if we could use it for high-value uses such as urban beautification (at urban outdoor price tiers not even counting penalties). Alternatively, it is 150 gallons per day per California resident, nearly enough to serve basic drinking, cooking, and washing needs for every man, woman, and child in the state. (Also, how did the current situation even arise in the first place? How can a $1.4 billion/year salmon industry afford to use $14 billion/year of water? Does TRRP benefit any industry besides the salmon industry? Why would environmentalists support water releases in early spring? Surely they understand that running out of water later in the summer is harmful to fish?)

The use of "dumping" and "dumped" along with criticism about monetary waste "appears to discredit" the TRRP. Consider that "releasing" and "released" are neutral words that could have been used.

How can the question be re-opened?

I don't see why it should re-opened.

The TRRP was created by a Department of Interior (DOI) Record of Decision (ROD) making it a federal program.

2000: Record of Decision (ROD) signed – The U.S. Department of Interior decision that established the current Trinity River Restoration Program

The title, Has California considered turning Trinity Lake back into a reservoir?, appears to be unanswerable since the TRRP is a federal program albeit with state and local participants. Or, perhaps, the answer is California can't overrule the US Department of Interior, Congress, and the US Courts, all of which were involved in crafting the TRRP as it now stands.

There are other questions about water in California that may be asked. I read that Gov. Newsom has approved an initial $5 million for three desalination plants, including at least one for SoCal (Torrance); but, please tone down the criticism and choose words carefully to make it more neutral.

  • Seems to be a lot of questions that the OP has asked about water that relate to how much money could be made from it by making different choices.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 23:50
  • And the Fed's hands are pretty tied too. Although Wikipedia's article on the river fails to mention this, there's a 1984 federal law that mandates the rehabilitation of the basin govinfo.gov/app/details/COMPS-3016 Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 2:50
  • @Joe Yes, waste is a popular subject when it comes to water use. (I didn't invent that. In fact I first heard about it from my water department, who in turn got it from state politics.) I want to understand waste in economic terms: opportunity costs. You may not agree, but my viewpoint is still valid. No reason to close a question. Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 2:53
  • @Fizz Re: federal rehabilitation mandates. That sounds like a good answer. Thank you for researching it. (It's a pity the question is closed and therefore answers cannot be posted.) Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 2:55
  • @personal_cloud That doesn't mean that choices about water are just made based on how much money someone stands to make or not make. There are many other factors that go into deciding how water is used besides potential profits..
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 14:12
  • @Joe I never said economics are the only factor. Just making the point that they are a very large factor in the case of TRRP. With so much economic and environmental value being sacrificed for something, there has to be a good reason for it. The comments and responses I've seen so far do not demonstrate any good reason for TRRP to exist. But I'm open-minded and confident that those who have answers would like to post them. That's why the question should be re-opened. Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 5:39
  • @Joe Also you have to recognize that many California water decisions are based on economics. For instance, the Huntington Beach desal project was canceled because the coastal commission called for water intakes that were too expensive. And people complained that water rates would go up. Sooner or later I expect the same fate for TRRP, unless there is a $5 billion reason for TRRP to exist. Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 5:44
  • 3
    @personal_cloud Almost every question you ask about water appears to be related to you not liking how it is done and suggesting that they could be making more money doing it the way you want it. Your questions seem to be pushing an agenda instead of looking for information or answers on why things are done like they are.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 12:35

Additionally, I suggest, at the very least, you break down that Q in several. Just look at your last para, which I've bullet-ized here:

  • Also, how did the current situation even arise in the first place?
  • How can a $1.4 billion/year salmon industry afford to use $14 billion/year of water?
  • Does TRRP benefit any industry besides the salmon industry?
  • Why would environmentalists support water releases in early spring? Surely they understand that running out of water later in the summer is harmful to fish?

Some of those are pretty reasonable Qs, but overall that reads more like a rant... along the lines of: I DGAF about environmentalists, native tribes, or salmon [industry], just gimme more/cheap[er] water for my lawn ("given the controversies around TRRP" [...] "we could use it for high-value uses such as urban beautification").

  • Fair points. Note that I didn't say these groups shouldn't have their fair share of water, just asking how they got such huge quantities of it, given the relatively localized and narrow-sector economic value they are deriving from it, in the context of general water shortage in California. I think my questions are as natural as, say, asking how a rich man earned (or otherwise acquired) his money. Merely asking the question doesn't "discredit" him, even if the question requires some context (e.g., how can one earn $X in industry Y that has total size $Z). Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 2:44

"I think [this thing] is evil, convince me I'm right" is, in a nutshell, what you ask. There are indicators (i.e. using the word dumping) showing us this. This means, objectively, you are pushing an agenda, which by the rules of this SE, is discouraged and a VtC reason.

Your question could be one that is kept. Instead of coming here and bitching about your closure (see what I did there? contrast if I had used 'discussing' vs 'bitching'), take the time to attempt to be neutral, in word choice and tone.

Yes, you have an agenda, but we don't want to hear it, and spending time answering it would be, as learned over the years, fruitless. You are looking for a "yep, you're right, they should sell the water" and any other answers would have you find fault with the answer in the comments. This has happened many many times.

Now, maybe you're not that person. Maybe you really, truly, want to know what you ask. But experience shows you are simply wanting your point of view enforced, enhanced and proven correct.

Coming to Meta and asking "why was my question closed" and then getting answers, but not accepting those answers, is not helpful. Here is my advice to you, and anyone else asking this kind of question and wondering about closure: Stop telling us why the reasons we give are invalid and accept them as truth. They are why your question was closed. (Are they really? I obviously can't speak for anyone else' thought processes, but I'm asking you to accept it AS truth.)

Now that you have been told the reason(s) why your question was closed, stop arguing that our reasons are invalid and correct your question.

Remove the obvious bias. (dumping vs releasing) Don't give your answer within your question (money/profit/selling water).

Just ask as neutral a question as possible. (The Feds have decided the basin is to be simply released into the ocean. Why was this done and what are other choices?)

Reiterating myself one more time, coming here and asking why your question was closed, and then arguing that the reasons given are invalid does not cause people to want to VtRO. Accept the reasons as valid, whether you agree with them or not. Fix your question, then when you've edited it, it should come up in the review.

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