Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Dams Cost Too Much?

When the cost of not having more dams available to protect from flooding and provide water during drought for the increase in population and property that continues to flow to California is factored in, then the cost of building them becomes not only reasonable, but a good deal.

Posted on Sun, Jan. 28, 2007
Dams a public works sticking point
Perata, other Democrats oppose governor's plan for new reservoirs, cite Los Vaqueros as example
By Steve Geissinger

SACRAMENTO - A reservoir near Livermore has become Democrats' symbol of opposition to Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed dams and the political wrestling to come in the next round of public works projects.

Senate leader Don Perata of Oakland and other Democrats are pointing to the Los Vaqueros Reservoir as a prime example of why they oppose two new inland dams -- a centerpiece of Schwarzenegger's request for additional batches of voter-approved bonds.

"We do not believe new dams, at this point, are needed," Perata said at a news conference. "They cost billions of dollars and they take years, in fact decades, to build."

Perata specifically cited Los Vaqueros, about midway between Livermore and Brentwood, as an example of the common, snaillike progress toward creation of a reservoir, when there is a wide array of other measures to supply more water for the Bay Area and California.

"Just look at Los Vaqueros. It was approved by voters in 1988. It was supposed to be a $450 million dam. It was finally completed in the 2000s. And it cost at least three times the $450 million. Why? Any time you build a new dam, the one thing you can count on is a lawsuit," Perata said.