Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dams & Water

It is very refreshing to see public leadership understanding the value of surface water storage that dams provide, along with their flood control and power generation and arguments that they are two expensive and take too long are not germane, as much of the infrastructure needed by a growing state does cost money and does take time to complete.

California is one of the most desirable places to live in the country, if not the world, and as it continues to attract million of new families, they all need homes to live in, roads and trails to transport themselves, parks, parkways, and open space to enjoy and find sanctuary in, and water to allow all to flourish.

Governor launches new water battle
In Fresno, he pushes $4 billion bond in 2008 for new dams.
By E.J. Schultz - Bee Capitol Bureau
Published 12:00 am PDT Tuesday, March 27, 2007

FRESNO -- A year after he backed off demands for state money for dams, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to wage battle, saying Monday that he's in it to win the water fight he once compared to a "holy war."

"This is absolutely essential for the state of California because we need more water storage," he told a crowd of dam supporters at Friant Dam east of Fresno.
"You can't always get everything, and last year I said we'll be back, so this year we're back."

The morning appearance, followed by a later speech at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Fresno, marked the beginning of a weeklong campaign to push a $4 billion water bond Schwarzenegger hopes to put on the 2008 ballot.

In choosing Fresno as the launching point, Schwarzenegger found a sympathetic audience. Valley mayors and growers have long sought state money for water storage.

A site upstream of Friant Dam, which holds back Millerton Lake, is a likely spot for one of two new dams should the proposal win approval.

But the plan is sure to face an uphill fight in the Legislature. Democrats, who control the Senate and Assembly, favor a combination of conservation and groundwater storage to meet the state's water needs. Dams cost too much and take too long to build, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D-Oakland, said at a recent news conference.

But Schwarzenegger said new dams are needed to supply water to a state whose population is expected to jump 30 percent in the next 20 years. He also cited global warming, which he said could reduce snowpack.

"That means more floods in the winter and less drinking water in the summer," he said.