Saturday, April 30, 2011

Auburn Dam, Correcting the Misinformation

Which is exactly what this superb letter in the Chico News & Review does.

In its entirety.

“Safe flood protection

“Re “Too dammed expensive” (Editorial, April 14):

“Your editorial contends a water-storage Auburn Dam would cost too much and sit astride an earthquake fault. Neither contention is accurate.

“In 1988 the Bureau of Reclamation asked the Army Corps of Engineers to design a flood-control Auburn Dam. All involved agreed flood protection was more important than water storage.

“Sacramento’s flood protection is aimed at the 200-year storm, lower than any major city in the United States. All involved agree the best protection would be a flood-control dam providing 500-year protection. Protected would be more than 250,000 people and billions in real and personal property. The dam could also provide water and clean electric power.

“Contention the dam is unsafe due to a fault is refuted by state and federal officials. Established were worst-case conditions in the dam’s new design. The bureau’s report, “Seismic Safety and Auburn Dam,” points out fault and seismic studies involved the bureau, the U.S. Geological Survey, and internationally known consultants. Further, California’s Division of Mines and Geology and Department of Water Resources Division of Dam Safety also published findings.

“Reclamation Commissioner Keith Higgenson noted there was “more seismic information about the Auburn dam site than a dam site anywhere else in the world.” Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus announced: “A safe dam could be constructed on the American River.”

“The new “gravity” dam would be located at the site originally selected, oriented straight across the canyon. The COE reported the dam’s alignment is outside the trace of the fault.

Joe Sullivan
Sacramento County”