Instead, what Governor Brown’s “Water Action Plan” boils down to is more water conservation from urban and suburban communities like ours and another expansion of bureaucracy- to the tune of $1 billion.
This is absurd. Existing state law already requires us to reduce our water usage by 20% by 2020. There are already voluntary water usage reductions in place across my district (and a mandatory reduction in the City of Folsom). We are already doing what we can to protect our water without this unnecessary expansion of government.
The problem isn’t a lack of conservation on the part of the people of the Sacramento region.
The problem is that we don’t have enough water storage that we control locally.
For decades the Federal Government has used Folsom Lake and the American River to provide drinking water to Southern Californians and to ensure that there is plenty of water for fish to survive- regardless of how much is left in dry times like these for actual human beings in the Sacramento region.
Droughts are unavoidable. Climate is constantly changing and, despite what some individuals might claim, there is nothing humans can do to stop it.
We can, however, prepare for it.
That is why I am calling on the California State Water Resources Control Board to reverse their 2008 decision and reinstate the water rights permits for the Auburn Dam Project.
One of the main reasons for revoking these permits in the first place was a lack of movement on the project. But the lack of movement on the project was due to endless California Environmental Quality Act lawsuits brought against the federal agency tasked with construction of the project!
I’m as happy as anybody to be keeping the Sacramento Kings in our region, but if we can alter how environmental regulations are enforced to accomodate sports facilities, I would think we could do the same for a dam to supply water to the families and businesses of our region.
Matters would only get worse if Governor Brown allows the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to move forward as currently designed. That’s because, on top of its other uses, Folsom Lake would also be expected to hold ocean water out of the Bay Delta- an impossible task that will further deplete local availability of our local resource.
If we continue along this path, we will face droughts this bad as often as every eight years- not counting any naturally dry years like 2013. That means massive rate hikes, penalties, and rationing on a regular basis.
The Sacramento region needs an expressly regional water storage facility. A reservoir controlled locally and used locally to ensure our future prosperity.
This would seem to be the type of major construction project the Governor loves. Furthermore, it meets most of his goals outlined in his Water Action Plan.
The Auburn Dam would give our region control over our own water, allow the water in Folsom Lake to be used for projects farther south, expand our water storage capacity in preparation for future dry periods, provide an abundance of clean energy to the region, and greatly increase flood protection for Sacramento all at a fraction of the cost of the Governor’s action plan and other large infrastructure projects.
It is a win-win for the Governor and our region. I only hope he realizes it before the opportunity dries up.