Recent Congressional Remarks on Auburn Dam

These remarks from Congressman McClintock were presented Wednesday.

An excerpt.

Water and Power Sub-Committee Hearing on:
H.R. 3980, “The Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act”
H.R. 3981, “The Accelerated Revenue, Repayment” and
Discussion Draft, “To Amend the Secure Water Act of 2009 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to implement a surface water storage enhancement program, and for other purposes”

February 5, 2014

Opening Remarks by Water and Power Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Tom McClintock:

The Subcommittee on Water and Power has taken a great deal of testimony on what needs to be done to break down the barriers that have stopped serious development of new water storage, and this hearing begins the process of distilling that testimony into practical legislation. We have two bills and one discussion draft today to begin that process.

Droughts are not preventable. But suffering from droughts is preventable. Water is abundant, but it is unevenly distributed over time and space. We build dams to take water from wet years so that it is available in dry ones, and we build aqueducts to move water from wet areas to dry areas.

The poster child for California’s failure to do so is the Folsom Dam, the principle water storage for Sacramento and its suburbs. One million acre feet when full – it is now nearly empty. Up-river from Folsom is the site of the Auburn Dam. Half-built in the 1970s and then abandoned in the first Jerry Brown Administration, it would have provided 2.3 million acre feet of storage. It would have generated 800 megawatts of clean and inexpensive electricity for the region. At a time when we are spending billions of dollars for levees in the Sacramento Delta to protect against a 200-year flood, Auburn by itself would have provided protection against a 400-year flood.

That dam by itself could have stored enough water to fill Folsom Lake nearly two and a half times.

Retrieved February 6, 2014 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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