Continued Misdirection About Dams

The Sacramento Bee continues to offer misdirection rather than sound policy regarding the so obvious, it almost hurts to keep mentioning it, need for more dams in California.

We dealt with this argument before, so what the environmentalists and the Bee are again offering as definitive, is that new dams aren’t needed because the actual result, the “new” water stored won’t be worth the cost of creating storage for the “new” water because so much of the “old” water is already committed anyway.

This is an argument of misdirection when the actual equation is a whole lot simpler.

Dams function as banks. You store water in them to protect yourself against future difficulty—drought or flood—and prudent folks always keep a “rainy-day fund”.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

As California struggles through a third year of drought, elected officials from both parties are proposing to spend billions of dollars in public money on new dams and reservoirs. Seven different bills are pending in the Legislature that would use varying amounts of state bond funding to launch a new era of dam construction with the aim of increasing the state’s capacity to store precious mountain snowmelt.

The surge of proposals has stoked familiar arguments in California’s historic battles over limited water supplies: Water users in many cities and throughout the state’s arid central farm belt say new reservoirs are vital to capture snowmelt that would otherwise flow “wasted” to the sea. Environmental groups counter that habitat and wildlife need that water, and call for more sweeping conservation measures and water recycling instead….

State and federal water officials currently are studying five major reservoir projects in California, none of which promises a lot of “new” water supply for cities and farms.

Retrieved June 1, 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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