From The Sacramento Bee, in a column by Dan Walters:
“There’s already an $11.1 billion water bond scheduled for the November ballot, one originally written in the dead of night five years ago, postponed twice and widely seen as untenable because it contains too many specifically earmarked allocations generally known as ‘pork.’
“This year’s effort is aimed at a smaller replacement free of that epithet and, presumably, able to gain voter approval – spurred on by a severe, prolonged drought.”
“California’s drought has sparked a new push by federal lawmakers to create or expand a handful of reservoirs around the state, ramping up a political battle that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once referred to as a ‘holy war in some ways.’
“Government agencies have been studying five major water storage projects for nearly two decades, with nothing to show for the effort so far.”
“Hoover Dam has been showing its age lately, and the problem can’t be fixed with fresh concrete or new equipment.
“Roughly two-fifths of the workforce at the federal facility will be eligible to retire within five years, leaving the Bureau of Reclamation scrambling to recruit and train skilled workers while keeping one of the nation’s most important water and power facilities operational.”
Aquafornia’s Water Word of the Week from sister site Aquapedia is Dams. Dams are just one of more than 200 definitions of water terms from A to Z on Aquapedia, the Water Education Foundation’s vetted, interactive online water encyclopedia.
The topic of dams begins with the following overview: “Dams have allowed Californians and the West to harness and control water dating back to the days of Native Americans.
“Two members of California’s congressional delegation on Wednesday called for building a new reservoir north of Sacramento, displaying bipartisan agreement on one potential solution to California’s long-term water problems.
“Democratic Rep. John Garamendi and Republican Rep. Doug LaMalfa held a news conference near the location of the proposed reservoir to announce their bill.”
“In a rare moment of unity for two ideological antagonists, Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, and Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, on Wednesday unveiled legislation to build a new large-scale reservoir in Northern California.”
From The Sacramento Bee, in a commentary by Bruce Maiman:
“Last week’s explosion and collapse of two apartment houses in Harlem, N.Y., was a reminder we didn’t need about America’s crumbling infrastructure. …
“California especially suffers in the latest report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which regularly grades the state of the nation’s infrastructure – currently a D-plus, if you’re wondering.”
“These are just a few of the questions we’ve received recently about Auburn dam, probably the most well-known unbuilt water project in California history. The project is laden with complexities and controversy, and these are just two reasons it has not been built.”
“The Willits City Council unanimously approved a resolution to move forward immediately on a $2.1 million drought emergency project. While the city has only received $250,000 in drought aid to date, the resolution relies upon state and federal promises of funding assistance for the full scope of the project.”
From Best Best & Krieger, in an article originally published in PublicCEO:
“Like private development, public projects must frequently obtain and comply with a variety of state and federal regulatory permits. Too often developers, under pressure to complete projects as soon as possible, rush through the regulatory approval process and spend more time, effort and money on environmental mitigation than necessary.
“About $120 million in new federal spending is headed for the greater Sacramento region over the next 18 months for water and flood-control projects.
“The funding, announced Tuesday, is part of a “work plan” budget allocation for the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue projects through the current fiscal year, which runs through September.”
“The California drought is stoking a congressional appetite for additional water storage, with new and larger dams back on competing menus.
“The latest offering is expected Friday, as House members plan to introduce a package of bills to authorize a larger Shasta Dam, a new dam on the Upper San Joaquin River and an expanded San Luis Reservoir.