25 Aug 2008

Dam Prices

Last week, the Modesto Bee argued that California needs more dams. JC cc'd me in his response:
The Bee's 200 word limit makes it impossible to adequately respond to the August 21 editorial, “Feinstein on right track: We need more dams”. But here's a beginning. The Bee says that no one argues that we now have enough water, “at least not the way it is distributed and used.” The Bee should have added, “and the way it is priced.” Pricing is the first answer to dealing with water issues. Efficient use is next, and that doesn't just mean efficient drip systems; it means being efficient in not growing low value, water intensive crops like cotton with subsidized water.

The Bee argues for building new dams now (undoubtedly having Sites and Temperance Flat in mind), but fails to mention that the pending studies on the costs, yields and environmental effects of those dams are not complete. That is like having expensive surgery before the Doc has looked at the X-rays.

The Bee and Senator Feinstein want to solve a problem of my generation's making by saddling my children and grandchildren with $9.3 billion (plus interest) of debt to be paid in the future. Let those who say they really need more water pay the full cost.
Bottom Line: JC may not be the Savior, but he speaks truth!