Governor supports new Central Valley dam
March 26, 2007
• Calls for construction of Temperance Flat dam
• Says state needs more surface water storage
A proposed dam on the San Joaquin River upstream from the existing Friant Dam east of Fresno got support Monday from California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Supporters say the additional dam would allow more floodwaters to be stored to allow for percolation into underground aquifers. It would also provide more cold water to flow into the lower portion of the river to allow for restoration of salmon spawning, supporters say.
“We are in desperate need to have more above the ground water storage,” Mr. Schwarzenegger told a news conference at the base of Friant Dam Monday morning. “This is absolutely essential for the state of California."
The governor says the state’s rapidly growing population is outstripping available water supplies.
The Temperance Flat dam would be part of an overall $5.9 billion water supply program the governor is backing. Most of the money would be used for creating news reservoirs to store 500,000 acre-feet of water, he says.
“I want to urge everyone to do as much as you can to let the legislators know that this is very important for California,” the governor says. “In Sacramento, I can guarantee you, squeaky wheels get the grease.”
Mr. Schwarzenegger says the issue of water supply has needed to be addressed for years.
“We are way behind the eight-ball right now. We need to get this question before the people of this state and allow them to wade into the debate,” says state Sen. Dave Cogdill, R-Mariposa.
Mr. Cogdill is the author of the legislature that if passed, would put the $5.9 billion bond issue on the ballot.
He says the other proposed surface storage site, in addition to Temperance Flat, would be north of the bay delta in Glenn and Colusa counties.
The two locations were selected because the areas are part of an agreement negotiated by CALFED, the state and federal agency created to restore the ecological health of the delta and improve water management, he says.