Victor Davis Hanson's Feb. 9 commentary suggests a need to build more dams and blames environmentalists for acting like we live in the days of John Muir.
If the annual runoff patterns of the past 50 years is the norm, building a dam on the Kings River only increases the annual yield by about 2%. Most years, Pine Flat Lake conserves 100% of the Kings River runoff. Ditto for the Kern, Tule, Kaweah, and San Joaquin.
If California is entering a period of prolonged droughts, then building new dams above empty existing dams will yield not one drop of new water. "Build more dams" sounds good to the uninformed ear, but the case for new dams is weak.
Along with Dr. Hanson's arguments come those blaming salmon and wildlife restoration. The amount of water presently dedicated to wildlife is minimal when compared with agricultural and domestic demand.
Examine how we use water. In Fresno, there were those who fought water meters for years. We are used to treating water as if it were free. Proposed rate increases are setting off a whole new wave of whiners as if, in this desert, someone thought water would always be plentiful and cheap?