Why would taxpayers invest $2.6 billion to increase our water supply .1 percent when there are significantly cheaper methods to increase it by 10 percent?
That’s what the Bureau of Reclamation (BR) recommends by proposing to build the Temperance Flat Dam (TFD), costing $2.6 billion ($121 million annually for operation).
The dam’s long-term average annual yield would be 61,000-87,000 acre feet; only .01 percent additional supply, compared with the yield of the entire Central Valley Project. Reclamation claims the dam would improve water supply reliability, while providing public benefits – increased salmon in the San Joaquin River. However, Reclamation’s operation scenarios could reduce salmon downstream.
The State evaluated Temperance Flat for Proposition 1 water storage bond money, calculating the public benefit at 10 cents per dollar invested. San Joaquin Valley Infrastructure Authority claimed public benefits at $2.86 per dollar.
Other economical and environmentally sustainable solutions could meet our water needs: Better irrigation scheduling, recycling wastewater, repairing system leaks, installing efficient toilets, cleaning up groundwater basins/recharging with stormwater. Implementing these water solutions could yield 4,600,332 acre feet annually, 10 percent of California’s total water demand.
The dam would cost billions of taxpayer dollars, yielding little, while harming fish and wildlife.
Susan Clark, El Portal