RON HENDERSON, San Clemente
As an advocate of a balanced approach to large infrastructure projects, I was concerned by some of the representations within the letter written regarding “Power and Water.”
It was stated that the removal of dams on the Klamath River would somehow affect our water supply. These structures provide no irrigation and are not connected to Lake Shasta and our huge California water system.
The Klamath meanders through the most northern part of California, and it ends north of Eureka. Our most northern water source is Lake Shasta. The Shasta manmade reservoir has four main tributaries including the Sacramento, Pit, McCloud Rivers, and Squaw Creek. It is a bit confusing, as the Shasta River actually flows into the Klamath and never flows into the reservoir.
The dams that are being removed do produce electrical power of up to 170 megawatts, which will be supplanted by additional renewable power. In addition, the project is designed to not affect irrigation in the agricultural upper Klamath region.
The representation that little has been done regarding infrastructure from the time of Gov. Brown Sr. is also a bit of a misrepresentation. The California Aqueduct was pushed through by Brown, and many parts of it were not fully completed until the ’70s.
In fact, the aqueduct itself is named after the late governor for his active hand in building the complex supply system of reservoirs. The entire west end of the Central Valley owes a great part of their agricultural existence because of this critical water artery.
If we are to address our current and future water and power needs, we should start with a basis in facts and not rhetoric. Part of our solution will be additional sources. Distribution of water to high users with low value added will also need to be addressed.
Of course, conservation is also part of the solution. When we address all these concerns in a combined fashion, I believe we can find a way to keep the water and power flowing.