Dams might be boondoggles, but Justin Salters (“Dams, not trains, should be our rallying cry,” April 10) and Cathy Abernathy (BC Levan Center — Lady Leaders, April 5) favor building the Temperance Flat and Sites dams. The $7.5 billion California water bond goes to a variety of water needs, with $2.7 billion allocated to “water storage.” However, surface storage may not be the cheapest or fastest solution.
A 2014 Stanford Water in the West research project asked: “Storing Water in California: What Can $2.7 Billion Buy Us?” They say it can buy us 1.4 million acre-feet of new surface (dams) water storage capacity, or it could buy us 8.4 million acre-feet of new groundwater storage capacity — and much more quickly.
Former state Senator Dean Florez wrote (The Californian, August 2014): “Stanford law professor Barton Thompson pointed out that while surface reservoirs in California hold about 50 million acre-feet of water, the state’s underground aquifers have a combined capacity of about 850 million to 1.3 billion acre-feet which could provide three times the water storage at 50 percent less than building new storage facilities.”
I urge Justin, Cathy and Sacramento to consider the efficacy of groundwater storage. We know “water banking” has been very successful in Kern County, and I like the sound of more water storage for a lot less money — and faster.
— Ann Gallon, Bakersfield