Today U.S. Representative John T. Doolittle (R-Roseville) issued the following statement in response to reports that the California Water Resources Control Board will meet to revoke the water rights for Auburn dam:
"During a time of drought when water conservation is being called for throughout California, it is incredible to me that the State of California would revoke the water storage rights for the Auburn Dam. This action is particularly ironic given the established fact that the state capital of California has the least amount of flood protection of any major river city in the United States and that the Auburn Dam is the only solution capable of protecting the City of Sacramento against the maximum probable flood. I am also disappointed that the Board appears to have ignored a letter from the entire Republican California congressional delegation asking that the rights not be revoked.
"As we saw in New Orleans, catastrophic floods do occur, and the cost to recover from these events is substantially higher than it is to protect against such disasters. In addition to the loss of life, tens of billions of dollars in real property will be destroyed. The State of California alone has billions of dollars of property at direct risk.
"It makes no sense for the California Water Resources Control Board to strike the fatal blow to our ever having a multi-purpose dam at Auburn that can pay for itself through the sale of water and power. If we end the quest for a multi-purpose dam we will never build a dam that is fiscally responsible. Revoking the water rights only ensures that our governments will be reacting to a catastrophic flood event, instead of constructively preventing one.
"Building a dam is not an easy decision. It takes strong leadership. The lack of leadership for the Auburn Dam from those who are its greatest beneficiaries has never ceased to amaze me. The people of Sacramento have consistently supported the Auburn Dam. I call upon Governor Schwarznegger and the California Water Resources Control Board to reverse this draft order and to seek the completion of the Auburn Dam."