Alternatives to Dams
California has enough water.
Surprised? We certainly face major challenges like global warming and increased demand. So some people are rushing to build dams -- expensive 19th century solutions to 21st century problems. We don’t need solutions that are expensive, destructive, and ineffective. A little common sense shows us that the real answers to our problems are cost effective, efficient, and smart. Learn about the 3 Easy Steps.
Big Canal and Dam Plans
Rumors continue to swirl beneath Capitol dome in Sacramento that a package of water bills will soon be introduced to authorize a Peripheral Canal and several new dam projects. The water package proposes a multi-billion dollar cost and ecological devastation by a canal the length and width of the Panama Canal that will divert most of the Sacramento River’s fresh water from the Delta for export south. Working with Restore the Delta and other conservation and fishing groups, as well as with Delta farmers, Delta-area legislators, and local elected officials, Friends of the River will oppose legislation that would include a Peripheral Canal and new upstream dams (which could include Temperance Flat Dam on the San Joaquin River, Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley, and an expansion of Shasta Dam and Reservoir on the McCloud and upper Sacramento Rivers). Recently, we helped organize a successful rally for the Delta on the steps of the Capitol to kick off our lobbying campaign for more effective, less costly, and rational alternative water management options such as conservation, recycling/reclamation, and groundwater storage. Learn more.
EBMUD’s Pardee Reservoir Expansion
FOR is working closely with its allies in Amador County and the Bay Area to convince EBMUD to drop its ill-considered plan to expand Pardee Dam and Reservoir on the Mokelumne River. Friends of the River generated more than 150 letters to EBMUD opposing the expansion, which would drown more than a mile of the magnificent Mokelumne River, including the popular Electra kayak run, and limit public recreational access to the river. Working with the Foothill Conservancy, we secured funding and hired a grassroots organizer in the East Bay to mobilize EBMUD ratepayers to send letters to the EBMUD board and attend board meetings throughout the summer in order to convince the board to drop the Pardee expansion from their proposed Water Supply Plan. Learn more.
Auburn Dam - With the State of California's recent revocation of the federal government’s water rights to build the Auburn Dam (December 2008), FOR will embark on the next stage of its long-term strategy to kill the dam and secure permanent protection of the American River. In 2009, this may include mobilizing grassroots support and lobbying for the transfer of the federal lands in the Auburn State Recreation Area from the Bureau of Reclamation to the Bureau of Land Management. If a recount of the election results for the 4th Congressional District proves favorable, it could also include federal legislation proposing protection of the North and Middle Forks of the American as Wild & Scenic Rivers. Learn more.