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GRASS VALLEY, Calif. March 6, 2017 – When people are asked to give up their homes for a proposed new dam, they may consider it their altruistic duty to provide water to families with children. That is how Nevada Irrigation District is characterizing putting another dam on the Bear River between Rollins Dam and Combie Dam – an area where properties have been bought and sold for many years without disclosure that these properties are in a potential inundation area.
Would families living in the inundation zone be as willing to give up their homes knowing that the “storage” allows NID and other agencies to rubber stamp developer projects not only in Placer County, but all the way to Southern California? That this water will largely go to subsidized water for industrial agribusiness? That it helps facilitate fracking and other extractive industries?
The book “Water and the California Dream” by David Carle illustrates the historic story of water manipulation in California. This is simply another chapter, the same techniques being used to convince the people that families will not have enough water to drink.
Dams do not create more water, and can only hold what is available. During drought conditions, reservoirs are quite ugly scars on the landscape.
I would like to see a list of all the remaining dam sites that are “possible” in California. A more visionary approach would be to analyze our current water use and waste. Fracking is the most insidious waste of water as fracked waste water can not be cleaned, and has been contaminating extensive ground water zones beyond what is used in the process.
The water used in sustainable agriculture can leave the property cleaner than it came in. It is hubris to believe that the decision to put another stopper in the circulatory system of a watershed should be based on profit and convenience of humans. That is not to say that humans are not ultimately subject to the laws of nature.
Imagine the educational possibilities of communities coming together to examine their watershed and taking responsibility for it?