There’s nothing new about a Republican governor pushing for billions in bond money to fund new dams and water storage. What is new is Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s shrewd sales pitch to justify the new dams: global warming.
His plan to link the construction of $4.5 billion in new dams to the fight against global warming is making life difficult for Republicans, many of whom thus far have denied global warming exists but want reservoirs.
It has also bowed some environmentalists, who hate dams but want to fight global warming, even more.
Implicit in the proposal–something that may be hard for the governor’s GOP backers to swallow–is that global warming really exists.
Schwarzenegger’s top water official, Water Resources Director Lester Snow, said that conservative estimates show that the Sierra Nevada snow pack will shrink 25 percent by 2050. Sierra runoff accounts for one-third of California’s water supply, and Snow said the new dam and reservoir constructions is necessary to capture water and accommodate growth.
Snow’s comments come on the heels of a report from the Department of Water Resources that states, “A warming planet may reduce natural water storage.