California’s infrastructure crisis keeps making front page news — this time with the failure of equipment at a key pumping station in the State Water Project, which supplies drinking water to about half the state’s population.
The Sacramento Bee reports that “state Department of Water Resources confirmed Tuesday that operators discovered damage to the intake structure at the Clifton Court Forebay, a nearly 2-mile-wide reservoir that stores water for the State Water Project pumping plant in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta near Tracy.”
Repairs will begin immediately, but officials have no estimate of how long it will take to get the crucial pumping station back online.
According to the Bee, State officials were quick to reassure the public that these repairs will not disrupt service to contractors for approximately 19 million residents from Southern California to Silicon Valley — including 3/4’s of a million acres of farmland in the Central Valley.
The State Water Project is co-owner of the San Luis Reservoir — which, at 99% capacity, is being tapped to fill the current need. Winter demand from agriculture is much lower at the moment due to the heavy rainfall, giving state officials a reprieve.
According to a Stratfor report, there are over 80,000 dams in the United States with an average age of 52 years old, California is home to the tallest, which is the troubled Oroville Dam, at 770 feet. In spite of President Trump’s commitment to a 1 trillion dollar infrastructure program — largely financed by private sector funds — the number of dams on the list is likely to be minuscule compared to the estimated 4,000 dams the American Society of Civil Engineers considers “at risk”.
In February, CNBC reported that the Oroville Dam did not even make the list of California infrastructure projects Gov. Jerry Brown submitted for consideration under the President’s ambitious program to shore up America’s infrastructure. Folsom dam made the list — for long overdue repairs dating back to a 1986 incident. So did Gov. Brown’s controversial high-speed rail project.
In spite of infrastructure needing almost $300 billion in maintenance, according to one expert, California’s Democrat leaders are daily coming out with more spending proposals to benefit illegal aliens — earmarking a paltry $437 million for “short-term flood safety” needs.
That is on top of the $100 million in emergency funds Brown just burned through just to prevent the collapse of the Oroville Dam in February.
No long term vision to address California infrastructure crisis has been advanced by the current governor—or those who seek to replace him.
Meanwhile, spring is threatening to bring record snow melt and flood conditions — and, unfortunately for California Democrats seem to be burning the political bridge to Washington, D.C. by using up any political goodwill in gratuitously trashing President Trump.