When Arnold Schwarzenegger was California Governor he attempted to allot funds towards the repair and maintenance of the levee system and yet, couldn’t get the democratic California legislature at the time to accept his budget, instead they had endless social programs and pet projects to fund. Some folks do not remember their history, but I am not one of them, you see here we are in 2017 and we have a dam crisis brewing at the Oroville Dam, which happens to be about 1/2 of Northern and Central California’s water supply – it is the main dam with 9-smaller dams above it. As I pen this article all 9 dams are 100% full and Oroville Dam needs repairs on its spillways which are in jeopardy of total failure.
Now then, the leftist newspaper (yes, I am a bias writer in hindsight of this on-going fiasco), The Los Angeles Times, had an interesting article on February 24, 2017 titled; “California Governor Jerry Brown proposes speeding up water and flood-protection projects after the winter’s big storms,” by John Myers which had a quote from the governor:
“We have our aging infrastructure and it’s maxed out,” Brown said during a news conference at the state Capitol. The plan, largely an acceleration of existing plans to fund infrastructure needs, requires approval of the Legislature.”
The one page article also stated that the California Governor contacted Donald Trump for fast-tracking environmental rules for some key repair projects like the Oroville Dam spillway. The Governor also wants to set aside $437 million of the California budget to fix levees and storm drainage in the state. Infrastructure experts estimate this to be a drop in the bucket to the overdue repairs needed in state infrastructure which are thought to be $187 Billion to bring the CA infrastructure up to an A-grade by the American Society of Engineers. A good overview of this is on YouTube, a video titled; “Jerry Brown Finally Speaks About Oroville Dam Spillway Failures 2/24/2017.”
When California Governor Jerry Brown gave a press conference one reporter asked him about who was to blame. He deflected these questions explaining that there are many infrastructure maintenance projects that desperately need budget monies, but monies are not unlimited, and named important social programs, health care, and legacy costs (pensions for former and current state employees). We all understand the realities, and yet, California is to blame for their own failures a and whereas they can divert blame way from themselves, they may not be able to divert that much water or snowpack runoff in time to prevent the largest dam disaster in US History.