RIP for Auburn Dam? Possible, but never certain

In a major new development–but one that by no means insures the end of an Auburn Dam–the California Water Board has revoked the water rights it granted to the US Bureau of Reclamation more than 30 years ago. The landmark decision was made on December 2, 2008. This means that even if the dam were in fact approved and constructed in the future the government would have no rights to the water stored in the resulting reservoir.

The California Water Board’s unanimous decision was based less on lack of support for the dam and more on the fact that the Federal Government has failed to use the water for so long. In effect, it was a “use it or lose it” situation.

This development does not guarantee the permanant demise of Auburn Dam, but it is clearly a significant new hurdle that dam supporters would have to address before the project could move forward again.

For the Sacramento Bee’s take on this important decision, go to their website:

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