Re "Are dams the answer?" (Page A1, June 1): Dams are built for flood control, power generation, water storage and recreation. Using only the average year water storage available for release really distorts the cost of dams.
Flood control in wet years saves millions of feet of water from ending up in the ocean while stopping or mitigating flooding. Revenue from power generation mitigates the cost of the dam and water storage, especially water saved during wet year supplies needed for irrigation and use by thirsty cities. Lastly, it provides recreational use for millions of people.
Factoring these primary uses and revenue in, the cost benefit of dams looks very good. Irrigation uses around 90 percent of the water in California, so increased conservation by residents cannot solve the problem, and stopping irrigation for farming certainly is not.
-- William Palazzini, PE, Granite Bay