But all Californians will not pay for the Tunnels; only farmers and MWD's 19 million water ratepayers. Also this project will not be voted upon and will be a user-pays project. Also it is misleading to divide the $25 billion price tag by California population when the cost will be amortized. Would it be truthful to say that a $250,000 home costs $62,500 per 4-person family? The debt service on $25 billion @ say 3% going bond rate would be $971,637,361 per year. If farmers pay for 25% of that it is $728,728,021 for urban water ratepayers. Divided by 19 million ratepayers but divided by 3 person average household size is 6,333,333 households. So the cost per urban household would be$115 per year or $9.59 per month per household. Using 1% population growth rate the 19 million urban ratepayers will grow to $31 million ratepayers by 2062 over which to spread costs. And if monetary inflation runs higher than say the 3% bond rate then the project effectively could be tantamount to a free ride. The question is not cost but political legitimacy. Is it legitimate to continue to shut down water supplies to farmers and So Cal households for every species of fish that is endangered, whether real or fabricated? And conversely is it legitimate for Northern California to embargo water supplies when they want levee building and restoration projects that are nothing more than real estate development projects to reclaim flood land?
The real cost of BDCP will not be the direct cost, but the opportunity cost of not investing in increasing the drought resistance of Southern California's water supplies.The Dust Bowl era saw an extended period of reduced flows on the Sacramento River -- at least 12 years. This could become the "new normal" with climate change. DWR continues to fail to adequately plan for or consider the effects of another prolonged drought in the Sacramento River basin. They won't even release the projected yields of BDCP under the drier climate change scenarios, but their own models project a sigificant potential reduction in flows.We're currently seeing significant drying in the Colorado River basin. No state would invest $25 billion in a massive new diversion on the Colorado River, expecting to increase the reliability of their water supply. Computer modelling by independent researchers suggests that by the time BDCP is completed, we could see a similar pattern of increased evapotranspiration and reduced runoff in the Sacramento River basin, possibly with reduced precipitation.Planning for the water supply for 19 million people demands real science, not "salad bowl" science that picks and chooses the effects of climate change.
Sounds like $115 annually is nothing to a Pasadena Pundit. I wonder if the Compton Pundit would agree.
Pasadena pundit misses a few important points.1) The water users only intend to pay for the tunnels, perhaps $16 billion, and an additional $800 million for restoration and program implementation. The Public is being asked to pay for the remaining cost (perhaps $8 billion) of the project through statewide water bonds and other state and federal sources. The state water bonds in particular, end up costing double once the interest is repaid.2) No one in the delta is asking to have their productive farmland condemned to create habitat. Habitat creation on currently productive farmlands in the delta is not considered a benefit of BDCP from a local perspective.
So what happens to the Delta if the BDCP is built? Or if it ends up costing $40 billion, which it probably will.
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