From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

Opinion: Protesting a pipe dream for more water

Coalition response…Nick DiCroce should be ashamed of his misleading descriptions of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and California water rights.

The BDCP is in response to a 2009 mandate by the State Legislature to restore the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta and to create a reliable water supply for 25 million Californians and 3 million acres of productive farmland. In recent years the supply of water that flows through the Delta for delivery to users has been reduced by as much as 90 percent.

His comment that “No cost-benefit analysis has been conducted.” doesn’t square with readily available, published economic data. And he mixes construction costs with total costs, which includes financing, in an attempt to illustrate out-of-control spending. An analysis headed by economist David Sunding of UC Berkeley reveals that the State’s economy will receive an $84 billion benefit from the overall project. Read Dr. Sunding’s economic impacts report here.

In fact, the total cost for construction, operation and maintenance is only about $5 per month for Southern California residents. That’s a small price to pay to protect the safety and reliability of our water supply. Why didn’t Nick mention that?

Claiming that California’s water resources are oversubscribed by a factor of five ignores the fact that water rights are issued for specific uses at specific places and time. That means water can be used at one place and time to generate power, and then a second time to irrigate a field of tomatoes and once again for washing clothes in a city or town. Water is used over and over in California and rights for each of those uses are unique.

Plenty of factual information exists on how California can protect its water supply at an affordable cost at

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