Study identifies $84 billion boost to State’s economy
(The following is a statement by Mike Wade, California Farm Water Coalition Executive Director, in response to a comprehensive economic study released today by the California Natural Resources Agency regarding the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.)
“Nearly every individual living in California will benefit from the implementation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and the proposed tunnels that will send water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to thousands of farmers and 25 million Californians. The study estimates an increase of $84 billion to the State’s economy and the creation of 1 million jobs over the 50-year lifetime of BDCP.
“Of the $13 billion in construction costs in the first 10 years of the project, $11 billion or almost 85 percent is wages. That is money in the pockets of construction workers, maintenance personnel, farm and farm-related employees and the people who will manage the enhanced environmental areas that are part of the project.
“The report also says that 390,000 urban and 134,000 farm jobs will be preserved as a result of the BDCP. That means that if we don’t move forward with the project, people who may not even have a direct connection to the BDCP are at risk of losing their jobs in the future because of reduced water supply reliability and a declining economy.
“The report is good news for a state that has struggled under the weight of economic difficulties and high unemployment. These numbers provide hope for Californians who are unemployed or underemployed. They also provide hope for businesses that want dependable resources to help them grow. And the certainty of a water supply for thousands of farms means that California consumers will continue to find locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables in the market.”