Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Interest payments inflate delta plan’s cost

California Capitol Protest

Patricia Burnham, left, of Fair Oaks and Jim Hard, right, of Sacramento, join a Dec. 9 Capitol protest against the plan to build tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. “I’m an engineer against the tunnels,” Burnham said. Renee C. Byer, The Sacramento Bee/AP photo

SACRAMENTO (AP) — New figures that factor in long-term financing costs have more than doubled the estimated $25 billion price tag for a plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a newspaper reported Thursday.

At the heart of the plan unveiled last summer by Gov. Jerry Brown are two underground tunnels that would replace the delta’s current pumping system, which has proven deadly to salmon and other fish and therefore led the federal government to limit its operation. State officials have pegged the cost of building the tunnel and restoring nearby wetlands at $25 billion, making it one of the costliest public works projects in state history.

But when interest payments on bonds to finance the project are factored in, the estimated cost goes up to between $51 billion and $67 billion, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The figures were presented at a meeting of a Central Valley water district last month, but their accuracy was confirmed by the state Department of Water Resources, according to the newspaper.

“The numbers are big. There is sticker shock,” said Jason Peltier, chief deputy general manager of the Fresno-based Westlands Water District. “We keep going back to our policy people and saying ‘Yes, this is tough to look at, but consider your other scenarios. How much more groundwater can we pump?’ That kind of thing.”

The revised estimates assume it would cost $18 billion to build the diversion tunnels and another $9 million to restore 147,000 acres of wetlands and other habitat. The rest of the price tag would go toward interest on bonds issued for 30 years at a rate of 5 percent and other financing costs.

California voters will be asked in November to approve a bond measure that would pay for part of the project.

Because the Brown administration is proposing to cover more of the delta project through bond borrowing than is typical even for large public works projects, the new numbers could make it harder to win voter support and fuel further criticism of the politically sensitive project.

Proponents say the tunnels would provide a reliable water supply while reducing the mortality of threatened fish, because water would mostly be diverted from the north portion of the delta, where fish would not be sucked into the deadly pumps.

Farmers, landowners and elected officials in the delta have expressed concern about the proposed path of the tunnel and a related reservoir.

Department of Water Resources director Mark Cowin confirmed the estimates were accurate, but said the state expects public water districts that would benefit most from the project to shoulder 70 percent of the costs. Not building the tunnels, he said, could lead to future water shortages.

___

Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
‘Eco-Heroes’ help get us from here to there

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
CHP seeks owner of lost cash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
 
Home building up in March after frigid winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Davis elder-abuse case wraps up

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Alleged serial killings highlight GPS limits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Seniors can get tips for getting around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

School has garden plots for rent

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Check out the night sky

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
 
.

Forum

Still supporting this guy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Urban forest under siege

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

Drought care for our trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Giants beat L.A. in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Red Union Blue inks record deal

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6