Sunday, May 3, 2015
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

By
From page A2 | December 27, 2013 |

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

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Council to hear about drought pricing

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Downtown altercation leads to injuries

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

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

A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Free beginner yoga class offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

NAMI support group meets May 10

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Dr. G featured on the radio

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Forum

End of life doesn’t mean life must end

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

With sincere gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
A wonderful day of service

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Please help Baltimore

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

He can’t give it up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

 
 
Dangers from prescription pills

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

.

Sports

UCD softball splits with Titans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Making memories at Aggie Stadium

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Marrone opens new greenhouse

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
New firm helps students on path to college

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8