To see this “you pay, we benefit” strategy up close, we only need to look at the July 29 meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC), as reported by Restore the Delta’s Brett Baker.
One action the DSC took was to unanimously adopt an amended Delta Science Program contract, allowing the program to net an additional $75K of federal money coming from the US Fish and Wildlife Service budget.
If you have any interest in the Council’s financial housekeeping, check out a breakdown of their quarterly contracts here.
This spread sheet could use an additional column showing where this money came from. General obligation bonds? The General Fund? DWR’s budget? The sky? We are curious to know from where the $14M for the Delta Plan is coming.
Cliff Dahm gave his Lead Scientist’s report, referencing a recent article, “Economic Costs and Adaptations for alternative regulations of California’s Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta” available here.
The abstract suggests that reductions in upstream and in-Delta diversions should be sought to allow increased levels of export pumping from the Delta.
Presumably, their model does not incorporate the energy costs of conveying water, or perhaps over estimates the economic benefit of having a green lawn in Palmdale; but regardless, there is that pesky water rights system we have in California, and we just don’t think this proposal is something that an almond grower in Colusa County is going to appreciate.