FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546 [email protected]; Twitter: @shopcraft;
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 [email protected]; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta
Restore the Delta: BDCP Plus “Defies Common Sense”
Would impose 75% of cost on LA ratepayers, for 25% of water
Sacramento, CA – Restore the Delta (RTD) today told the Resources Agency that the Brown Administration’s latest plan to construct a peripheral canal or tunnel without a cost-benefit analysis, completing scientific studies and continuing unsustainable water exports for the benefit of a few huge industrial farms “defies common sense.” “BDCP has a plan to start building conveyance and figure out how to operate it later to meet the coequal goals of ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability defies common sense,” said Jane Wagner-Tyack, RTD research director. “You’re going around peer-reviewed science with faulty modeling and incomplete analysis. You’re ignoring the warnings of Interior Department scientists that 50-year permits could hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, and other fish species.”
RTD said the administration has “repeatedly refused to consider reasonable alternatives that don’t involve massive infrastructure. The water demands that would be served by this conveyance are unrealistic and the flows exporters want are out of line with reliable supplies. The operation you propose will worsen water quality for fisheries and agriculture. It will devastate the economy of the Delta itself and northern fisheries that depend on adequate flows through the Delta. You’re on a fast-track path that will require suspension of environmental review statutes, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the California Water Code, as well as property rights.”
“We still have no public trust analysis for this plan, and supporters of the plan have strongly resisted a cost-benefit analysis. But a report published last week by University of the Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center shows that for every $2.50 spent on this project, the state can expect to see $1 in benefits. And if costs are allocated on a per capita basis, Metropolitan Water District ratepayers will be responsible for 75% of the project costs, not the 25% that would be proportional to the amount of water they get.
“Two-thirds of exports from the Delta serve corporate irrigators on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, which accounts for less than half a percent of California’s economy and population. Less than a third of the water goes to urban areas that make up half of the state’s population and economy.
“No wonder you don’t want a cost-benefit analysis,” said Wagner-Tyack.