ICYMI: May 15, 2017
State trust in Brown’s legacy falters—
What does this mean for CA Water?
The Sacramento Bee has published a series of articles covering the Oroville Dam Crisis. The series probes whether the Department of Water Resources can be trusted to prioritize public health and safety of California residents.
Reporters Ryan Sabalow and Dale Kasler examined CA’s deep history of irresponsible infrastructure planning—a statewide problem passed down from father (former-governor Pat Brown) to son (current Governor Jerry Brown)—in an article published Sunday. On Monday, the Bee reported on decades of broken promises regarding recreational investments to Butte County which have resurfaced since Oroville’s emergency spillway failed this February.
Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla adds:
“Oroville Dam, from its inception, was overpriced and under-engineered. Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels proposal suffers from the same dangerous flaws.
“To date, with only 12 percent of design completed for the Delta Tunnels, government agencies and special interest water districts have spent a quarter billion dollars in planning and still cannot deliver a finance plan or a true cost-benefit analysis that compares the value of fresh water for the San Francisco Bay Delta to water for industrial desert agriculture on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.
“Even worse, the estimated $17 billion doesn’t account for cost overruns—which generally double the price for American tunneling projects—or the impact of climate change on water availability. There is no guarantee of water deliveries, which means powerful water districts will be applying never-ending political pressure to acquire water for sales to pay back the debt for $17 billion in loans.
“Governor Brown needs to separate his legacy from his father’s and recognize that the era of huge, expensive projects with 30-year life spans is over. We need to invest in thousands of small local projects to guarantee water availability and public safety throughout the state. Rather than building a monument to himself, Governor Brown could create an enduring legacy by creating a water resilient California and saving the San Francisco Bay Delta through the policies he champions.”