In case you missed it:
Sacramento Bee Reports Central Valley Farmers
“say they may not pay for Delta tunnels”
Dale Kasler adequately summarized the joint-meeting of Westlands Water District and Goldman Sachs at Harris Ranch yesterday in his most recent article, “These farmers say they may not pay for Delta tunnels pushed by Gov. Brown.”
Joining skeptical Central Valley farmers in attendance was Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla who noted,
“The joint Goldman Sachs, DWR, Bureau of Reclamation presentation at Westlands Water District suggests that the end goal of CA WaterFix is to transform California water into a capital commodity, which will be controlled by the private sector under the smoke screen of public interest. While Goldman Sachs officials maintained that they were not making a recommendation, but were rather giving a presentation regarding loan possibilities, they, like a mortgage lender of a decade ago, laid out loan options that on the surface seem to make the project more affordable for Westlands farmers.
“For what project proponents believe would be an additional million acre feet of water for the four major water districts, the incremental gain in water would cost farmers roughly $1200 per acre-foot. We clearly heard farmers say they could not farm with water costs that high. In addition, the Goldman Sachs representatives believed that design was much further along, and did not know that project proponents have only finished 10 percent of the design. Consequently, their analysis did not cover any of the construction risks or potential for cost overruns.
“Perhaps the most disturbing moment was Goldman Sachs redefining intergenerational equity, which is the idea that humans hold the natural and cultural environment with past, present, and future generations. They redefined intergenerational equity as spreading tunnel costs over 50-75 years so that future generations could pay their fair share for use of the project.”