NRDC’s Doug Obegi Breaks Down Shortcomings of
Delta Tunnels Financing Options
NRDC Senior Attorney Doug Obegi hits the nail on the head in his latest blog post, “Goldman Sachs Underestimates WaterFix Costs for Westlands.”
After Goldman Sachs delivered their Delta Tunnels financing presentation to the Board of Directors for Westlands Water District on Monday, Obegi crunched the numbers and found that Central Valley farmers would likely pay more than Goldman Sachs’s cost estimates. Obegi explains:
“First, they include an analysis based on the incremental water supply gained from Waterfix, but that cost analysis assumes that the incremental water supply from WaterFix is 1 million acre feet of water (slide 3). The farmers at Westlands know that’s not true; indeed, one of them was quoted saying, ‘It’s a lot of money for not a lot of water.’ The incremental water supply is calculated using a fake baseline that is completely different from the analysis used in the CEQA/NEPA documents for WaterFix, as I’ve written about before. In contrast, as Dr. Jeff Michael of the University of the Pacific pointed out last year, the final EIS/EIR for WaterFix estimates that the State Water Project would increase exports by 186,000 acre feet, and the Central Valley Project would reduce exports by 14,000 acre feet. If one uses the real estimate of the incremental water supply yield from WaterFix, the per acre foot costs skyrocket (particularly for CVP contractors, who lose water supply compared to today according to the final NEPA/CEQA documents).
“It’s no surprise that WaterFix is a bad deal for the environment and for water users. But these unreasonable assumptions indicate WaterFix is likely to cost Westlands and other contractors far more than Goldman Sachs’ analysis shows.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.