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Price Tag for California Water Plan: $25 Billion

Courtesy California Department of Water Resources

Courtesy California Department of Water Resources

The 50-year cost estimate includes the design, construction and operation of two massive tunnels to pump water from the Delta to Central and Southern California.

It also includes money for habitat restoration. Water users would pay almost 70-percent of the cost.

The final chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan also say the tunnels will provide about 5 billion dollars in net benefits.

Governor Brown says with the potential for earthquakes threatening the Delta, California must go forward with the project.

Brown: “This is not an if, it’s a when. And that’s the whole purpose of this. We also have great deterioration to the fishery resources and the environment, we’ve got to take care of that. This is a rich state, this is a treasure in the Delta.”

Opponents of the project say the plan doesn’t provide reliable financing.

They also say economic risks of an earthquake’s effect on water supplies are exaggerated.


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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