“Costs of Bay Delta plan steeper than reported
The recent article by Paul Rogers on the inflating costs of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the water conveyance tunnels it would authorize was a masterful piece of reporting. However, the situation is even worse than Rogers indicated.
He accurately observed that interest costs for the general obligation bonds necessary for the project would push total costs beyond the $25 billion cited by the Brown administration to as much as $67 billion.
But another factor is in play: the cost overruns that are pro forma for any state public works project. The price tag for the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, for example, was estimated at $1.3 billion. It ended up costing $6.4 billion. Similarly, the Coastal Branch, an aqueduct that connected the Central Coast to the State Water Project, was supposed to cost no more than $270 million. By the time all debt is paid, it will cost $1.76 billion.
Even if the BDCP appreciates “only” by 100 percent, it would cost more than $100 billion.
Executive Director California Water Impact Network Montecito