C-WIN Responds to Governor's State of the State Speech

 

 

 

RESPONSE TO GOVERNOR BROWN’S STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

BY THE CALIFORNIA WATER IMPACT NETWORK (C-WIN)

 

Contacts: Carolee Krieger 805-969-0824

                  Jim Edmondson 805-506-9248

 

Santa Barbara, CA- The California Water Impact Network (C-WIN, online at www.c-win.org), an organization working to promote the equitable and environmentally sensitive use of California’s water today responded to Governor Brown’s call in his State of the State address for two massive tunnels under the Delta to send Northern California water south. 

 

C-WIN’s Executive Director Carolee Krieger said, “Governor Brown is not giving the full cost of the Peripheral Tunnels when he says it will cost $14 billion.  The cost will easily exceed $60 billion by the time financing, cost overruns, mitigation, operations and maintenance are counted. Californians will spend billions for tunnels with not a drop more of water delivered to our cities and no benefits to the environment.   Santa Barbara is the poster child for underestimating water project costs- ratepayers were told in 1991 it would cost $270 million to get Delta water but spent $1.76 billion.  That averages to over $18,000 for each of Santa Barbara County’s 95,000 customers.” 

 

Krieger went on to say, “The Governor is no longer saying that the beneficiaries will pay for the project and we can expect that he’ll ask the state General Fund/taxpayers to foot more of the cost. That will be money that would otherwise go to public safety, education, health care and paying off past debt. California already has 6% of its budget going to pay off debt.  We don’t need more public debt for outdated water solutions.”

 

Jim Edmondson, a southern California C-WIN board member said, "There are better and cheaper solutions for protecting and enhancing water supplies like strengthening Delta levees for $4 billion, recycling, conservation and stormwater capture.  Southern California ratepayers and taxpayers will pay the costs of the twin tunnels, but may not receive a drop more water.  They will be paying more every month to increase water deliveries for subsidized corporate agribusiness in portions of the San Joaquin Valley."  

 

Edmondson concluded that "Several other lower costs alternatives exist that are not being given full consideration by the Governor and his water barons.  Governor Brown's arguments that he is fiscally prudent are suspect. A recent benefit/cost analysis for the Peripheral Tunnels concluded that Californians will spend $2.50 for only $1 of benefits."