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Tunnel Confusion?

Ratepayers, taxpayers and board members should be very uneasy about the way these issues are being deferred to the future.

Aug 17, 2017

Once upon a time it was called the Peripheral Canal, then it morphed into the Twin Tunnels, and now bears the name The California Water Fix.  The Water Fix is another name for the tunnels which will divert water under the Delta to consumers in SoCal and farmers in the Central Valley.  It is one of Governor Jerry Brown's two pet projects, the other being high-speed rail.  Like high-speed rail, paying for it has been a big bone of contention.  And like high-speed rail there's a lot of confusion about how much it will cost. 

The Metropolitan Water District of SoCal is a supporter of the project and the Sacramento Bee reported on their projected cost for consumers:  "More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta."
 
And, the L.A.Times reported:  "The staff(MWD) estimated that the project would cost MWD about $4.3 billion, increasing residential water rates an average of roughly $23 to $38 a year — depending on interest rates on the project debt."
 
But, the Valley Economy blog warns:  "The paper (MWD) describes a host of critical financing issues as still "under negotiation" or being developed.  Agencies have been working on these issues for years and still have not come to a resolution.  The paper assumes all these issues will be handled in way that is satisfactory to the board.  Ratepayers, taxpayers and board members should be very uneasy about the way these issues are being deferred to the future."

And Doug Obegi of the NRDC also warns:  " Based on my initial review, as discussed below the white paper relies on two inaccurate assumptions, which significantly bias the analysis and conclusions and provides the Board of Directors with misleading and inaccurate information." 
 
Meanwhile, the Red, Green and Blue blog has a totally different price projection: "The average L.A. customer would see their water bills rise from $200 to over $393 annually for up to 75 years, according to an independent analysis by EcoNorthwest."

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