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$80B and Not a Dam in Sight!

Guess we'll ride that high-speed rail right out of Dodge.

Jun 07, 2013

According to the San Francisco Chronicle it will cost over $54B for the total cost of the Delta's part of the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan ($54.1 billion to construct two tunnels, restore delta habitat, administer the project and pay the interest on the bonds ($26.3 billion interest on the tunnel revenue bonds plus $3.2 billion on the general obligation bonds). We know the legislators in Sacramento are re-writing the Water Bond because they feel like the $11B price tag is too much for voters in the wake of high-speed rail. They will try to get it down to about $9B. Did you also know we Californians have passed $18.7B in water bonds since 2000. There are no dams in the BDCP. Dams are being written out of the new water bond to cut the costs. There have been no dams in the old water bonds. That's a total of over $80B in bonds and the BDCP and no dams anywhere to be found. Throw in $68B for the high-speed rail and we have a total of almost $150B and we can't find a measly $1-2B for a dam at Temperance Flat?

Oh, and by the way, we didn't even mention the EPA survey that says California should spend $44.5B to fix our aging water systems over the next two decades, again with no mention of dams. That takes us up to $194B, but no dams. Guess we'll ride that high-speed rail right out of Dodge.



EPA survey ranks California No. 1 in water infrastructure needs

By Bettina Boxall

California could use $44.5 billion to fix aging water systems over the next two decades, according to a federal survey that placed the state at the top of a national list of water infrastructure needs.

Texas, at nearly $34 billion, and New York, with about $22 billion, were next in line.

The assessment, conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 and released Tuesday, is used to document the capital investment needs of public drinking water systems across the country. The EPA relies on the results to allocate grants through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund.

All told, the survey revealed a $384-billion wish list of infrastructure projects through 2030 -- $4.5 billion more than in the 2007 assessment.

In California and elsewhere, the biggest need was for repairing and upgrading water transmission and distribution lines. That will come as no surprise to residents of Los Angeles, where old mains routinely break, sending gushers of water flooding city streets. Treatment projects were next on the list.

“The nation’s water systems have entered a rehabilitation and replacement era in which much of the existing infrastructure has reached, or is approaching, the end of its useful life,” EPA acting Administrator Robert Perciasepe said in a statement. “This is a major issue that must be addressed so that American families continue to have the access they need to clean and healthy water sources.”

In April, the regional EPA administrator sent a letter of noncompliance to the California Department of Public Health, complaining that the state had failed to spend $455 million of federal money in another state revolving fund used to improve drinking-water quality in small rural communities with contaminated wells or other problems.

The EPA said the state had set much of the funding aside for projects that were not shovel ready, while other, ready-to-go projects languished.


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