Blog: Smaller Doesn’t Mean Cheaper
From the Bay Delta Conservation Plan Blog, a post by Richard Stapler, California Natural Resources Agency:
“In an effort to spur discussion about desperately needed upgrades to California’s water supply delivery system, some water districts in California along with Natural Resources Defense Council have urged the study of a tunnel delivery system in the Delta that is a third of the size of the emerging proposal. The basic idea was to spend less on new conveyance and more on replacing lost Delta supplies with new local water sources and additional storage facilities.
“While BDCP’s environmental analysis process is not yet complete, the Department of Water Resources has conducted extensive economic and water modeling analysis of a potentially smaller water conveyance fix and habitat restoration for the Delta than proposed by BDCP. The findings point to some fundamentals of engineering and math. A tunnel that is a third of the size is in no way a third of the construction cost. Constraining the future water system reduces public water supplies. It increases reliance on 50-year old pumping facilities in the southern Delta that are of concern to the environmental organizations themselves. And it doesn’t free up nearly the necessary funds to replace the lost water supplies.”