The Guardian: BDCP Tunnels Prioritizes Agribusiness in Central Valley

The Guardian

$8bn habitat conservation plan scrapped as California prioritises agribusiness

APR 29, 2015 By Amy Westervelt


"The tunnels are estimated to cost $12-14bn to build, but given expected construction overruns and maintenance costs, the overall budget has been estimated at $50 to $64bn . That cost will largely be covered by property taxes and water rate hikes. Critics have complained that agricultural water districts will have an unfair advantage: the ability to re-sell their BDCP water supply."

“They [BDCP] continue to say we’re about farming,” says Barbara Barrigan-Perilla, executive director of nonprofit Restore the Delta. “But the reality is that in 25 to 30 years those drainage-impaired lands in Westlands will have to be retired no matter what.”

“I think that’s the end-goal: farms will have to be retired, farmers will walk away with settlements from the federal government, and Westlands Water District will buy back water rights and re-sell their existing shares of water,” says Barrigan-Perilla.

Read article here.

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