Delta Flows: Learning from the Bullet Train Mess

Happy Hot Monday! We hope everyone is staying hydrated and cool during our first heat wave of the season.

As we scanned the news today this story jumped out as something for Delta activists to think about.

This LA Times story is truly a heartbreaking cautionary tale about the impacts of large infrastructure projects on farming communities.

High-speed rail route took land from farmers. The money they’re owed hasn’t arrived – LA Times 6/10/19

“One problem was the agency’s decision to issue construction contracts with only 15% of the rail design completed, a so-called design-build approach. With only preliminary designs of highway bridges, rail structures and utility relocations, it was difficult to know how much land would be needed and the degree to which farms would be hit.”

Since Restore the Delta was formed, we have called consistently for a cost-benefit analysis of any and all new conveyance projects. Such an analysis should include the true costs of mitigation to Delta rural and urban communities. We also maintain that a cost-benefit analysis must examine the socio-economic value of fresh water to the Bay-Delta estuary.

True mitigation costs, related to construction and environmental degradation, must be factored into tunnel construction costs as the state prepares any future analysis of a Delta tunnel.

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