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Delta Water Tunnel Plan Would Create 177,000 CA Jobs Over 50 Years, Gov. Brown Says


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A new water plan for California from Gov. Jerry Brown would spur $83.5 billion in new economic activity and create 177,000 construction and Delta restoration-related jobs in the next 50 years according to the governor’s office.  The plan would help modernize California’s water systems by building two massive, 35-mile long tunnels to bring freshwater from the Sacramento River to the Tracy pumps and eventually to Southern California.  

According to the California Department of Water Resources, the plan will cost $24.7 billion.  A recent cost-benefit analysis from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan found that the plan would create a net benefit of nearly $5 billion for Californians.

At a Monday news conference, California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said:

“This report shows we are acting in the best interest today and for the future. This is crucial to California’s economic future.  In this case, we are serving dual goals because, as the report makes clear, it makes economic and environmental sense.”

In creating a dependable water source, Gov. Brown’s plan would preserve one million jobs that depend on Delta water over the next 50 years.  Allan Zaramberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, said the plan helps the long term economic viability of the state, “whether it’s the defense industry, technology in Silicon Valley or agriculture.”

Nancy Vogel, assistant director of public affairs with the California Department of Water Resources, told the Sacramento Business Times, “there would be overall a net benefit to the state.” 

The plan is not without its critics which include environmentalists, fishermen, and nearly a dozen Northern California congressional members.  Other detractors note that the study uses numbers from 2012 and not 2013 meaning the results are not 100 percent up-to-date.

For California, the long-term efficiency of water systems is vital to both business and everyday life.  Bold vision is needed to ensure that the problems of tomorrow are solved today.  Gov. Brown’s plan appears to tackle the trials of the future through the lens of much-needed job creation.


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