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I wanted to share a few more details about my story today that didn’t make the deadline cut yesterday. I’d spoken with Jay Lund, a civil and environmental engineering professor at University of California, Davis. He was a contributor to a landmark report about the delta from the Public Policy Institute of California.
The report evaluated several alternatives for the delta’s future. It presented a stark warning: “The current management of the Delta is unsustainable for almost all stakeholders.”
Lund said the governor’s proposed $6 billion bond package is a needed investment in reservoir capacity, though he and others questioned the funding sources. About $2.5 billion of the revenue would come from the state’s general fund. Many people believe it should be paid by the new water’s beneficiaries — not by all of the state’s taxpayers.
“There will be some big expenses, but we haven’t made big investments in the system in a long time,” Lund said. “There’s a better chance of changing the state’s policies in the delta now than I’ve seen in the last 15 years.”
Lund said engineering a solution to the delta’s problems would not be the hard part. The challenges, he said, would be environmental implications, legal authority, political will and financing.
“With enough money you can engineer anything,” Lund said.