STOCKTON — With the California high-speed rail project now forecasting large cost overruns of 27% above its original estimate, San Joaquin County Supervisors are certain that a similar fate will occur with California WaterFix, Governor Brown’s proposal to divert water away from the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will produce little additional water to resolve current water issues
It is one of the reasons the county joined 11 other jurisdictions from throughout Northern California last month to file legal action F against proposed bonds that will be used to pay for the construction of the Twin Tunnels project
“History will repeat itself in the rising costs of the State’s two major infrastructure projects,” San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn of Ripon noted. “First, the bullet train is still making history with new revelations of cost overruns now standing at a whopping $1.7 billion or $14.2 million per mile, just for the initial portion now under construction in the Central Valley. Second, the twin tunnels, which cannot seem to find any concrete financial projections or firm funding sources. Based on the way the State is running the high-speed rail project, we can expect similar cost increases for WaterFix.”
Following Westlands Water District’s rejection of the state’s funding plan for the twin tunnels, several other water districts are set to vote this month on whether to reject the plan as well.
“WaterFix is already destined for the same astronomical cost overruns as high-speed rail,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Katherine Miller. “State infrastructure projects almost never meet their budgets or deadlines, and California’s bullet train and the Bay Bridge are epic examples. Water Fix hasn’t turned a shovel of dirt yet, and they’ve already misappropriated $84 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars trying to help get the plan off the ground as well as negotiated back room deals to make water agencies and their customers pay for a project that won’t produce a single drop of new water. WaterFix must be stopped before it wastes billions of ratepayer dollars.”
San Joaquin County has long advocated more reasonable and less costly alternatives, including increased above and below ground storage capacity; water conservation, reuse, recycling, desalination and investments in Delta levees.