BDCP TWIN TUNNELS COSTS
Friant Is Still Unclear Over ‘Beneficiaries’
It is not yet known whether or not the Friant Division’s water contractors are going to be expected to be among water supply beneficiaries who would be counted upon to help pay for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s $16 billion twin tunnels and costs of other related project elements.
Users of the Friant-Kern and Madera canals receive their water from the San Joaquin River. No BDCP benefits have yet been identified for Friant or the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors in the western San Joaquin Valley.
Those four agencies effectively enjoy the first right to use Central Valley Project water from the Delta as an exchange supply that permits Friant water to be diverted at Friant Dam. The exchange water is delivered through the Delta Mendota Canal to Mendota Pool, west of Fresno.
FAVORS BDCP CONCEPTS
The Friant Water Authority does favor the BDCP’s concepts in recognition of the necessity of eliminating or easing Delta water conveyance problems.
“We continue to be generally supportive of a Delta solution that includes more reliable conveyance and ecosystem improvements that the BDCP is attempting to offer but Friant users must be shown to truly benefit from the huge tunnel project before our board will consider participating financially,” said Ronald D. Jacobsma, Friant Water Authority General Manager.
Most BDCP beneficiaries are located in portions of the Bay Area and Central Coast, Southern California and along western and southern portions of the San Joaquin Valley.
Jacobsma added, “Friant contractors have concerns with BDCP equitable cost allocation, certainty with respect to water deliveries and regulatory parameters, priority of water service, water rights and a number of operational issues.”
The latter includes impacts, if any, on Exchange Contractor, Cross Valley Canal and San Joaquin River Restoration Program recirculation water (which would return a portion of the water contributed for river restoration to Friant users).