Analysis: Benefits of the Delta Conveyance Project Far Exceed Costs

A benefit-cost analysis for the Delta Conveyance Project was released by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), finding that the infrastructure modernization project would create billions of dollars in benefits for California communities, including reliable water supplies, climate change adaptation, earthquake preparedness and improved water quality.

According to the DWR, For every $1 spent, $2.20 in benefits would be generated. The report also shows the very real cost of doing nothing, posing significant future challenges to supplying water to California communities.

“The Delta Conveyance Project passes the benefit-cost test readily, with benefits that are more than double the cost,” said Dr. David Sunding, Emeritus Professor, UC Berkeley, who led the benefit-cost analysis. “The project enables ongoing demands to be satisfied and water supply reliability to be maintained,” he said, adding “the benefits clearly justify the costs.”

As climate change and regulatory constraints cause water supplies to diminish over time, the reliability of the State Water Project infrastructure is in jeopardy, putting 27 million Californians and 750,000 acres of farmland at risk. This new benefit-cost analysis provides a compelling financial rationale for the public water agencies funding the project to be able continue to provide affordable, safe, clean and reliable water supply.

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