From the inbox:
• Dueling eocnomists: The State Water Contractors published a fact sheet comparing recent twin tunnels analyses by David Sunding, a consultant for the state, and Jeff Michael, the skeptic often quoted by Stockton-based tunnels foe Restore the Delta.
“From the public water agencies’ perspective, Dr. Sunding’s study was a far more in-depth, large-scale analysis,” SWC General Manager Terry Erlewine said in a prepared statement.
To which, Restore the Delta spokesman Steve Hopcraft tweeted this morning: “Water-takers messing with wrong economist! Dr. Jeff Michaels (sic) v. Dr. David Sunding is no match. Water takers tied 1 hand behind Sunding’s back.”
• ‘Perpetuating confusion’: Michael fired off his own shot late last week, claiming in a blog post that BDCP’s Karla Nemeth misrepresented Sunding’s analysis in remarks before the Delta Stewardship Council.
Michael faulted Nemeth for failing to clarify that the $5 billion in net benefits identified by Sunding hinge on an assumption that future exports would be much lower than today due to tightening environmental regulations.
• Taking a position: The Sierra Club announced over the weekend that it is officially opposed to the twin tunnels. I spoke with a source this morning who felt this was big news, because of the club’s reach and influence throughout the state; perhaps it is, but the Sierra Club has been critical of the governor’s plan pretty much all along.
“We are taking this position because there is too much certainty that the tunnels will further degrade the Delta environment. There is too little certainty that it will solve the essential water supply problems all Californians face as we grapple with climate change,” wrote Kathryn Phillips, director of the club’s California branch.
• In print: A proposed revision to the 2014 water bond is out, trimming the original bond from $11.1 billion to $6.5 billion.
The new bond includes $1 billion for “Delta sustainability,” including protecting and restoring the ecosystem, and maintaining and improving existing levees. Of significant note to Delta interests, the money can’t be used for eminent domain, and a provision requires that any project funded must include a partner from one of the five Delta counties.
Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, was a member of the working group that helped craft these changes.