Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Peter Gleick on Temperance Flat and CVP subsidies.

From Peter Gleick’s City Brights Blog:

Water Number: 19%. As Bettina Boxall of the LA Times noted in her story this week, our experience with paying for past infrastructure should be a huge warning today. Irrigators who benefit from the federally built Central Valley Project have enjoyed the equivalent of a massive 60-year, interest-free loan. Not only have they failed to repay their share of the costs (having only repaid about 19% of their $1.2-billion share of the capital costs), but the federal government charges them no interest. Pretty sweet. Give me $1.2 billion in a very long-term, zero-interest loan and I can find you hundreds of thousands of acre-feet of water. Buy everyone efficient fixtures (washing machines, toilets, showerheads, urinals, drip or sprinkler systems, etc.) and get repaid over time through water bills savings.Read more:

In this same spirit, I would say give me $1.2 billion in interest free loans (and an apparant 300 year repayment schedule) and I will create tens of thousands of high paying jobs in the San Joaquin Valley that diversify the local economy.

Rather than spend $3.3 billion on Temperance Flat, I propose that the state gives Peter $1 billion to find new water and me $1 billion to create jobs. The state will get more water, more jobs and save money.

Even better, just vote no on the water bond. Let water prices rise to encourage conservation and investment in local supplies (like water recycling). Create jobs by spending or investing your money elsewhere, while preventing future tax increases or education cuts to pay off these bonds.

About the Author

Ethan Jacob

Author & Editor

I am Ethan Jacob Executive Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, where I have a joint faculty appointment in the Eberhardt School of Business and the Public Policy Program in the McGeorge School of Law..


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