One of the most difficult problems to solve in California is repairing the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That's because those with influence over policies affecting the Delta -- farm groups, urban water districts, environmental organizations -- are powerful interests, with solutions that often have different goals for the Delta.
They don't disagree that the Delta is in severe crisis. The estuary contains threatened species and is pivotal to transporting water to Valley farmers and 25 million California residents. At the same time, levees are crumbling, invasive species are increasing, water is contaminated.
The Bay-Delta Conservation Plan is one vehicle aimed at finding solutions. The group issued a report last month, about the same time as the federal government issued a separate status update. Both demonstrate that BDCP offers promise for addressing the Delta crisis.
But one huge challenge is the economic viability of the plan's centerpiece -- a tunnel or canal to ship water through or around the Delta, eliminating "reverse flows" and other impacts associated with the state and federal water pumps. The cost -- even if we were in good economic times -- is staggering.
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