In the coming weeks, water agencies throughout California will make important decisions about a project that modernizes our state’s water system. About a third of the water used in Southern California comes from Northern California through the State Water Project. But the hub of that water delivery system, the section carrying water to the Southland from the state’s two largest rivers—the Sacramento and San Joaquin—through a region known as the Delta, needs to be modernized.
The proposed solution is a project called California WaterFix, which would build three new intakes and two underground tunnel pipeline to move this water more reliably through the Delta and also protect endangered fish species there. Like similarly sized infrastructure projects, large water projects can have a big price tag. This project, however, is actually cost-effective for Southern California for what it provides—water reliability for the region.
Metropolitan Water District’s latest financial analysis estimates the cost to an average household at $2-$3 a month. It’s even less for Los Angeles residents. The independent Los Angeles Office of Public Accountability issued a report last week concluding the average household in the city would pay less than $2 per month.
Metropolitan’s board will soon be asked to approve paying its WaterFix share based on the amount of water it is allocated from the state system—about 26 percent. If other water agencies decide not to pay their fair shares, other considerations might have to be made and decided at a future date. But the decision now is only about Metropolitan and its member agencies paying their own part. Compared to other new water supplies, WaterFix makes economic sense.
This article was released by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.