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NRDC Portfolio-Based BDCP Conceptual Alternative – Appendix A: Alternative Water Supply Cost and Yield Estimates

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) | January 16th, 2013

This conceptual alternative proposes a smaller capital investment in a Delta facility, in comparison with the current BDCP preliminary project, and an investment of some of the savings in regional water supply tools. This analysis includes estimates of the capital cost and water supply benefits of regional investments. The capital costs associated with water recycling are well established. In state-wide projects, these costs are estimated to range between $6,430 and $6,470 per acre-feet (“AF”) of permanent water recycling capacity.

Capital, or initial/one-time costs for urban water use efficiency are less well established, as these costs are usually expressed in total annual costs and the costs of efficiency programs can vary widely. Due to the variation of cost estimates, this analysis focuses on the cost estimates provided in the California Water Plans of 2009 and the 2013 update in order to present a consistent source and methodology. The $3,230/AF to $4,860/AF capital cost for urban water efficiency programs is explained in greater detail below. Other alternative water supply investments are also promising, such as improvements in agricultural water use efficiency, improved groundwater management and stormwater capture and reuse.

Our analysis has not focused on these types of investments because cost and yield information vary widely. However, our analysis is not meant to exclude investments in these types of supplies, which will be cost-effective investments in many localities.


NRDC Portfolio-Based BDCP Conceptual Alternative – Summary

Benefits of a diversified portfolio approach to the Bay-Delta and water supply

NRDC Portfolio-Based BDCP Conceptual Alternative – letter of water agency and organizational support


Delta conveyance, economic analysis, Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta