Report Says Calif. Must Rethink Its Water System


SACRAMENTO (AP) - A new report says California must completely
rethink the way it uses, moves and stores water.

But doing so won't be cheap.

Balancing environmental protection with meeting the water needs of an expanding population will cost $12 billion to $24 billion over the next 10 to 15 years. The cost could be as high as $80 billion.

Those estimates are contained in a draft plan being submitted to
a task force established by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The task force is exploring how California can ensure the future health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta while providing the state a reliable long-term water supply.

The spending is needed to improve the delta's ecosystem, build a canal or pipeline to move drinking and irrigation water around the delta, and strengthen the region's levees.

The draft plan was released on Friday and will now be considered
by the seven-member Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force.

The final blueprint is due to the governor in October.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-06-20-08 1629EDT

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