Contra Costa Canal System That Serves 500K Residents Could Change Hands

June 19, 2018 8:00 am · 30 comments

(by Janis Mara) – Ownership of the 81-year-old canal system that serves as the water lifeline for a half-million Contra Costa County residents could be transferred to the Contra Costa Water District under recently introduced legislation.

The proposed legislation would transfer ownership of the Contra Costa Canal System from the federal government to the water district. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced the legislation along
with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord.

The aging canal system is the primary water delivery system for about 500,000 people in central and eastern Contra Costa County. The main Contra Costa Canal between Oakley and Concord springs leaks, has water evaporate on hot days and poses a danger to the public, with 75 drownings in its lifetime.

Transferring ownership would mean the district could operate and maintain the system more efficiently, reducing federal administrative costs and investing money in modernizing the system, according to the water district.

“If we don’t own the canal, we are less likely to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to modernize it,” said Jennifer Allen, a spokeswoman for the water district. “An analogy is, when you are renting a home, are you going to do a full upgrade of the kitchen? You are more likely to invest when you are the owner of a facility.”

Allen estimated the cost of modernizing the Contra Costa Canal, which is just one component of the system, at around $500 million.

Because the federal government owns the canal system, transferring the title requires an act of Congress.

Anonymous June 19, 2018 at 8:08 AM

Good deal. Locals get to spend half a billion on this. Thanks a lot Mark. No doubt a nice new tax wil come with this.

Citizen June 19, 2018 at 9:18 AM

That is a positive attitude!! How does that work for ya? You all just hate Mark no matter how smart he is! He wins our votes!

Fred P,. June 19, 2018 at 9:53 AM

Citizen – Mark appreciates you drinking his Kool-Aid.

It’s just a little creepy how you fawn over him.

Yep! June 19, 2018 at 10:39 AM

Yep. Here go our already high water rates up a little further. Just watch.

Elwood June 19, 2018 at 2:02 PM

Mark ran out of smart if you ordered anything more complicated than a shot and a beer.

Cellophane June 19, 2018 at 8:15 AM

This sounds like a great idea, on the surface.

I wonder what restrictions will be put into place by the bill and how much this will raise the water rates for everyone.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Oh, water evaporates on hot days and people keep falling in. Let’s spend $500 million on it. Let’s see … 500,000 people depending on it for water divided by 500 million dollars … chump change for each of us. And bond measures… thirty-year bond measures … very exoensive bond measures … on your property taxes … for the next thirty years.

NoMoreFreeRide June 19, 2018 at 8:19 AM

Which translates to let me raise your rates

Ricardoh June 19, 2018 at 8:24 AM

When the government says we are here to help you had better watch out.

Buried Waterways? June 19, 2018 at 8:29 AM

If this ever comes to fruition, it would be interesting to see how they would utilize that now available real estate (pave/use for Autonomous vehicles?)

Anon June 19, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Thank you to all the great state Dems out there looking and FINDING new ways to make Californians pay more out of pocket.

Citizen June 19, 2018 at 9:14 AM

Thank you authorized Federal government employees!
This is an amazing improvement!

Citizen June 19, 2018 at 9:21 AM

I have a great idea! MOVE

Yep June 19, 2018 at 10:41 AM

We will be moving as soon as we can. People are already leaving in droves – and it’s the people with $$. Before long you will be left with your “utopia” that can’t be funded. Good luck.

Anonymous June 19, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Dear Citizen,

You are making very little sense . What’s your point? Do you think DeSaulnier is a good manager of our money? If his personal net worth is a measure of his expertise , then look up his financials. He has saved virtually no money in his life.

If you think transferring $500,000,000 worth of debt to local taxpayers,is a good thing tell us why.

Thank you.

Fred P. June 19, 2018 at 9:52 AM

And the cost to the ratepayers is – what?

Note that government is notoriously inefficient. And DeSaulnier has demonstrated that he isn’t particularly interested in the financial aspects.

RANDOM TASK June 19, 2018 at 10:39 AM

yeah more taxes …and they will control the water ….



Shoulda Coulda June 19, 2018 at 10:58 AM

Dear Jennifer Allen-
Here’s an analogy for you.
When you are renting a home that needs
$500,000,000 to modernize, guess what?
You don’t buy it!
Here’s another analogy for you.
If 75 people have drowned at your home
because it’s unsafe, guess again.
You don’t buy it!
If you were a realtor using your analogy to
try to sell a house, it would be a no sale.
Oh, for your info, water evaporates
everyday. Not just on hot summer days.

Tango Hotel June 19, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Oh boy!!! Just wait for the water district to raise rates to “Maintain” the canal. Can’t wait to pay more for water too. Garbage is raising their rates too. Paying more for these services is soooo much fun!!!

Anyone detect the sarcasm there?

Not Thirsty June 19, 2018 at 12:46 PM

What?? Spend money just to keep some water flowing?? I say let the whole thing fall apart and then buy your danged water at WalMart if you want it so bad!!

Kendall June 19, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Just please do not pave it over. Lots of wildlife relies on the canals and it brings lots of people onto the bike trails for scenic recreation.

Lena June 19, 2018 at 3:00 PM

For $500 million I can see them “remodeling” it to look more like a naturally flowing water feature, say … an errant fork of the Mokelumne complete with appropriate landscaping and maybe a Pirates of the Carribbean ride to generate income.

Lena June 20, 2018 at 8:39 AM

In fact, now that I think about it, this could be the making of the “river walk” the City Council has mentioned in past explorations. “If it ain’t broke …” 75 people in 81 years? I say that’s a pretty healthy safety record, and, more than that, Darwinism manifest in real time. Sort of like the true function of the LA river.

Dorothy June 19, 2018 at 2:41 PM

Not going to happen, pay attention to the last line of the article. “Because the federal government owns the canal system, transferring the title requires an act of Congress.” Congress doesn’t do anything. They will find a way to keep the canal and still stiff us for upgrades.

Original G June 19, 2018 at 3:08 PM

First off $500,000,000 worth of debt to local taxpayers is a pipe dream.
Democrats in CA issue FORTY YEAR BONDS on projects.
The 40 year period automatically at minimum Doubles the cost of any project.

Does it seem the least bit strange 4 Democrats all want this to happen ?
Ask yourself not what are they doing for you but,
what are they doing for themselves ???

By transferring ownership, control of contracts becomes LOCAL not Federal.
Companies and Unions working on the project will be obliged to give campaign contributions to Democrats.

A career politician has three primary goals, getting campaign contributions, being elected and having the POWER to distribute your taxpayer dollars as reward to ensure themselves future campaign contributions.

They come first, YOU come LAST.

dinkydau June 19, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Read my lips. No new taxes!! Yea, right…………..

Justyfiable anger June 19, 2018 at 5:38 PM

‘U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris introduced the legislation along with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord. ‘

if these people are behind it, you can bet taxes will be raised/

Nunya June 19, 2018 at 9:23 PM

Exactly, if those two career politicians thought of this it is all about raising taxes.

Local June 20, 2018 at 9:50 AM

. . . more fake republican outrage as they complain about their own speculations.

Many posters in this thread have a true victim mentality – complain about everything.

Rich Lezcano June 20, 2018 at 3:49 PM

Awesome! New taxes, so excited

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