(The following is a chapter from the the Independent Institute book, Aquanomics: Water Markets, Bureaucracy, and the Environment, edited by B. Delworth Gardner and Randy T. Simmons.)
This report analyzes four proposed solutions to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta crisis. Delta policy must balance economic, political, engineering, legal, and ecological dimensions. The authors argue that identification of economically optimal solutions is problematic. It is therefore more important to identify politically feasible alternatives. The authors discuss the details of the Delta problem and construct an approach to evaluating political feasibility. They find that a dual-conveyance solution incorporating both pumping through the Delta and construction of a peripheral canal around the Delta emerges as the most politically feasible alternative. This result is consistent with plans to focus on dual-conveyance.