A nearly $17-billion water project is being planned for California. What will it cost the Southland?

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After years of planning for one of the biggest California water projects in decades, a key question remains unanswered: Who exactly will pay for it?

Decision time is approaching for the agencies that will have to pick up the nearly $17-billion tab for building two massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the heart of the state’s water works.

Whether the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California commits to paying roughly a quarter of the bill could make or break the project.

Metropolitan management has been a consistent cheerleader for the tunnels, arguing they are vital to stabilizing deliveries of Northern California water that on average provide the Southland with about a third of its supplies.


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