The first to pay

–Undertake a thought experiment: Assume that the politician and policymaker for the California Delta get exactly what they want. They—we—get that first-ever waterway, the never-before governance structure, and uniquely comprehensive ecosystem planning and management. The dreams of Delta carver and modeler are fulfilled unconditionally. Lasting governance, environmental restoration and water conveyance infrastructure in the Delta have been achieved.

Oops…what’s that lasting mean?

–What are the consequences of unprecedented construction, governance and environmental initiatives now here to stay into the foreseeable future? Who pays for establishing path dependencies that really do last, well, indefinitely?

Had we heeded that universal caution—Be careful what you wish for!—then one question to always ask is: Who should be the first to pay for what turn out to be long-lasting (irreversible?) interventions that achieved only what was initially wished for them, regardless of subsequent needs?

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