Both Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and Senatorial candidate Carly Fiorina have said that Delta pumping restrictions have cost Californians jobs.
Longtime environment reporter for the Contra Costa Times Mike Taugher has talked to the economists who did some modeling that both candidates rely on.
Between 5,500 and 7,500 jobs were lost due to water shortages in the San Joaquin Valley last year, and most of the blame goes to the weather, not to environmental protection. One of the economists put the job loss attributable to environmental protections at 1,400 jobs and the other put the figure closer to 3,000 jobs.
By comparison, one of the report's authors said the housing downturn cost the region 76,000 construction-related jobs.
"Sure, the 2.5 percent decline in crop production had an impact, but the 90 percent decline in home production and the more than 50 percent decline in nonresidential construction had a much bigger impact," said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of Pacific.