An engineer, journalist, lawyer and politician walk into a Delta debate...

The Delta is not just a canteen to supply water...its a place that a lot of people live and work and call home," said Kip Lipper, top environmental consultant for Senate President Darrell Steinberg, speaking at an Oct. 15 public forum on the future of fresh water in California.

The panel discussion organized by The Commonwealth Club of California's Climate One program, also included Jay Lund, a UC Davis professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences;Los Angeles Times reporter Bettina Boxall; and former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Interior David Hayes.

"You're looking at an enormous bill and that's going to push up the price of water," Boxall said of the state's proposed $25 billion project to divert part of the Sacramento River's flow under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The hour-long discussion was recorded in front of a live audience at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel.