This report examines the question of how to pay for urgently needed investments in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. For years, stakeholders have been at odds over beneficiary financing (charging those who use the water). But recent federal intervention to save endangered fish species and the decline of state and federal funding sources may finally break the impasse. This report situates the beneficiary payment debate in historical, legal, and political context. It also explores how this kind of financing might work for several “big ticket” items: water conveyance facilities, storage reservoirs, environmental mitigation, and levee improvements.