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As California Water Infrastructure Crumbles, Water Districts Consider Wasting $1.2 Billion on the Delta Tunnels

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For Immediate Release: 3/3/2016
Contact:
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, [email protected]

As California Water Infrastructure Crumbles,
Water Districts Consider Wasting $1.2 Billion on the Delta Tunnels
Advocates Say “Fix LA and Santa Clara First!”

Stockton, CA Opponents of the Delta Tunnels today questioned the wisdom of state water districts investing another $1.2 billion in the plan while local water infrastructure in Santa Clara Valley and Los Angeles continues to leak and burst.

(Courtesy Santa Clara Valley Water District) Inspectors and staff from the Santa Clara Valley Water district inspect a 10-foot section of the concrete pipe which ruptured near Casa de Fruta on Aug. 1, 2015. The 8-foot diameter pipe carries water from San Luis Reservoir to San Benito County as well as to Santa Clara County, where the water is distributed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

(Courtesy Santa Clara Valley Water District) Inspectors and staff from the Santa Clara Valley Water district inspect a 10-foot section of the concrete pipe which ruptured near Casa de Fruta on Aug. 1, 2015. The 8-foot diameter pipe carries water from San Luis Reservoir to San Benito County as well as to Santa Clara County, where the water is distributed by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Mercury News.

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday, “Silicon Valley's largest water provider will have to spend at least $20 million to drain, test and repair a critical water pipeline that failed last summer and may have more hidden problems.” The ruptured 8-foot-high, 31-mile-long concrete pipe brings up to 40 percent of the drinking water to Santa Clara County’s 1.8 million residents from the San Luis Reservoir in Merced County.
 
In Los Angeles, leaking water mains and pipes lose eight billion gallons of water each year. The repairs to the Los Angeles water system will cost rate payers at least $1.3 billion and take at least a decade to fix.
 
State Needs Another $1.2 Billion to Keep the Tunnels Alive
Nancy Vogel, spokeswoman for the state Natural Resources Agency, has told both urban and agricultural water districts she will soon request from them another $1.2 billion to fund engineering and design studies for the proposed Delta Tunnels project.

Fix LA and Santa Clara Valley First!
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta said:

"It's absurd that the Santa Clara Valley Water District would even consider moving forward with raising millions of dollars from ratepayers to advance the Delta Tunnels project when they cannot maintain their own existing water infrastructure. The tunnels project, misnamed California Water Fix, and their propaganda arm, Californians for Water Security, sell the Delta Tunnels as needed to save California's water supply when, in truth, the Delta is not the weak link in the water delivery system. Californians lose 10 to 15 percent of our water supply each year due to water main breaks and leaky pipes in urban areas.  
 
“It is also ironic that pipes laid just 30 years ago by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are already corroded and breaking apart. If we cannot build and maintain an 8-foot pipe in the Santa Clara Valley Water District, what can we expect with two Delta tunnels, 40 feet wide, built in peat soil?

“Let’s instead spend precious ratepayer dollars to fix the decaying LA and Santa Clara Valley Water infrastructure before considering a massive new proposal with an Environmental Impact Report the EPA has already issued a failing grade of ‘inadequate’.”

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