For Immediate Release: 1/14/2016
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053
At the “California Water 2.0” event today at the Sacramento Convention Center, Governor Brown addressed the audience and encouraged State and Federal agencies to press forward on building twin water tunnels beneath the San Francisco Bay-Delta.
Among the claims by the Governor was that $100 million has already been spent on the Delta Tunnels, as if that is an accomplishment.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta responded:
“Spending a lot of money isn’t much of an accomplishment if you are re-proposing a project that still cannot meet the standards required under the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act. Federal and state agencies will still be required to approve it before any construction begins, and the EPA has already given the latest version of the Tunnels a thumbs down.
“Mark Cowin, Director of the California Department of Water Resources claimed Tunnels could be used on a day like today even though outflows have been less in the past few weeks than during the drought due to so much pumping. How will the Delta ever recover if freshwaters are never allowed to flow through it, even in rainy seasons?
“Clean water standards would not ever be met for the 4 million people who live, work, farm, recreate and drink water from the Delta. In addition, CA Water Fix documents show that the new pumps would decimate juvenile salmon, so what the Governor is proposing is to save smelt while decimating our iconic salmon runs.”
Restoring wetlands, revising agricultural practices, banning lawns, and serious reforestation will do a heck of a lot more to conserve our state’s water than spending billions on a boondoggle that ultimately will benefit only the construction companies.