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Delta Tunnels: Three Experts Worth Hearing, Contra Costa Times Op-Ed, "Guest commentary: State's irresponsible actions could be the death of the Delta"

Our media release for today and, in case you missed it, two great op-eds in the Contra Costa Times and the Sacramento Bee, one by Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary N. Piepho and the other by Raul Grijalva calling out latino front groups by Westlands Water District.

For Immediate Release: Feb 9, 2016
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta 209-479-2053, [email protected]

Three Emerging Issues, Three Experts Worth Hearing

Stockton, CA – In a letter sent last week to the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, recommended the inclusion of three independent experts to appear before the Board to assist them in their consideration of continued financial support for the Delta Tunnels (California WaterFix). The three experts Barrigan-Parrilla recommends are:
 –  Jeffrey Michael Ph.D., Director of the Center for Business and Policy Research, University of the Pacific – On the Cost vs. Economic Benefit of the Tunnels Plan
In a recent op-ed in the Sacramento Bee, Cost of Delta tunnels doesn’t add up, Dr. Michael said:…the economic benefits of the tunnels to the water exporters total about $5 billion of its $15 billion cost, and the benefit-cost ratio is even worse when the negative impacts to the Delta and risks to the environment and upstream interests are considered.”

In his blog Valley Economy, Dr. Michael has tracked the economics of the BDCP/WaterFix/Delta Tunnels for years and finds that each new version of the plan seems to reduce economic benefits for water exporters, Bay-Delta residents, the environment, and the state as a whole.
Christina (Tina) Swanson Ph.D., Director of the Science Center at Natural Resources Defense Council on the Sacramento River Watershed and Climate Change
At a 2015 State Legislative hearing on the Tunnels, Swanson explained, “The Sacramento River Basin is the area projected to be more effected by climate change with regard to loss of snowpack and volatility of water supply.” [We need to fully examine what effects climate change has on] “the year-to-year reliability of the water supply available for export from the Delta.”
Dr. Swanson is also an expert on fresh water needs for a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.
– John Herrick, Counsel and General Manager of the South Delta Water Agency on the lack of “full model runs” in the Tunnels DEIR/DEIS
In a February 2, 2016 letter to the State Water Resources Control Board, Herrick details the lack of “full model runs” for the  Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) preferred alternative (4A).  The lack of proper modeling “…means that neither the SWRCB nor the public has any real data on which to judge the impacts to third parties of the environment.” He urges the board to delay any decisions on the Tunnels’ Point of Diversion permit because, “There is literally nothing for the parties to evaluate or about which to testify.” In addition, the lack of full model runs calls further into question the reliability of the water supply for exporters.

Barrigan-Parrilla adds, “After spending roughly a quarter of a billion dollars and ten years of time, the water exporters cannot tell bond funders for the project with confidence how much water they will receive via the Delta tunnels. The lack of complete, accurate modeling makes the tunnels a high risk endeavor for funders, investors, and the ultimate financial backers – the people of California.”


In case you missed it…

Guest commentary: State's irresponsible actions could be the death of the Delta
By Mary N. Piepho, guest commentary, in Contra Costa Times, 2/6/2016 

Westlands’ cynical ploy uses farmworkers’ group to curb environmental laws
By RAÚL M. GRIJALVA, special to the Sacramento Bee, 2/6/2016 


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