For Immediate Release: 3/29/2016
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta 209-479-2053, [email protected]
RE: DWR/Contra Costa Water District Agreement & California Delta Tunnels
Today, the Contra Costa Water District announced a withdrawal of their protest petition with the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the “Change of Diversion Petition” filed by the lead state and federal agencies promoting the Delta Tunnels.
The Contra Costa Water District has settled with the Department of Water Resources claiming that the state is going to pay for their new water diversion facility, rather than CCWD customers, to mitigate impacts to drinking water quality resulting from operation of the Delta Tunnels.
Response from Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director, Restore the Delta:
“The settlement is, in itself, an indictment of the Tunnels and represents Contra Costa Water District’s self-interested approach to the Delta as a whole.
“The new CCWD intake will have an impact on water quality and quantity in the Delta and is not covered in the EIR for the Delta Tunnels. The settlement says that DWR reserves the right to override environmental needs and concerns to build/operate the Delta tunnels. They are setting up the project as beyond the law, a project by Governor Brown’s fiat.
“Meanwhile, the CCWD says they are not supporting CA Water Fix — this is simply their insurance policy for their customers. However, Contra Costa residents still need good water quality in the Delta for all the other uses. Contra Costa residents recreate in the Delta in high numbers.
“In addition, a new intake for the Contra Costa Water District will require another change in the point of diversion petition to be brought to the State Water Resources Control Board. The process will continue to unfold for years, yet water exporters still do not have money on the table to continue moving the process forward or to finance the project.
“Sadly, CCWD has sacrificed other Delta communities and Bay-Delta fisheries by agreeing to this settlement, as everyone else in the Delta would be left with degraded water quality. Clearly the Brown Administration is attempting to carve up Delta communities, in the same way Owens Valley was carved up for a water grab many years ago.
“California taxpayers are going to be on the hook to pay for this mitigation so that mega growers in the Westlands Water District and in Kern County can continue to grow almonds in the desert for export. All of this deal making is to create a system that subsidizes mega growers at the expense of California taxpayers and the environment.
“This strategy of CA Water Fix is to work around public processes and to keep the public in the dark in an attempt to push the project through no matter the impacts on the San Francisco Bay-Delta, or the people or species who live here.”