For Immediate Release 7/19/2016
Bob Wright, Senior Counsel, Friends of the River (916) 442-3155 x207
Sacramento – As the Associated Press reported last week, California Governor Jerry Brown has hired former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt to “work to resolve long-standing water supply and ecological challenges in the delta.”
In that role, Mr. Babbitt should reach out to all stakeholders in the process, including opponents of Governor Brown’s $15.7 billion Delta Tunnels proposal.
Today, public interest groups sent a letter to Bruce Babbitt requesting a meeting to discuss A Sustainable Water Plan for California (2015) which describes “a carefully conceived modern, 21st-century Plan B.” The groups claim their Sustainable Water Plan should actually be Plan A. The plan outlines less expensive alternatives to the Delta Tunnels that will protect the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary, West Coast fisheries, and help California develop long-term, regional water sustainability in a time of climate change.
In the letter sent to Mr. Babbitt today, the groups state:
“Providing a more reliable water supply means ceasing to base goals on the ‘paper water’ that far exceeds real water available, factoring in future reductions because of climate change including declining snowpack and runoff, and meeting the needs for fisheries, Delta agriculture, and other human uses of Bay-Delta water. Protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem, means what it says. The only way to do that is to reduce exports and increase freshwater flows through the Bay-Delta. That is the opposite of creating a massive new diversion upstream from the Delta taking away the freshwater flows before they can perform essential benefits for the Delta ecosystem.”
Signatory organizations include: California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network, Center for Biological Diversity, Earth Law Center, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Friends of the River, Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association, Planning and Conservation League, Protect our Water, Restore the Delta, and Sierra Club California.