Restore the Delta Outlines Risks of Delta Tunnels to
LA City Council Environmental Committee
Today, Restore the Delta submitted a formal letter regarding the risks of the CA WaterFix proposal to the Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Committee for the Los Angeles City Council as they are considering as to whether the City of Los Angeles should support the Delta tunnels project at their meeting on Tuesday, August 29th. The comment letter outlined various fiscal, environmental, and supply reliability risks within the project for Los Angeles, and critiques the LA Ratepayer Advocate report produced by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's Public Accountability Office for not fully addressing the real costs of the Delta tunnels for ratepayers and taxpayers.
In addition, AP reporter Ellen Knickmeyer tweeted today that the results of the State Audit of CA WaterFix have been delayed for release until September.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director for Restore the Delta, issued the following statement:
"The lack of public transparency, honest financial assessment of the project, and political manipulations by public agencies indicate to us that the Brown Administration is using strong-arm tactics to force CA WaterFix on ratepayers and taxpayers. The LA Ratepayer Advocate analysis is woefully incomplete, and serves as another indicator that water management in California is a politically rigged system.
"As we travel through the state and hear presentations by staff for water contractor agencies regarding CA WaterFix to their boards of directors, we are struck by the mistruths, lack of complete information, and conflicts in information that water district staff present compared to the Environmental Impact Report for CA WaterFix, and the testimony provided by the Department of Water Resources before the State Water Resources Control Board during the prior 18 months of project permit hearings. Now the results for the State Audit of CA WaterFix have been delayed. This comes on repeated delays for our public record acts request from October, 2016 regarding DWR revenue bond spending.
"Our documented comments to Metropolitan Water Districts, Westlands, Santa Clara Valley Water District and now the Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Committee for the Los Angeles City Council show that property taxes will be used to pay for the project within the Metropolitan Water District, whether residents receive water or not, that project costs could far exceed what has been stated by water district and Brown administration officials, and that the amount of promised water cannot be delivered unless water quality protections for the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary are gutted.
"The question now is if board members serving at these special interest water districts, and other elected officials, have the wherewithal to read and investigate what we have presented to them, and demand real answers from water district managers before voting to commit billions of dollars for the project? Do these board members serve the public interest at these public water districts? Or do they, like special interest water district management, simply follow marching orders from Governor Brown's office for political expediency?"