Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
In case you missed it:
Editorial: Delta tunnel ‘WaterFix’ vote now? Santa Clara Valley should say no way
The San Jose Mercury News has it right. Governor Jerry Brown is trying to force California water agencies, including Santa Clara Valley Water District, to vote on an arbitrary deadline for the Delta tunnels project. Click here to read their full editorial.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta added:
"In a desperate attempt to comply with Governor Brown's deadline, Metropolitan Water District and Santa Clara Valley Water District are considering approval of a financial joint powers authority to directly sell revenue bonds for the project, bypassing the Department of Water Resources Validation Action, believing that they can get around California public financing laws, including but not limited to Proposition 218 and 26.
Are Metropolitan and Santa Clara Valley willing to guarantee Westlands' payments, after the Inspector General's report revealed that Westlands didn't even pay for their fair share of the planning process? Such a JPA will not have the statutory obligation to increase property taxes if a water district does not pay (CA Water Code § 11652). Will Metropolitan and Santa Clara Valley force ratepayers to backstop the bond payments?
This is why we are calling on Governor Brown today to end forcing the Delta tunnels project on California water ratepayers via rushed, arbitrary deadlines for a project vote. We believe that Governor Brown does understand that putting the Department of Water Resources, or regional water districts, like MWD and SCVWD, at risk for generations of debt for the Delta tunnels, when half the major partners cannot afford the project, is poor long term financial planning for California. It is time for him to do the right thing and put California on a water planning path that is economically and environmentally sustainable."