This afternoon, environmental reporter Paul Rogers of the San Jose Mercury News published a story declaring that the Brown Administration is revising their plan for CA WaterFix—a $17 billion water conveyance system that would move freshwater flows in the Northern Delta to the south—opting for a smaller single tunnel instead.
The original plan for CA WaterFix featured two 40 foot high, 35 mile long tunnels with a capacity of 9,000 cubic feet per second, while the single tunnel could carry anywhere from 3,000-6,000 cubic feet per second. Paul Rogers reported that the reasons for scaling back to one tunnel include a lack of funding and political support.
Executive Director of environmental watchdog group Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrila said,
The Brown Administration’s effort to scale back to a single tunnel project—a project that has not been evaluated, scoped, or discussed with Delta stakeholders—smacks of desperation. What are the impacts? How will it be operated? And considering past statements made by Metropolitan Water District’s Jeff Kightlinger, why would we believe that a second tunnel wouldn’t be added later?
If this is the project, then we believe there must be a redo for the permit application at the State Water Resources Control Board because to date, nothing has been presented regarding the operation and construction of a single tunnel.
If a single tunnel is running regularly in the North Delta, there must be a re-examination of the impacts on the salmon and Delta smelt fisheries by state and federal fishery agencies.
For immediate release: 1/12/18
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]