Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
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Anti-Tunnels Coalition Sends Letter to Karla Nemeth; San Diego Water Authority Letter Details MWD’s Fiduciary Inconsistencies Pursuing CA WaterFix
A coalition of environmental organizations sent a letter today to Department of Water Resources (DWR) Director Karla Nemeth regarding current State Water Contract negotiations related to moving forward with the CA WaterFix proposal.
The coalition’s findings reveal that approvals by various water districts to support CA WaterFix are premature given the current incomplete status of State Water Project negotiations. The environmental organizations signing the letter, consequently, find that DWR’s strong-armed push on Santa Clara Valley Water District to support CA WaterFix is also premature.
The State Water Contractors are in a chicken and egg scenario as they attempt to prove advancing financial movement with the Delta tunnels project before completing contract negotiations. However, certain items in contract negotiations must be completed first to continue forward with a new contract for State Water Contractors that includes CA WaterFix. Details in the letter include:
- No final Environmental Impact Report for the State Water Contractor Extension Amendments that relaxed funding rules and extended repayment another 50 years until 2085.
- No draft environmental impact report on the latest CA WaterFix relaxation of water transfer rules being contemplated in current negotiations.
- No legislative hearing as required under Water Code Section 147.5 for a public hearing at least 60 days prior to the final approval of either SWP contract extension amendments or contract amendments for CA WaterFix.
Restore the Delta’s Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla says of the letter,
“DWR’s Director Karla Nemeth is really making a false threat to Santa Clara Valley Water District and other State Water Contractors that they have no option but to participate in CA WaterFix. The Water Code is clear. A Legislative hearing is required under WC Section 147.5 at least 60 days before final contract amendments can be approved, and the hearing must allow for public comments.”
Planning and Conservation League’s Jonas Minton commented,
“Not only is this a backroom deal, but it is an incredibly bad deal for water ratepayers and taxpayers including those in Santa Clara County.”
In other news, San Diego Water Authority also sent a letter today to MWD’s Chairperson Randy Record discussing a number of contract and budget items including risks associated with California WaterFix as inconsistent with the MWD Board’s investment policy and fiduciary duty to protect public funds.