STOCKTON, CA – Today, Restore the Delta held a press conference to debut their new environmental justice report, “The Fate of the Delta: Impacts of Proposed Water Projects and Plans on Delta Environmental Justice Communities.”
Restore the Delta created this historical, sociological report to document the environmental concerns and needs of those who will be harmed most by the Delta tunnels, while advocating for water quality and quantity policies that will serve the entire Delta community.
“We wanted our community to have one document, one historical record of what we told the State Water Resources Control Board, what we have learned since that time, and how we have attempted to shift the stakes of the tunnels water right decision,” said Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla. “Delta environmental justice communities face a mortal threat to their water quality and water supplies from Delta channels in the form of the WaterFix project. When Delta people care, they can do a lot to protect their home and its beautiful, life-giving waters.”
Presentation of the report was made to Dillon Delvo, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Little Manila Foundation, as part of a dedication in memory of recently deceased Little Manila Foundation Co-Founder Dr. Dawn Bohulano Mabalon. The Little Manila Foundation works on social justice issues on behalf of the Delta’s Filipino community.
Opening comments were also made Gary Mulcahy, Government Liaison for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, whose State Water Board testimony figures prominently in the report.
A number of esteemed political leaders spoke on behalf of all their constituents, particularly those in Delta environmental justice communities, at the press conference, including Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-9), Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (SD-5), Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (AD-13), and Vice Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Katherine Miller (Dist. 2).
Congressman Jerry McNerney said,
“This report highlights critical deficiencies in the Bay Delta Plan. Restore the Delta rightly notes that the plan offers an inadequate framework while simultaneously dissociating the project from the WaterFix tunnels – despite the clear relationship. There is also a significant lack of information regarding the impact of this plan. Among many things left unaddressed are answers to important questions concerning the proposal’s weakening of salinity objectives and its repercussions on the Delta, as well as how that could affect the local economy.”
Mayor of Stockton, Michael Tubbs said,
“As Stockton continues to grow our need for safe drinking water will increase. Unfortunately, the Delta tunnels project would result in the reduction of our water supply and could endanger the quality of our drinking water.”
State Senator Cathleen Galgiani said,
“This report painstakingly brings to the forefront the lack of consideration that water policy makers have historically made and continue to make today toward environmental justice concerns. Actual water use and water exports needs to be taken in account to ensure that our communities along and within the Delta are not left poor, are not left unable to develop and prosper, are not left to become so resource poor that poverty becomes entrenched for generations. We need to go back to the spirit of the 2009 Delta Reform Act which called for a reduced reliance on the Delta for California’s future water needs.”
Assemblymember Susan Eggman said,
“Harming one economically distressed area of the state to help another economically distressed area of the state is bad policy and is just one more example of why the WaterFix boondoggle should not go forward. Rather than pursue a project that will undermine our economy and devastate the fragile Delta ecosystem, the state should pursue other water solutions and–-with regard to the Central Valley–-start making investments that transform our communities in a positive way, such as building a CSU, Stockton.”
Katherine M. Miller, San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, District 2 said,
“San Joaquin County has long advocated for statewide investments in recycled water, underground storage, stormwater capture, desalinization and other alternatives that actually produce additional water supply without disproportionately affecting one region’s residents or environment. We will continue to work with Restore the Delta to defeat WaterFix and stand up to the bullies, critics, and naysayers who disregard the devastating impacts their wrong-headed decisions will have on our region.”