Restore the Delta Demands DSC Upholds Delta Plan; Asserts Tunnels Project Does Not Reduce Delta Reliance
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today at the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) hearing for the Delta tunnels project (or CA WaterFix), environmental and public trust nonprofit Restore the Delta presented a diverse range of research and policy that affirms the tunnels project is not consistent with the objectives or legal mandates of the Delta Reform Act or the Delta Plan.
The Delta Reform Act mandates that the state must reduce reliance on the Delta for California’s future water needs. However, the tunnels’ Environmental Impact Report/Statement in addition to other public documents consistently indicate that the project would increase water exports and transfers due to increased engineered capacity to move water South of the Delta.
Moreover, Restore the Delta reminded the Council of their own co-equal goals to provide a more reliable water supply for the state of California and to protect, restore, and enhance the Delta ecosystem “in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place.” This includes the protection of vulnerable ethnic, economic, and cultural populations that make up the Delta environmental justice community.
The Delta Protection Commission echoed similar sentiments in a recent letter to the DSC, claiming that the Council has not done enough to protect and respect the Delta as a unique place.
Preceding the DSC hearing, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) sent a letter to DSC Board Chair Randy Fiorini objecting DSC councilmember Skip Thomson’s involvement in the DSC’s CA WaterFix hearings and requested that he be recused from the hearing process due to his public opposition of the Delta tunnels project.
Executive director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said,
“Simply put: The Delta tunnels project does not meet the legal requirements of the Delta Plan. Period.
“Adding insult to injury, DWR wants the one councilmember (Skip Thomson) who represents the views and concerns of Delta people to recuse himself from participating in and voting at the hearing because he has publicly criticized the tunnels project. This is a prime example of persistent overarching issues with WaterFix and DWR—project staff and the state continuously rewrite the rules and move the goal posts to enact this politically-motivated and ill-conceived project.”