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DSC Draft Report Finds CA WaterFix Inconsistent With Delta Plan

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For immediate release: 11/9/18
Contact:

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053, [email protected]
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470, [email protected]

SACRAMENTO, CA – Last night, Delta Stewardship Council staff released a draft determination for the CA WaterFix project, which found that the WaterFix is not consistent with the objectives of the Delta Plan. 

In the staff report, DSC staff states,

“In light of claims raised by nine appellant groups, Council staff recommends that the Council conclude that substantial evidence does not exist in the record to support the Department’s [the Department of Water Resources; DWR] findings that California WaterFix is consistent with the Delta Plan. Staff further recommends that the Council remand the matter to the Department for reconsideration, pursuant to Water Code section 85225.25.”

Specifically, DSC staff found that there was no evidence that indicated CA WaterFix would be operated in a manner that meets Delta water quality standards; that DWR did not use the best available science; that DWR did not provide evidence that water suppliers who would benefit from the tunnels would reduce their reliance on the Delta; and DWR failed to demonstrate that “the project is consistent with respect to compatibility with local land use plans.”

Policy Advisory for Restore the Delta Tim Stroshane commented,

“DWR will have difficulty demonstrating that the tunnels project reduces Delta reliance. The tunnels are intended to at least maintain exports or increase them via amplified water transfers. Restore the Delta’s evidence shows that is the intent of the State and other project proponents.”

Executive Director of Restore the Delta, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla said,

“We thank and congratulate Delta Stewardship Council staff for doing the right thing and for having the backbone to assert that the CA WaterFix is inconsistent with the Delta Plan. Restore the Delta and its membership have shown up to countless public meetings, hearings, and workshops to communicate this message for three years now.”

“As Governor-Elect Newsom prepares to take office, we hope he reflects on the DSC’s findings that indicate the tunnels project will not protect, enhance, or restore the Delta. Newsom won over voters by leaving the impression that he would modernize California. Governor-Elect Newsom has the chance to create his own unique legacy by backing away from this outdated 20th century project to pursue 21st century alternative projects that actually benefit the public trust. The state of California is ready for innovative water management strategies and local self-sufficiency projects that create a more sustainable, reliable water supply. Newsom could be the leader to make this happen.”

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