Op-Ed: True water emergency threatens Delta: Your voice matters

July 21, 2016

 

By CHUCK WINN
San Joaquin County Supervisor, District 4

DON NOTTOLI
Sacramento County Supervisor, District 5

California decision makers are at a historic crossroads in the long-standing California water crisis. The outcome will permanently alter the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Your voice can steer these decisions in the right direction, and now is the time to speak up.

On July 26 the State Water Resources Control Board will begin a series of hearings that will help determine whether the governor’s proposed twin tunnels project will continue to move forward.

During these proceedings, agencies and water contractors will suggest that the governor’s proposed $16 billion rate payer funded twin tunnels project is a necessary improvement to a water system on the brink of collapse. They will also claim the project is necessary to improve the Delta ecosystem.

These claims are simply not true. In fact, re-plumbing the Delta may actually accelerate the decline of its environment.

The 44-foot diameter, approximately 35-mile long twin tunnels will siphon millions of gallons of water per minute out of the Delta and send it south. If constructed, this project will harm local economies amounting to a loss of tens of millions of dollars annually.

It will negatively affect family farms, agricultural operations and Delta river communities disrupting a generations-old way of life. The project will also negatively impact recreation and water quality, degrade delicate environmental ecosystems and harm fish and other endangered species.

The Delta Counties Coalition consists of local elected leaders from five counties whose communities will be permanently harmed if the twin tunnels are built. The project was developed without adequate local input and would irreversibly damage the Delta by depleting its watershed, would benefit one region of the state at the expense of another and will not produce a single drop of new water.

More cost-effective solutions exist that the Delta Counties Coalition supports, such as creating more surface and underground storage; improving Delta levees to help move water more efficiently through the Delta; and greater regional solutions such as storm water capture, wastewater reuse, and local desalination. We urge decision makers to implement these solutions, which are good for all of California.

You can help. Speak up. Contact Gov. Jerry Brown and your local and state elected leaders to voice your opinion and concerns about the twin tunnels project. For more information, please visit www.delta.saccounty.net.

2 Responses to Op-Ed: True water emergency threatens Delta: Your voice matters

  1. Pingback: MAVEN'S NOTEBOOK - Water news

  2. Chris Gilbert Reply

    July 22, 2016 at 11:34 am

    It’s all, supposedly, about “reliability”. Neither side contends there will be much, if any, more water. However, it will speed the decline of the Delta by being more efficient in capturing fresh water from the Sacramento before it enters the Delta. The money would be better spent elsewhere.

    According to one source, “If approved, the BDCP would be implemented over the next 50 years and construction of the tunnels would not begin for another 10 to 15 years” http://www.watereducation.org/topic-bay-delta-conservation-plan

    What better things could be achieved in this duration?

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