State plunges ahead to build twin tunnels

SACRAMENTO
May 9, 2014 2:46pm
Comment Print Email

•  DWR opening design and construction office

•  No dilly-dallying for approvals of plans


Editor’s note: CVBT received the memo cited in the story below from a trusted and reliable source. It was confirmed by the chief spokeswoman for the Department of Water Resources.

The California Department of Water Resources is plunging ahead with setting up a design and construction office to oversee building two massive twin water tunnels to suck fresh water from the Sacramento River before it can flow naturally into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and divert it to the State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project.

The decision is revealed in a memo to DWR employees from department Director Mark Cowin, a copy of which was obtained by CVBT.

Cost of the plan has been estimated by outside economists as high as $67 billion, including interest on the money borrowed to pay for it.

The tunnels are at the heart of the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which is still undergoing review of its latest, 40,000-page environmental impact report and statement.

The move by DWR is being criticized.

“It is absolutely ridiculous to me,” says Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of the environmental group Restore the Delta, who says she has seen the memo, which she apparently obtained from a source different than CVBT’s.

“The project is only 10 percent completed in design, we haven’t gone through permitting, we don’t even have an approved project, but they’re moving forward to create agencies to implement the project. It to me indicates how desperate they are to steamroll the Delta,” she says.

The DWR is planning to set up what Mr. Cowin calls a “Delta Conveyance Facility Design and Construction Enterprise” that will be within the Department of Water Resources as a new program to support activities associated with design and construction of the 35-mile long twin tunnels.

Despite it being a unit of the state, the “enterprise” will be run by a private contractor and staffed with individuals from within DWR, participating regional and local public water agencies, and private consulting firms, the memo says.

“As part of DWR, it will have the capacity to issue contracts for consulting services as well as construction, using DWR’s authority and in keeping with all applicable State contracting statutes,” says the memo.

In addition, says the Cowin memo, a new BDCP office will be established within the executive division of DWR. Its initial focus will be completion of the conservation plan while providing early coordination and transition to implementation of BDCP conservation measures, “including, for example, tidal marsh restoration, Yolo Bypass fishery enhancement and urban stormwater treatment.”

Because this will require “the needed close coordination with the Governor’s Office and the State administration, the office will initially be led by the Chief Deputy Director,” says the memo.

“This office will lay the foundation for the implementation of BDCP, and once the BDCP is finalized, that work will be merged into the formal BDCP Implementation Office,” Mr. Cowin’s memo says.

Nancy Vogel, chief spokeswoman for DWR, says she does not know how much of the existing DWR budget, including money and staff, will be diverted to the two offices; what prompted the decision to move forward with the two offices or how many additional staff have been or will be hired to staff the offices.


Comment Print Email

Comments on this story


Steve 5/12/14 4:20 PM
Finally some positive action. This should have been approved long ago. If we can approve an absolutely ridiculous amount of money for a wastefull project like the High Speed Rail, then we should definitely approve this project that actually has benefit and merit. The HSR will never be utilized as advertised and will forever be taxpayer subsidized, while the public will continue get their inexpensive and healthy California Grown food supply from use of the water that will be delivered by these tunnels.


Dave 5/13/14 7:25 AM
DWR is the state lead agency on the BDCP EIR. The purpose of the EIR is to inform the decision makers of the impacts and consequences of the project prior to committing funding and resources to develop it further. The EIR has not been completed (in fact the current public draft is grossly incomplete) nor has the environmental document been approved. These commitments by DWR to open offices, commit staff, develop detailed designs, and issue contracts for the advancement of a project that has not even been selected or approved are therefore "predecisional" which means that DWR is violating CEQA and is in direct conflict with it's responsibilities as the state lead agency on the EIR.














  • How to compete against Wal-Mart
  • Stockton mom turns a need into a business
  • The entrepreneur is in
  • Writing her own success story
  • Growing a small business the family way
  • The future pencils positive for this company
  • Niche marketing -- Italian style
  • Sipping success with niche marketing
  • Roasting a business out of his passion
  • Success as an independent consultant takes more than expertise
  • Avoiding the traps of employee law violations
  • Cracking the voice-over market
  • The American Dream realized, one package at a time
  • Female winemaker plunges into business
  • A new take on nurse education
  • Family sees moving business success
  • STEM thrives in pockets of education innovation
  • STEM goes solar in Stockton
  • Quick! There’s a robot in my pool
  • Retiring seniors can mean new business
  • Predawn biotech class trains next generation of science workers
  • Staying ahead of the competition the old fashioned way
  • Central Valley sees mismatch between high-tech jobs and job seekers
  • STEM starts young
  • Get ready – the future is here now
  • STEM Education: Growing the Valley's Future
  • They’re low power in wattage only, not ideas
  • Thinking success spawns Successful Thinkers
  • Small business success can mean finding the right niche
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Getting the scoop on small business success
  • Reshoring could rebuild America's manufacturing
  • Marketing that’s deliberately anchored to the past
  • Guitar artist plays his way to success
  • Paralysis no handicap for this entrepreneur
  • Boost sales with better communication
  • Making sandwiches sexy with a franchise
  • Going solar without spending a lot of money
  • They’re cute and cuddly. But are they a business?
  • Opportunity sails forth in the Delta
  • How bad etiquette on the job could kill your career
  • Growing their way out of hunger and poverty
  • Finding small business success from floor to ceiling
  • Why he’s public enemy #1 – for gophers
  • Running a home-based business successfully
  • Your boss needs a vacation – really
  • Couple makes transition from big corporations to small business
  • Carving a small business niche with a better idea
  • Calm is the goal of computer service and education franchisor
  • Developer squeezing new life into downtown with juice franchise
  • Signs of a recovering economy
  • How to keep a family business in the family
  • Ford dealership expands despite the Great Recession
  • Utility Telephone connects with customer service
  • Crowdfunding basics
  • The roar from crowdfunding is getting louder
  • California water wars’ bulldog
  • Water wars heat up in California
  • Helping businesses grow with a stronger STEM
  • How to retain your best employees
  • Small business runs success up the pole
  • Winery expands in Lodi
  • Lodi wineries tapping into growing Chinese market
  • Has the jobs picture brightened for the Valley for 2012?
  • The right education will be needed for 21st Century jobs
  • Where new jobs for San Joaquin will come from
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin – Part 2
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin
  • Fruits of his labor
  • Helping grow food security in the Valley of plenty
  • Doing a business turnaround despite the recession
  • Keeping customers loyal helps build her business
  • Expo exposes businesses to utility contracting ideas
  • Drink mix maker taps expertise to blend success
  • Entrepreneur finds success in a basket
  • Tips for catching resume fraud
  • There’s no checking out for this small business owner
  • Entrepreneurs take Valley sports play-by-play to the world
  • Starting a winery from scratch
  • Job hunting tips for the long-term unemployed
  • In the Central Valley, opera isn’t always the Grand Ole Opry
  • Branding ideas for small businesses
  • The ump’s not blind, but the players are
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way - Part Two
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way
  • Machines talking to machines is the future
  • Getting involved in the fight against AIDS
  • Franchised divorce says it’s a better way
  • Small business owner is brewing a success story
  • To beat the Great Recession, they’ve expanded
  • Taking a swing at strokes
  • Alert your taste buds – here comes Taste of San Joaquin
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Passion for his city drives him
  • Vicente Fox speaks out on U.S.-Mexico relations
  • Give your support staff recognition and reap top performance
  • Central Valley baker gets top honors for Royal Wedding pie
  • Asparagus Festival ends on high note
  • Stockton close to annual ‘tipping’ point
  • Framing small business success
  • Small business sees Affordable Care Act helping its bottom line
  • What you eat – and when – helps local restaurants
  • Coping with the aftermath of foreclosure
  • How to raise charming children
  • Central Valley grad school goes all-iPads
  • Solution to Delta water wars voiced
  • Making sure your personal bottom line is covered
  • Small California winemaker is all family
  • Small winery relies on family and innovation to compete
  • Central Valley company says it has a better way to store solar power
  • What’s wrong -- and right -- about local TV news
  • What planning means to small business success
  • Making the leap to small business
  • Out of work at middle age? Experts offer advice
  • Small business marketing, one article at a time
  • Congress on your corner as it’s supposed to be
  • Central Valley city’s heritage rediscovered
  • Central Valley school is building students’ foundations
  • Job tips from the expert
  • Long-term jobless worker re-invents himself
  • Building a new power plant means jobs for Central Valley
  • Sacramento reaches for the stars with new science center
  • Lodi Chamber opens China’s doors to small business
  • Writing books for fun – and sometimes profit
  • Black Friday shopping? How to protect yourself from scams
  • California winemakers can find added rewards overseas
  • Wine makers tap overseas markets from Lodi
  • A new revenue stream for Central Valley small businesses
  • Food bank seeks more business support
  • Tips for finding a job in the Great Recession
  • State may solve some of its prison woes with new Stockton facility
  • A solution to underwater mortgages
  • Should public libraries be managed by private firms?
  • Central Valley moves ahead with critical water project
  • Dee Dee Myers and the increasing impact of women on small business
  • How women are growing their small businesses
  • A market with a mission
  • Retailer 'paints' solutions to cash flow challenge
  • An answer for the unemployed – return to school
  • A ‘golden’ small business success story
  • Central Valley winegrapes blessed
  • Rubbing out the recession with a franchise
  • Surviving the recession as a small business
  • It’s personal, union says of Stockton fire cuts
  • How old it too old to start a new business?
  • They've found the recipe for small business success
  • MBA students help revive Central Valley farmers market
  • Classic wooden yachts anchor in Stockton for weekend
  • Foreclosures, short sales – a bank president comments
  • The strength of family helps this small business compete
  • Festival spears success in Central Valley
  • Social media helps keep family business prospering
  • Central Valley students get training in ‘green’ futures
  • Knives readied as Valley cities slash services
  • Central Valley jobless picture still grim
  • Delta residents told to ready for water war
  • Opportunities outlined for Central Valley small businesses
  • Rewiring your brain for success
  • Central Valley no longer ‘shell shocked’ by recession
  • To fix California’s government, look to London
  • Taking your sales pitch to the next level