Delta counties dismayed
October 10, 2017
• . Upset with Metropolitan’s decision to pay for governor’s water tunnels
• . “The state has mishandled this project every step of the way”
The Delta Counties Coalition is upset with Southern California water agencies that voted in favor of paying billions of dollars toward the cost of twin water tunnels beneath the California Delta.
The tunnels would suck fresh water out of the Sacramento River and pipe it to the State Water Project and perhaps the federal Central Valley Project to be sold to users hundreds of miles south.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted Tuesday to finance the proposed twin tTunnels project, currently marketed by its supporters as the “WaterFix.”
•. “Since it was first proposed, the state has mishandled this project every step of the way,” says Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli. “When the initial environmental impact report was rejected by the federal government, the state simply chose to drop the co-equal goal of protecting the ecosystem. So the state’s argument that this project will actually restore the Delta is unproven and probably never will be.”
•. "I am appalled that MWD would agree to gamble its ratepayer dollars on this ill-conceived project," says Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
•. Contra Costa Supervisor Diane Burgis adds, "Even though the state claims the ‘WaterFix’ will help produce a more reliable water supply to Southern California, there are many less costly alternatives like water conservation, recycling, desalination and upgrading Delta levees that would produce better results than this proposed $17 billion project. And unlike the twin tunnels, they will actually increase statewide water supply."
•. "Metropolitan's actions are hardly surprising, but are disappointing nonetheless. Rather than working together as a state on projects to provide the south with new water supply, Metropolitan Water District approves an expensive, divisive project that decimates the Delta", says Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson.
•. “It is hard to comprehend why MWD would waste billions of ratepayer dollars to support a project that has been mired in controversy from the start,” adds San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn. “A better alternative to the tunnels would be to increase water storage throughout California, which would provide more water at a significantly lower cost to consumers. Additional water conservation, stormwater capture, recycling, desalination and investments in Delta levees could also be built for roughly the same cost as the tunnels, while producing billions of gallons of new water for all of California’s needs. MWD’s vote just perpetuates the deception by promising their customers that the multi-billion dollar investment in the WaterFix will result in additional water.”
The Delta Counties Coalition is an alliance of the counties of Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano and Yolo.