The tunnels will fail to increase water supply, devastate an already fragile ecosystem, and divert funding from more effective statewide solutions, the letter states
Seven Northern California Congressmembers have sent a letter to Governor Brown, stating their serious concerns about the Cal Water Fix project, more commonly known as the Delta tunnels.
If constructed, the tunnels would not add any new water to the water supply; rather, they would take thousands of farmland out of production in the Delta, impair properties through eminent domain, deplete the Delta of freshwater, and degrade water quality for farmers, cities, and wildlife, the letter states.
The letter expresses concerns about the ability of farmers to pay their share of costs and the lack of a viable financial plan. ” “WaterFix” and “EcoRestore” require a much smaller restoration effort than the original Bay Delta Conservation Plan so many of the previous benefits that were described by your administration no longer apply,” they say. “To clarify these concerns, we request that your administration issue an official cost-benefit analysis along with a viable financial plan that will provide crucial information to affected stakeholders.”
Additionally, the Cal Water Fix project would misdirect funding away from ‘forward-thinking’ solutions that California desperately needs to pursue – solutions such as conservation, recycling, increased efficiency, and storage, they say.
The letter concludes:
“The WaterFix plan’s costs appear to severely outweigh its benefits, while causing irreparable harm to Delta and Northern California communities who thus far have not been adequately included in project negotiations. We urge you to move away from the flawed WaterFix tunnels plan and implement the cost-effective policy solutions already outlined in your California Water Action Plan like conservation, recycling, increased efficiency, and storage that will ensure sustainable water supplies for a healthy Delta ecosystem and California’s farmers and communities statewide.“
The letter is signed by Congress members Jerry McNerney, Mike Thompson, Jared Huffman, Ami Bera, John Garamendi, Mark DeSaulnier, and Doris Matsui.
Read the full text of the letter here: Northern California House Democrats Send Letter to Gov. Brown on ‘WaterFix’ Plan
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