News Worth Noting, Delta tunnels edition: Coalition applauds Governor’s tunnels plan; Tunnel opponents show up in force at Santa Clara Valley Water District; Legal alert: Working draft of CA WaterFix Biological Assessment released

Coalition Applauds Governor’s Call to Action to Secure California’s Water Supply through California Water Fix

From Californians for Water Security:

Water Security Logo“A coalition supporting the plan to fix California’s aging water infrastructure, including business leaders, labor, family farmers, local governments, water experts, environmentalists and others, applauded Governor Edmund G. Brown’s comments in the State of the State address discussing the importance of fixing our state’s water infrastructure.

“We have to recharge our aquifiers, manage the groundwater, recycle, capture stormwater, build storage and reliable conveyance…” Governor Brown said.

“Water goes to the heart of what California is and what is has been over centuries,” he added.

The Governor’s plan was drafted after nearly a decade of scientific review and analysis by leading water experts and conservationists and has received input from leading scientists and engineers.

Organizations supporting the California Water Fix reiterated that this is perhaps the most important year in the history of the project, transitioning from planning to actually laying out the path to construction.

“There is a strong political will to get this done now,” said Michael Quigley, Executive Director of the Alliance for Jobs. “We desperately need to replenish groundwater basins, fill up reservoirs, and recharge our existing water supplies – but without a reliable conveyance we cannot get water where it’s needed and too much water will be wasted out to sea that should be captured.”

A recent poll also showed that 80 percent of Californians support the plan when voters hear information about key components and the plan’s importance to their own region. That support remains strong even after voters hear a strongly worded opposition statement, with more than two-thirds of voters supporting the California Water Fix.

Below is a list of the more than 150 organizations supporting the Governor’s plan: … ”

Read the list at Californians for Water Security here: Coalition Applauds Governor’s Call to Action to Secure California’s Water Supply through California Water Fix

Opponents Debunk Delta Tunnels Sales Pitch at Santa Clara Valley Water District Special Meeting Today

From Restore the Delta:

Restore the Delta logo“At a Special Board “Workshop” today, the Santa Clara Valley Water District heard from state agencies on the Delta Tunnels plan. The case for the Tunnels was made by Mark Cowin, California Department of Water Resources, David Okita, California Natural Resources Agency, and Chuck Bonham, California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

However, a majority of speakers represented environmental and community organizations. Tunnel opponents countered the agencies’ claims of environmental benefits and asked for a deep look at alternatives in terms of environmental impacts, cost-benefit, and water supply security for Santa Clara County.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta said, “We believe the ecological and economic impacts of the Tunnels are troubling for everyone in California, and the project’s cost-benefit analysis for SCVWD ratepayers is dubious. Santa Clara Valley Water District rate payers are not happy about potential property tax increases to pay for tunnels that will not make more water. We are so proud of all the conservation, fishing, and community groups who stepped up to make the case against the Tunnels boondoggle today.”

Materials from the meeting are available here.

DWR and Reclamation Release Working Draft of California WaterFix Biological Assessment

From Somach Simmons & Dunn:

somach logo“On January 15, 2016, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the United States Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) released a working draft of the Biological Assessment (BA) for the “California WaterFix.”  As described in the BA, the California WaterFix entails construction and operation of new water diversion and conveyance facilities in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, including three intakes, two tunnels, and associated facilities.  The BA also specifies that the California WaterFix entails operation of existing State Water Project (SWP) Delta facilities in coordination with the new facilities, and coordination of Central Valley Project (CVP) operations with DWR using new and existing CVP facilities.  … ”

Read more from Somach Simmons & Dunn here:  DWR and Reclamation Release Working Draft of California WaterFix Biological Assessment

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About News Worth Noting:  News Worth Noting is a collection of press releases, media statements, and other materials produced by federal, state, and local government agencies, water agencies, and academic institutions, as well as non-profit and advocacy organizations.  News Worth Noting also includes relevant legislator statements and environmental policy and legal analyses that are publicly released by law firms.  If your agency or organization has an item you would like included here, please email it to Maven.

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