CALIFORNIA WATER FIX: Delta legislators voice their ‘strong opposition’ to State Water Board; hearing materials posted

A group of twelve Delta representatives led by Senator Lois Wolk has filed a letter with the State Water Resources Control Board voicing their “strong opposition” to the California Water Fix project.

The State Water Resources Control Board is currently in the midst of a hearing to determine whether the Board should approve a joint petition filed by the California Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Reclamation to add three new points of diversion of water to specified water right permits for the State Water Project and the Central Valley Project associated with the California WaterFix Project.  The intakes for the new points of diversion would be located in the North Delta.

The legislators say that the California Water Fix does nothing to achieve the coequal goals, and instead will exacerbate the Delta’s many problems by diverting up to two-thirds of the Sacramento River, leading to increased salinity and contributing to further declines in fish, birds, and other wildlife in the Delta.  The legislators also contend that California Water Fix project threatens the Delta’s $5.2 billion agricultural economy, commercial and recreational fisheries, as well as the food security of low income communities that depend on subsistence fishing.

The legislators also express their concern that the science used to justify the California Water Fix project is highly flawed.  “Virtually every scientific panel that has reviewed the environmental documents for the Delta tunnels plan, from the Delta Independent Science Board to Environmental Protection Agency scientists, has strongly criticized the badly flawed ‘science’ the project is based upon,” the letter states.

The legislators ‘encourage’ the State Water Board to deny the water rights petition before them.  “The Water Fix project fixes nothing, failing to achieve the objectives laid out by the Delta Reform Act,” the letter states.  “This proposal will not provide any increase in water supply, and will cause serious and potentially irreparable harm to the Delta’s precious and fragile ecosystem, as well as its community and economy.”

The letter is signed by Senator Lois Wolk, Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Senator Steven Glazer, Senator Loni Hancock, Senator Mark Leno, Senator Richard Pan, Senator Bob Wieckowski, Assemblymember Catherine Baker, Assemblymember Ken Cooley, Assemblymember Bill Dodd, Assemblymember Susan Eggman, and Senator Jerry Hill.

Read the letter here:  Cal Water Fix Policy Statement Delta Legislators

HEARING SCHEDULE/MATERIALS POSTED

Part 1A of the hearing addressed the effects of the project on agricultural and municipal uses and associated legal users of water has concluded; Part 1B addressing other parties’ cases-in-chief and rebuttal for Part 1A of the hearing will begin on October 20.

Part 2, as of yet not scheduled, will address the effects of the project on fish and wildlife, including what appropriate Delta flow criteria should be included in any approval of the change petition, and will begin once the environmental documents are completed.

To access hearing documents:

To view all the policy statements received, click here.

To access the transcripts for Part 1A of the hearing (as of posting, up until August 26), click here.

To view videos of the hearing (as of posting, up until August 16), click here.

To view all materials received, click here.

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