Fight against the Delta Tunnels Marketing Tactics

One frustrating thing in the fight against the Delta Tunnels is how effective the tunnel proponents are in creating a false statement and having it proliferate as “fact” in every news article we read.


Case in point – Sunday’s Sacramento Bee editorial “After seeing Harvey, Central Valley must get ready for coming storm.” Most of the editorial was great – we need levee maintenance to protect Sacramento and our Delta region.

But then the editor threw in this totally bogus statement: “The report predicted as many as 50 levee breaches in the Delta region. Their failure would affect water deliveries via the State Water Project and Central Valley Project to the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.”
The tunnel proponents have tried to spread the “earthquake bogey,” as Dr. Pyke calls it, saying that in a “big one” all the levees will fall down and salt water will intrude and ruin the water being pumped south for farms and L.A. This scare tactic is just wrong:

  1. There’s low risk of major earthquake in the Delta. No active fault lines
  2. Tests show the levees aren’t prone to liquefaction during an earthquake
  3. When Jones Tract flooded in 2004, there was no salt water intrusion. That was the last major levee failure in a low flow timeframe.

So what about a superstorm? Yes, lots of levees could fail. There were some failures near Sherman Island during the big flows last year. BUT – during big flows, tons of fresh water is flowing out. Even if all the levees failed then, that wouldn’t affect the water being pumped out.
But somehow, time and again, articles like this throw in these bogus tunnel-proponent made-up “facts” (marketing scare tactics) with the report. Fake news?

What to do about the tunnel proponents never-ending marketing hype? Well one thing I try to do is write a letter to the editor every time I see it. So today I submitted,

“Get the facts straight about potential Delta Levee Failures”


“It’s true that to protect Sacramento and Delta regions, the levees should continue to be improved and maintained, just like they need to do in the Netherlands. However, the article interjected one bogus statement that Delta Tunnel proponents often use as a scare tactic to justify their tunnels. The truth is if there are levee failures during a superstorm, that would NOT affect water deliveries to the farmers and Delta water urban users in Southern California and elsewhere. The water delivery concern raised by the tunnel proponents after Katrina was that if a significant number of levees fail at once, saltwater intrusion could get into the water being pumped to the Corporate farmers south of the Delta and L.A. But that could only true if everything fails at times of low water flow (which is unlikely). During a superstorm, the issue is too much fresh water flowing through the rivers. Therefore, no salt water could intrude. Let’s clearly separate the needs. Ongoing levee maintenance is needed. The Delta Tunnels are not needed at all.”

If you see any Delta Tunnel fake news, write a LTE too!

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