The fight is back on for the Delta

We are disappointed in the Notice of Preparation (“NOP”) issued by DWR on January 15 for a single tunnel through the Delta. The NOP starts the official planning and environmental review process for the tunnel.

It seems that when it comes to water and the Delta, our state government never learns. The massive intakes for the new tunnel are situated in the same place, on top of fragile Delta legacy communities. Thousands of trips through Delta sloughs by huge barges and tug boats, ruining Delta boating, are still planned; thousands of trips by big rigs on narrow Delta roads are still planned; and tens of millions of tons of tunnel muck are still set to be dumped on Delta islands.

The supposed reasons for the tunnel have changed. DWR has finally given up on the ridiculous argument that a tunnel would save the Delta environment and make our water cleaner. Now it is sea level rise and earthquake risk that justify a tunnel. If the levees collapse in an earthquake, DWR reasons, then salt water will rush into the Delta from the bay and leave Southern California without fresh water from the Delta. Likewise, as sea level rises due to climate change salt water will push further into the Delta, eventually reaching the export pumps near Tracy. So moving the intakes upstream to Hood will guarantee a source of fresh water even after the Delta is ruined by salt water.

But what about our Delta farmers who depend on our fresh water Delta to water their crops? And the native Delta fish that need fresh water to survive? Neither seems to matter DWR. And a tunnel diverting water upstream will make the effects of sea level rise worse, depriving the Delta of fresh water and making whatever level of salt water intrusion occurs much worse. The appropriate response to sea level rise is to let more water flow downstream, not less.

DWR has made the decision to build a tunnel while non-tunnel common sense alternatives, such as strengthening the levees and weaning Southern California off of Delta water by developing local and regional supplies through conservation, water recycling, and desalination are not included for consideration.

All in all a very bad day for the Delta. Looks like the fight is on all over again.

1 Response to “The fight is back on for the Delta”

  1. 1 Hal Williamson January 17, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Time to establish our Northern CA border just south of Santa Barbara and become independent of Southern CA! Let LA control So. CA to the Mexican border.
    Yeah, i know it won’t fly, but we need all of “Northern” CA behind the opposition to the south land.
    No more water to aid LA County’s ongoing expansionism.

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