On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown is expected to announce the preferred project alternative for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). Materials that were leaked last week show that the Governor plans to endorse a project that will put construction before science and politics before planning. Moreover, this project will put Californians on the tab for the largest water tunnel infrastructure project in history.
This proposal will allow the State to build a massive twin tunnel system to carry water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Central Valley farmland and cities. Only after the infrastructure is built will we get around to governance and operations. Overwhelming scientific consensus shows that fish in the Delta Ecosystem need more fresh water; yet this proposal could divert more water from the already-failing ecosystem that supports critical habitat and a multi-million dollar fishing industry. The most egregious assertion in the proposal is that water exporters (the people that make money from selling this water) have key control over hiring, budget, science program, and even a veto power over improvements to biological goals and objectives. Furthermore, the State continues to refuse to do a cost benefit analysis for this project that, if it moves forward, will cost taxpayers and water customers in the tens of billions of dollars!
This announcement will resurrect a new version of the once-rejected Peripheral Canal proposal that will reignite water wars and the North-South divide of Brown’s previous of term as governor. There are a number of serious concerns with this new proposal, most of all the blatant defiance of the legal obligation to develop a plan for the Delta that balances the co-equal goals of “providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem (CA Water Code §85054).”
Rally Set for Wednesday at Noon to Protest Delta Plan
Tomorrow (Wednesday), July 25th, join farmers, fishermen, environmentalists and consumer advocates to protest the Governor’s environmentally destructive and exorbitantly expensive project. The rally will begin at Noon at the California State Capitol west steps. For more information contact Evon Willhoff, Water Program Manager.