A true water emergency threatens the Delta - Guest Columnists - Mobile

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A true water emergency threatens the Delta


California decision makers are at a historic crossroads in the long-standing California water crisis. The outcome will permanently alter the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. Your voice can steer these decisions in the right direction and now is the time to speak up.

On July 26, 2016, the State Water Resources Control Board will begin a series of hearings that will help determine whether the governor’s proposed twin tunnels project will continue to move forward. During these proceedings, agencies and water contractors will suggest that the governor’s proposed $16 billion rate-payer funded twin tunnels project is a necessary improvement to a water system on the brink of collapse. They will also claim the project is necessary to improve the Delta ecosystem. These claims are simply not true. In fact, re-plumbing the Delta may actually accelerate the decline of its environment.

The 44-foot diameter, approximately 35-mile long twin tunnels will siphon millions of gallons of water per minute out of the Delta and send it south. If constructed, this project will harm local economies amounting to a loss of tens of millions of dollars annually. It will negatively affect family farms, agricultural operations, and Delta river communities, disrupting a generations-old way of life. The project will also negatively impact recreation and water quality, degrade delicate environmental ecosystems, and harm fish and other endangered species.

The Delta Counties Coalition consists of local elected leaders from five counties whose communities will be permanently harmed if the twin tunnels are built. The project was developed without adequate local input and would irreversibly damage the Delta by depleting its watershed, would benefit one region of the state at the expense of another, and will not produce a single drop of new water. More cost-effective solutions exist that the Delta Counties Coalition supports, such as creating more surface and underground storage, improving Delta levees to help move water more efficiently through the Delta, and greater regional solutions such as stormwater capture, wastewater reuse, and local desalination. We urge decision makers to implement these solutions, which are good for all of California.

You can help. Speak up. Contact Governor Jerry Brown and your local and state elected leaders to voice your opinion and concerns about the twin tunnels project. For more information, please visit www.delta.


Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli is chair and San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn is a member of the Delta Counties Coalition, an alliance of the California Counties of Sacramento, San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Solano and Yolo Counties.