“Lawmakers in the House of Representatives introduced their version of a bill Wednesday to move forward work on an array of water projects across the country, legislation that traditionally sails through Congress on a bipartisan basis.
“The Water Resources Reform and Development Act, the first such bill in six years, would authorize repair and improvements to dams and levees, the deepening of harbors and navigation channels, and flood control and coastal protection projects.”
“The state is moving the route of a proposed tunnel system in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta away from north delta communities to a land preserve that is an important winter home for the greater sandhill crane and other migratory birds in the Pacific Flyway.
“The realignment, announced Thursday by the California Natural Resources Agency, is intended to lessen the project’s effects on north delta residents who have complained fiercely about the proposal — in some instances refusing to let state survey crews on their property.”
“The trickiest area of government accounting is estimating costs and benefits from big public works projects.
“State and local officials blew it on the Bay Bridge project, as costs more than quadrupled. And the projected costs and supposed benefits of two much larger projects, tunneling beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to convey water and a north-south bullet train, face sharp criticism.”
“Orange County’s 11 representatives in the state Legislature have voiced support for the proposed desalination project in Huntington Beach that will be up for consideration at the California Coastal Commission this fall.”
“Gov. Jerry Brown has shown mastery of Sacramento, but his hope for a legacy of enduring public works hinges on a different skill — the ability to work Washington.
Brown has staked much on a $24-billion plan to resolve California’s decades-long fight over moving water from the north, where most of the state’s rain and snow falls, to thirsty cities and farms in the south and the Central Valley.
“Fixing the Delta is necessary, say officials, but it won’t be cheap. The costs to build and operate the Gov. Brown’s twin-tunnels plan are estimated to cost $24.54 billion over the 50 year term of the project.
“The issue began in 2006 when the Riverside City Council authorized upgrading the city’s wastewater treatment plant to a $250 million high-end system — a Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) — in lieu of a traditional, more cost-effective system.
“Water customers in Santa Rosa and Sonoma should avoid projects such as watering the lawn or filling swimming pools on Wednesday and Thursday as the Sonoma County Water Agency works on a key water line under Sonoma Avenue, known as the Santa Rosa Aqueduct.
“The agency will shut down the 36-inch pipeline for about 27 hours starting on July 31 to finish a major upgrade that will make the line less vulnerable to earthquakes.”
“LA County Department of Public Works engineers released water from Morris Dam’s new massive 72-inch value into a splash pool and into the San Gabriel River during the dam’s modernization project ceremony in Angles National Forest above Azusa on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.”