The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a process for obtaining long-term project permits for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta centering on the equal goals of conservation of species and helping to improve water supplies and delivery.
The BDCP aims to separate its water delivery system from Delta freshwater flows and restore thousands of acres of habitat, restore river flows to more natural patterns and address issues affecting the health of fish populations.
As part of the water conveyance, in 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown also proposed constructing two $25 billion tunnels to divert Sacramento River water underneath the Delta and then deliver the water to the Central Valley and Southern California.
If approved, the BDCP would be implemented over the next 50 years and construction of the tunnels would not begin for another 10 to 15 years.
In the universe of California water, Tim Quinn is a professor emeritus. Quinn has seen — and been a key player in — a lot of major California water issues since he began his water career 40 years ago as a young economist with the Rand Corporation, then later as deputy general manager with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and finally as executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies. In December, the 66-year-old will retire from ACWA.
This month’s elections may have mortally wounded California’s chances for a long-delayed $23 billion water tunnel project. … The project’s biggest cheerleader, Gov. Jerry Brown (D), is leaving office because of term limits and his successor, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), lacks’ Brown’s enthusiasm for the tunnels.
Nine Democratic legislators representing the the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are calling on the Trump administration to deny California’s request for a $1.6 billion loan to help pay for the twin tunnel project championed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The spring and summer of 2018 saw frenzied activity around California WaterFix, the latest iteration of a decades-long, on-again-off-again effort to convey fresh water from the Sacramento River to the South Delta export pumps while bypassing the Delta itself. Governor Jerry Brown has made WaterFix a top priority, but as his administration heads into its final months, the project – one of the largest infrastructure projects in state history – still faces a raft of uncertainties.
If Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is elected governor as expected, he’ll keep building the state’s two contentious public works projects: the bullet train and twin water tunnels. … The Democratic front-runner and his underdog rival, Republican businessman John Cox, competed in a debate Monday. But the train, tunnels and other vital state issues weren’t raised. So I [George Skelton] called Newsom and he phoned back. I also called and emailed Cox, but neither the candidate nor his staff responded.
Gavin Newsom and John Cox both drive zero-emission Teslas. That’s about where the common ground ends between California’s candidates for governor when it comes to the environment. … Cox opposes as a “boondoggle” [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s $17 billion proposal to move water from Northern California to Southern California through twin tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … Newsom backs a one-tunnel option as more cost-effective.
California’s proposal to construct two massive tunnels underneath the Delta northwest of the city to divert Sacramento River water south would “devastate” Stockton and other communities in and around the Delta, especially what a new report refers to as “environmental justice communities” that often have been ignored in the discussion around the tunnels.
The estimated cost of the Delta tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to re-engineer the troubled hub of California’s water network, has jumped to nearly $20 billion when accounting for inflation.
The San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors gave conditional support Thursday to the California WaterFix, the state’s $17 billion plan to upgrade key water infrastructure. San Diego joins the Metropolitan Water District in Los Angeles and Santa Clara County Water District in Silicon Valley in backing one Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature long-term projects.
Critical permits and legal challenges are still pending, and some farming groups still haven’t committed to paying for part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $17 billion Delta tunnels project. But even with the uncertainty, backers of the project are poised to ask the Trump administration for a $1.6 billion federal loan that millions of Californians ultimately would have to repay through increases in their water bills.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Tuesday reaffirmed its approval of an $11-billion investment in a massive water delivery project with a vote that highlighted a deepening division on the agency’s board.
California is about to embark on one of the biggest public works projects not just in its own state history, but in any state’s history. … And if that weren’t enough, it now appears construction will be led by an entity entirely new to such a massive water project.
California’s two Democratic senators have committed themselves to opposing a controversial House provision that would block judicial review of the state’s WaterFix tunnel project, reprising a familiar Capitol Hill plot. These California water narratives start bubbling up in the House, and then they often, although not always, dry out in the Senate.
A historic vote on the Delta tunnels project is getting a do-over. Southern California’s powerful water agency — the Metropolitan Water District — said Thursday its board will vote again in July on whether to pay for the lion’s share of the project, known officially as California WaterFix.
When [Gov. Jerry] Brown became governor again in 2011, a bullet train project had been launched with voter approval and a successor to the peripheral canal, twin tunnels beneath the Delta, was being actively pursued, thanks largely to his Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The high-ranking lawmaker who wants to block judicial review of a massive California water tunnels project calls his maneuver something close to standard operating procedure. And, like it or not, he’s right. In the latest example of a controversial tactic, the chairman of a key House panel included language blocking judicial review of California’s WaterFix project in a fiscal 2019 Interior Department funding package.
On Tuesday, veteran Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside County released a 142-page draft spending bill for fiscal year 2019 for the Interior Department and related agencies. Tucked into the bill, on page 141, is a brief provision that would prohibit state or federal lawsuits against “the Final Environmental Impact Report/Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California Water Fix … and any resulting agency decision, record of decision, or similar determination.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and two other water districts that agreed to fund the California Waterfix tunnel project announced today [May 14] the formation of a public agency that will be charged with its design and construction. … The California Department of Water Resources also announced that it has created the Delta Conveyance Office …
Fresh off recent victories securing billions of dollars in financing for his ambitious plan to reroute California’s water system, Gov. Jerry Brown offered a genial yet urgent reminder Thursday of the need to set the project on stable footing before he leaves office next year.
Gov. Jerry Brown warned local water agency officials throughout California on Thursday that unless the delta tunnels project gets needed state and federal permits soon and continues advancing, the major infrastructure project may not happen in their lifetime.
The South Bay’s largest water agency gave a big lift to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan for a pair of water conveyance tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta on Tuesday, committing $650 million to the effort. The $17 billion tunnels project, which would help move water from Northern California to the drier south, has been among the governor’s top priorities but has lacked the necessary funding to move forward.
A Bay Area water agency agreed Tuesday to pump $650 million into Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project, providing a meaningful boost for the controversial $16.7 billion plan. The 4-3 vote by the Santa Clara Valley Water District brings the tunnels project, which would overhaul the troubled heart of California’s aging water delivery network, a step closer to being fully funded.
Two nonprofit groups are accusing Gov. Jerry Brown of improperly working with Metropolitan Water District board directors behind the scenes to put pressure on a key vote for a massive water tunnel project.
In a vote that could give Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion Delta tunnels plan new momentum, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency on Tuesday will consider changing course and endorsing the controversial project to make it easier to move water to the south.
After a five-hour packed public hearing, the board of Silicon Valley’s largest water provider late Wednesday night put off a closely watched vote until next week on whether to provide up to $650 million to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water south.
Just six months ago, a major Bay Area water district only would commit about a third of the $650 million Gov. Jerry Brown’s office had hoped it would pay for his controversial Delta tunnels project. In a sudden reversal, the Santa Clara Valley Water District board now may pay the full amount.
In a dramatic reversal of its stance just six months ago, Silicon Valley’s largest water district has scheduled a vote Wednesday on a plan to commit up to $650 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
A decision by California’s largest water supplier on April 10 ended months of uncertainty over its role in the funding of California Water Fix, the state’s plan to build new water conveyance infrastructure in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. … Financing is not the only issue that needs to be addressed. There is still a long list of regulatory and legal hurdles the project needs to clear.
When the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to finance the lion’s share of the delta tunnels project, some on the board called it a bold stroke of leadership. The delegations from Los Angeles and San Diego, however, called the move alarming, financially risky and irresponsible.
A powerful Southern California water agency voted Tuesday to cover two-thirds of the cost of building the controversial Delta tunnels, in one of the most significant California water actions in decades.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted Tuesday to shoulder most of the cost of revamping the system that delivers water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta to the Southland, committing nearly $11 billion to building two massive tunnels.
California’s largest water agency on Tuesday approved a nearly $11 billion plan to help fund two enormous tunnels, breathing new life into Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious and controversial plan to remake the state’s water system.
The largest water district in California agreed Tuesday to fork over nearly $11 billion to build two tunnels that will siphon water south from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major boost for Gov. Jerry Brown’s pet project.
In what will be a crucial decision, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve nearly $11 billion in financing to help build two giant water tunnels in the center of the state’s waterworks or $5.2 billion to construct a single tunnel. Lobbying on the long-planned project continued Monday as Gov. Jerry Brown asked MWD directors to move ahead with both tunnels.
In agenda materials posted Friday afternoon, the staff of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California presented two options for the board to vote on Tuesday: Approve $5.2 billion in funding for a single tunnel that would be built in the center of the state’s waterworks, or OK up to $10.8 billion to help finance the construction of two tunnels.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is dropping plans to push ahead with a two-tunnel proposal to revamp the state’s water delivery system, opting to pursue a scaled-back version instead.
Southern California’s biggest water agency is considering picking up most of the bill for overhauling the state’s waterworks without any guarantee that it will eventually recoup its additional, multibillion-dollar investment. At a board workshop Tuesday, officials of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California outlined ways in which the agency could finance the construction of two giant water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Pushing ahead with an ambitious effort to take a majority stake in the state’s troubled $16.7 billion tunnels project, Southern California’s behemoth water agency announced Tuesday that the plan would cost its ratepayers less than $5 a month.
Jock O’Connell, international trade adviser at California-based Beacon Economics, said the infrastructure sector will be one of the first to feel the impact of the tariff. … So “if you’re building new bridges, or the twin tunnels the governor wants to build, or the high speed rail system,” you’re going to have to start recalculating, he said.
The Los Angeles City Council moved Wednesday to officially oppose staged construction of a proposed multibillion-dollar water-delivery tunnel project if it would result in greater costs or a greater portion of the financial burden for Los Angeles ratepayers.
A Sacramento County judge on Monday declined to temporarily stop the hearings that will decide the fate of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project after its opponents sued alleging the process had been tainted by secret meetings.
Two tunnels, one or none? The question continues to swirl around plans to perform major surgery on the sickly heart of California’s water system. Confronted with a shortage of funding, state officials announced last month that they would move ahead with the construction of one giant water tunnel under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta rather than two.
Sacramento County is leading a lawsuit accusing state officials of holding illegal secret meetings about the controversial Delta tunnels project. The county, joined by the city of Stockton, several Delta water agencies and a group of environmental organizations, sued the State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday.
Facing pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown, Southern California’s largest water agency could vote as soon as April on whether to take a majority stake in the twin-tunnels project Brown plans for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
State officials declined again Wednesday to delay a hearing that could lead to the issuance of a critical permit to build the governor’s $17 billion Delta tunnels. … A delay at this point, officials with the State Water Resources Control Board wrote, “would be both premature and needlessly disruptive.”
Earlier this week, KPCC learned Southern California’s largest water importer, the Metropolitan Water District, was considering more than doubling its investment in a plan to reconfigure how supplies are diverted from one of the region’s most important sources of water: the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta just east of San Francisco.
More than six years after critics began calling for a full economic study of the Delta tunnels plan, the Brown administration released one on Tuesday, finding that the benefits outweigh the costs — albeit by a slim margin for some water users.
Even a single water tunnel burrowed under the California’s Delta would be worth it for urban ratepayers and farmers who would to pay to build and maintain the project, according to an analysis released Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration.
In a dramatic twist on the Delta tunnels saga, Southern California’s powerful water agency is exploring the feasibility of owning the majority stake in the controversial project, a move that raises fears of a “water grab.”
The state water board held its first hearing Thursday since Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to move more water efficiently from Northern California to the south was pared down. … “This is something we expected,” Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of MWD, a provider of water to 19 million Southern Californians and the biggest supporter of WaterFix, said during an interview Thursday. “But I still think for the greater good, a two-tunnel project would be better.”
California officials tried to smooth the way for the Delta tunnels project by slicing it in half. Instead they’re facing more pushback and the possibility of additional delays. One day after Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration downsized the Delta tunnels project, a host of project opponents tried Thursday to halt a state regulatory hearing that’s crucial to getting it built.
California water officials announced Wednesday that a plan to build two giant tunnels for moving water supplies across the state was being reduced to a single, less costly underpass — at least initially — a setback for one of Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature projects.
State officials Wednesday said they will press ahead with a smaller version of a long-planned water delivery project, initially building one, instead of two, massive tunnels in the heart of California’s vast waterworks. The decision to downsize California WaterFix boils down to money.
State officials declined late Tuesday to further delay key hearings on the proposed Delta tunnels, overriding opponents’ arguments that illegal meetings have taken place and that the project soon may be altered anyway. The State Water Resources Control Board found that the meetings were legal.
During his second governorship, Jerry Brown has frequently touted big public-works projects as the mark of a great society—a marked change from his first stint four decades ago, when “small is beautiful” and “lower your expectations” were his oft-voiced themes. He did it again last week, effusively plugging two major public works, twin water tunnels and a high-speed rail network, during his final State of the State address.
Months of behind the scenes talks have failed to drum up enough money to pay the full costs of replumbing the center of California’s sprawling waterworks with two giant water tunnels. That has left the state with little choice but to scale down a roughly $17-billion water delivery project to fit a funding pot of less than $10 billion.
Time is running out for Gov. Jerry Brown to fix two big legacy projects. If he doesn’t, his successor might just dump them in the trash. Brown has only until the end of the year to clean up and repair his bullet train and water tunnel ventures.
A lengthy Delta tunnels hearing that was set to begin Thursday instead has been delayed for two weeks as state officials consider claims that illegal meetings took place between tunnels proponents and the agency that is supposed to independently judge the project.
A state agency that is supposed to independently judge the merits of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels has simultaneously been holding meetings illegally with project proponents, critics allege in a pair of motions filed this week. The State Water Resources Control Board on Thursday is scheduled to resume lengthy public hearings that could result in a permit that would allow the $17 billion project to move forward.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is proposing scaling back his troubled plans to redo California’s water system, releasing a new plan that would build only one tunnel to ship water from Northern California instead of two, and put Southern and central California water agencies directly in charge of designing and building it.
California officials have moved closer to scaling back the troubled Delta tunnels project, officially notifying potential construction contractors that they’re considering limiting the project to one tunnel.
Faced with a shortage of money and political support after seven years of work, Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration is working on a plan to scale back one of his key legacy projects — a $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.
Already short of funding, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project is being challenged in court by a bloc of San Joaquin Valley farmers insisting they shouldn’t be forced to help foot the $17.1 billion price tag. The valley farmers, located mainly in Kern and Kings counties, voiced their objections in a Sacramento court filing opposing the Brown administration’s plan to issue bonds to pay for the tunnels.
State lawmakers opposed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnel plan are stepping up calls for greater transparency into the project’s finances, as the proposed water delivery system suffered a series of setbacks this fall.
A long-awaited study on the costs and benefits of Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels should be finished by next spring, a state official said Thursday after an independent audit concluded such a study should have already been done. The tunnels have been in the planning stage for 11 years, but state officials have never completed a comprehensive analysis of whether the project pencils out financially.
A throng of people, nearly 200 strong, came to this delta town Thursday, many of them wearing work boots and ball caps, blue jeans and plaid, and all of them hoping to learn something good about Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to solve California’s water delivery problems. The folks from the river towns and rural communities along the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta didn’t like what they heard about the plan that is being called California WaterFix.
It’s been more than half a century since Californians started talking seriously about building a new conveyance system – canals or tunnels – to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta to south Delta pumps for export to farms and cities in the south.
It sounds like a nice, elegant compromise for a California water project swamped in uncertainty: If there isn’t enough money to build two Delta tunnels, why not build just one? Drastically downsizing Gov. Jerry Brown’s tunnels wouldn’t merely save money.
California’s ambitious plan to build two giant water tunnels under the West’s largest estuary has been deemed too expensive by some of the water utilities that would have to pay for it. As a result, attention is turning back to a cheaper option: One tunnel instead of two. … Ironically, it is an option the state’s top water agencies rejected out of hand a decade ago.
In the Delta region, the twin tunnels always have been considered double trouble. If you take the “twin” out, you’ve still got trouble. That’s the view of many local activists as speculation grows that Gov. Jerry Brown’s two-tunnel water conveyance project will soon be downsized, whittled down to perhaps just one tunnel with a smaller capacity.
A new option has entered the discussion of Delta water supplies: one cross-Delta tunnel instead of two. For now, California’s WaterFix proposal, pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown, is for two tunnels under-crossing the Delta for 35 miles, allowing up to 60 percent of Delta water exports to come from the main channel of Sacramento River.
After several hours of confusion over the Trump administration’s position on a massive water delivery project, the Interior Department said Wednesday it would continue to work with the state on California WaterFix.
Is the Trump administration opposed to the Delta tunnels, Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to remake the troubled estuary and improve water deliveries to the southern half of the state? For a while Wednesday, it certainly looked that way.
Bewildering both opponents and supporters of Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the Department of Interior late Wednesday said the Trump administration had not pulled its support for the project as reported earlier.
Five California Democrats in Congress asked Tuesday for a new federal review of funding for Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tunnel project. Their request follows a federal audit of Brown’s $16 billion proposal to re-engineer California’s complex north-south water system by building two giant water tunnels.
Silicon Valley’s water district Wednesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build twin tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta but said it would support a smaller, less expensive project. A top state official said the Brown administration is willing to consider such an approach.
In a landmark vote closely watched across California, Silicon Valley’s largest water agency on Tuesday rejected Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two giant tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
In its most far-reaching decision in more than 50 years, Silicon Valley’s largest water provider will vote Tuesday on whether to embrace or reject Gov. Jerry Brown’ s $17 billion plan to build two massive tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
On Oct. 10, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted to endorse the Delta tunnels, the $17 billion project that aims to reboot California’s main water supply system. Two days later, the Kern County Water Agency offered its own bid – albeit it a hesitant one – of support.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein recalls Gov. Jerry Brown pitching her to support his costly twin-tunnels water plan. He showed her the environmental analysis and she was shocked. Shocked not at the contents, but at the documents’ size.
A bloc of San Joaquin farmers tentatively endorsed the Delta tunnels project Thursday, becoming the first significant agricultural group to support the struggling plan. But the level of support from members of the Kern County Water Agency, which serves much of the $7 billion-a-year farm economy at the southern end of the valley, was less than wholehearted.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s board voted to pay for about a quarter of the tunnels project, Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17.1 billion effort to re-engineer the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and improve water deliveries to south state cities and farms.
In 1960, the water barons of Los Angeles stood between Gov. Pat Brown and his dream of building a network of dams and canals to make the southern half of California bloom. He beat them – just barely, after weeks of public arm-twisting – and the State Water Project was born.
On the eve of key votes in San Jose and Los Angeles, Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion proposal to build two massive tunnels through the Delta to make it easier to move water from north to south was hit with another setback Thursday as a state audit found it was suffering from “significant cost increases and delays.”
State officials who have been planning the $17 billion Delta tunnels for more than a decade failed to determine whether the project pencils out financially and violated state law by hiring a high-level consultant who didn’t meet basic qualifications, according to a state audit released Thursday.
California’s water managers appear to have violated state law when they hired a consultant to help plan Gov. Jerry Brown’s $16 billion project to build two massive water tunnels, state auditors said Thursday.
With two key California WaterFix votes looming, Gov. Jerry Brown expressed confidence Thursday that water agencies will commit to enough funding to sustain the massive project. Brown was in Los Angeles to lobby for the $17-billion proposal, which would re-engineer the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the hub of California’s complex waterworks.
The Delta tunnels project was just gaining steam, and a San Francisco engineering firm had outbid its competitors to win a $60 million, seven-year state contract to help plan the project. But officials at the California Department of Water Resources weren’t happy with a manager that the company, URS Corp., had assigned to help oversee the planning process.
Dam builders from President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration wanted to bring water to the parched eastern half of the San Joaquin Valley, but first they had to deal with a cluster of landowners whose ancestors had been there since the 1800s. The deal they cut in 1939 paved the way for much of the Central Valley Project, an engineering marvel that helped turn the Valley into one of the world’s most productive farming regions.
The state’s water users will find out soon if they will be paying for the $17 billion tunnel project called the California WaterFix. The controversial plan proposes building tunnels under the Sacramento Delta to secure the supply of water being sent south.
Southern California’s mammoth water agency appeared ready to plow ahead with the Delta tunnels project Tuesday, despite a “no” vote by a giant bloc of San Joaquin Valley farmers that could doom the $17 billion proposal.
One day after the largest water district in America pulled out of a $17 billion state project to build twin tunnels under the Delta, a water supplier for 220,000 Alameda County residents supported the plan and said it wants to join in.
In California’s long-raging water wars, pitting north against south and farmer against city dweller, the one thing everybody agreed on Wednesday was that the outdated method of shipping water throughout the most populous state needs a serious upgrade.
Shellshocked by an influential farm irrigation district’s refusal to help pay for the Delta tunnels, advocates of the $17.1 billion project were scrambling Wednesday to salvage it or conjure up a Plan B. Three possible options were floated by California water policymakers for reviving the proposal.
By a 7-1 vote, the state’s largest irrigation district decided not to join California WaterFix — a $17-billion plan to build two tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that would re-engineer the way Northern California supplies are moved to the rest of the state.
Westlands Water District, whose board of directors is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to help pay for the tunnels, says it needs to spread the costs among a greater number of water districts, both north and south of the Delta, to make the project affordable to the Fresno and Kings county farmers who get water from Westlands.
Some of the state’s biggest water districts are about to make their opening moves in a financial chess game that ultimately could saddle the Southland with much of the bill for re-engineering the failing heart of California’s water system.
A federal agency left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for $50 million in water project costs that should have been paid by Central Valley irrigation districts, according to an inspector general’s report released Friday.
In a potential setback for the controversial Delta tunnels, federal auditors say $50 million in taxpayer funds were used to improperly subsidize San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts as they helped plan the project.
The U.S. Interior Department improperly contributed $85 million in taxpayer funds to help pay for a giant California water project backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, despite pledges from Brown and other state and federal authorities that local water districts would bear all the costs, a federal audit said Friday.
Brett Baker steps off Sutter Island Road and scrambles down the bank of a levee to the edge of Steamboat Slough. … At Baker’s feet is a 6-inch-wide steel pipe that carries water from the slough through the levee and into his family’s century-old pear orchard.
The city [Antioch] has challenged the state Department of Water Resources’ approval of the Twin Tunnels project, alleging that the city itself will still see more salt in the water it uses as a drinking supply.
They have one of the most powerful legal weapons found in any courtroom – the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. But environmental groups, local governments and others face an uphill climb in their fight against the controversial Delta tunnels project.
Sacramento County led a cascade of area governments suing the state in an effort to block the Delta tunnels, saying the $17 billion project would harm local farmers, endangered fish and low-income communities at the south end of the county.
As California water agencies prepare to vote next month on paying for the tunnels, which are supposed to improve water deliveries to the southern half of the state, the stark difference between urban and rural water users’ expected costs illustrates one of the project’s main stumbling blocks.
Decision time is approaching for the agencies that will have to pick up the nearly $17-billion tab for building two massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the heart of the state’s water works.
More than 6 million Southern Californian households could pay $3 more a month to help cover the costs of Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to bore two huge tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Grant Davis, general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency, was tapped Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown as the state’s new director for the Department of Water Resources, handing a veteran of North Bay politics and water policy a central role in Brown’s controversial bid to overhaul California’s water system with a $17 billion pair of tunnels under Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
[U.S. Rep. Jerry] McNerney’s bill comes at a crucial time, as various government agencies and water districts make a series of decisions this summer and fall about whether the $17 billion tunnels project should move forward.
The governor’s proposed Delta tunnels ran into a roomful of skeptics Monday – an influential group of San Joaquin Valley farmers who remain unconvinced the controversial project will deliver the water they need at a price they’re prepared to swallow.
In June, two federal agencies gave their blessings to the controversial project to build two water conveyance tunnels under California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Environmental groups promptly sounded the alarm that the state’s so-named WaterFix project would not, as its backers claim, solve the matrix of problems plaguing the Delta and the people and creatures relying on it. … But if not WaterFix, then what?
A giant Southern California water district that could decide whether to invest in the Delta tunnels as soon as September has released the first of three “white papers” which are expected to address some unresolved issues.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s ambitious plans to build two massive tunnels, reengineering the hub of California’s water system, would destroy native fish species already on the brink of extinction, lawsuits filed Thursday said.
Kicking off what are expected to be years of legal battles, a coalition of environmental and fishing groups on Thursday filed the first major lawsuits over California Gov. Jerry Brown’s $17 billion plan to build two massive, 35-mile-long tunnels under the Delta to make it easier to move water from Northern California to the south.
The controversial water diversion tunnels proposed in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta may be the biggest waterworks up for review anywhere in the world. And this $17 billion project requires a variety of permits and approvals before construction can begin. … The State Water Resources Control Board is the agency charged with issuing the new diversion permit – essentially a new water right.
Federal wildlife agencies gave the controversial Delta tunnels a partial approval on Monday, announcing that the $17 billion project to replumb the dying estuary will not jeopardize threatened and endangered fish.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service concluded that the construction of new diversion points on the Sacramento River and two massive water tunnels would not jeopardize the existence of endangered species in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which is the hub of California’s waterworks.
The federal regulators evaluating Gov. Jerry Brown’s decades-old ambitions to re-engineer the water supplies from California’s largest river are promising a status update Monday, as Brown’s $16 billion proposal to shunt part of the Sacramento through two mammoth tunnels awaits a crucial yes or no from national agencies.
California’s powerful regional water districts are working alongside Gov. Jerry Brown to take on more responsibility for designing, building and arranging financing for a $15.7 billion twin tunnel project that would ship water southward from Northern California as they push to finally close the deal on the controversial plan, two officials working closely on the project told The Associated Press.
California’s ambitious plan to tunnel under the West’s largest estuary has always had two primary goals: to restore imperiled native fish and to improve water deliveries to farms and cities. An early analysis by federal wildlife agencies, however, indicates the project might make life worse for fish.
California’s ambitious plan to tunnel under the West’s largest estuary has always had two primary goals: to restore imperiled native fish and to improve water deliveries to farms and cities. An early analysis by federal wildlife agencies, however, indicates the project might make life worse for fish.
Proposed changes to a plan that is supposed to guide the Delta through the 21st century have advocates on red alert, as they worry that the new language locks in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15 billion twin tunnels. The revised plan does not explicitly endorse the California Water Fix, as the tunnels proposal is formally known.
Californians are more likely to favor beefing up the state’s flood control infrastructure than building Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels, according to the latest poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.
Erin Brockovich parachuted into Stockton one year ago to condemn the city’s use of a common method to treat the drinking water. But sitting on a stage before a raucous crowd of 1,200, in the heart of a region deeply opposed to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta tunnels, the celebrity activist won enthusiastic applause when she accepted a new challenge.
It isn’t entirely true that [Gov. Jerry] Brown’s new $179.5-billion budget proposal ignores infrastructure. The state is moving toward helping to finance probable construction of a major reservoir called Sites in the Sacramento Valley.
Two weeks before President Barack Obama leaves office, his administration vowed to move full speed ahead on California’s controversial Delta tunnels project, calling it essential for the state’s water supply as well as its environment.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant tunnels to send Northern California water southward moved a step closer Thursday to final state and federal decisions, with the state’s release of a 90,000-page environmental review supporting the $15.7 billion project.
Saying that his Delta tunnels proposal has been subject to “more environmental review than any other project in the history of the world,” Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration on Thursday released 97,000 pages of final reports.
After years of planning, officials have finalized all 97,000 pages of environmental documents to support Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial plan to build two massive tunnels through the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
It takes a while to get to the point, but an 80,000-page environmental opus released Thursday makes the case that Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.7 billion twin tunnels project is the best way to fix California’s water woes.
When enemies are in face-to-face combat, they’re often blind to an obvious path to potential compromise. That’s certainly true of water warriors, who have been battling over California’s most valuable and limited resource since statehood. Fights don’t get any more ferocious than over water in this state.
California voters have rejected Proposition 53, a November measure to limit the state’s use of revenue bonds to pay for large public works projects that could have undermined Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed twin water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
The governor’s proposed Delta tunnels could worsen toxic algae blooms like the one that stunk up Stockton’s downtown waterfront this year, according to testimony last week from an expert offered by San Joaquin County.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels could harm the quality of Stockton’s drinking water to the extent that water rates would need to be doubled or tripled, a city official testified on Thursday. … [Bob] Granberg’s brief testimony on Thursday came as the state board holds extensive hearings to determine if any water users with legal rights — including Stockton — would be harmed by the operation of the tunnels.
California Water Fix faces one less obstacle, following voters’ rejection of Proposition 53, which would have required a statewide vote for any state project financed by more than $2 billion in revenue bonds. It’s unclear how a Donald Trump presidency will impact the twin tunnels.
Gov. Jerry Brown has been appearing on the air and on the campaign trail all over California to defeat one of the state’s most hotly contested ballot measures — Proposition 53. It would require voter approval on expensive infrastructure projects that are considered linchpins in Brown’s legacy, including high-speed rail and the Delta water tunnels, a plan to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California.
Gov. Jerry Brown is no fan of California’s Proposition 53. The measure would require the state to place a public works project of $2 billion or more up for a statewide vote before using revenue bonds to pay for it.
[Dean] Cortopassi insists that no particular public works project inspired Proposition 53 but admits he thinks two particular proposals should have a statewide vote if they end up relying on big revenue bonds: California’s plans to build a high-speed train system and the sweeping proposal to build twin underground tunnels to transport water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region.
With less than three weeks until Election Day, Gov. Jerry Brown and his political allies are suddenly pumping money into the campaign to defeat Proposition 53, a previously low-profile measure that could be the death knell of Brown’s high-speed rail and Delta tunnels projects.
Tensions over unanswered questions on how California’s largest water district might help pay for two proposed giant water tunnels boiled over into cursing at a meeting of the water district’s board members.
A proposition that a prosperous farmer brought to the California ballot would threaten two ambitious water and rail projects that Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing, requiring voters’ OK before launching any state building project requiring $2 billion or more in revenue bonds.
California Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels to carry water across the state is only economically feasible if the federal government pays for nearly a third of it, according to a previously unreleased economic analysis.
Giant tunnels that Gov. Jerry Brown wants to build to haul water across California are economically feasible only if the federal government bears a third of the nearly $16 billion cost because local water districts may not benefit as expected, according to an analysis that the state commissioned last year but never released.
Water, or the lack of it, has emerged as one of the greatest sources of stress for California, its people and its native species. … But state officials have proposed a solution – a massive hydroengineering project dubbed California WaterFix. Its two giant tunnels will divert water from the Sacramento River toward Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and farms in the San Joaquin Valley.
A prominent Sacramento-area economist says Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15.5 billion plan to overhaul the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta doesn’t make financial sense, with costs far outweighing the benefits.
Critics and a state lawmaker say they want more explanations on who’s paying for a proposed $16 billion water project backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, after a leading California water district said Brown’s administration was offering government funding to finish the planning for the two giant water tunnels.
Calling for more scrutiny of one of the largest proposed infrastructure projects in California history, legislators from up and down the state on Wednesday approved a financial audit of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15 billion Delta tunnels.
California officials Tuesday released a detailed environmental blueprint for Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial Delta tunnels project, saying the $15.5 billion plan “minimizes potential effects” on endangered fish species whose populations have dwindled following decades of water pumping.
Representatives of California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Obama administration began making their pitch for approval Tuesday to build a pair of massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
By the time the Sacramento River winds its more-than-400-mile course from the slopes of Mount Shasta past the state capital, it’s well into its leisurely stride, running slowly by fields of sweet corn, tomatoes and alfalfa. But this lazy stretch of river, just south of Sacramento, is a metaphorical whitewater.
Marking the first full-scale public examination of the [California WaterFix] proposal, the hearings before the State Water Resources Control Board are focused on a comparatively narrow issue: whether California’s giant water-delivery projects should be allowed to carve three new intake points in the north Delta to pull water from the Sacramento River and feed into the proposed tunnels.
This week, Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial water project is back in the public eye. State officials are launching a marathon series of hearings for the “twin tunnels,” as they’re known, that will ultimately decide the fate of the project.
When testimony begins Tuesday in a months-long hearing that could decide the fate of the $15 billion Delta water tunnels, amid all the acronyms and complexities and water-wonk jargon there will be a simple, consistent theme: Trust. Or lack thereof.
Still swirling in controversy, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $15.5 billion re-engineering of the troubled Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is heading into a critical phase over the next year that could well decide if the project comes to fruition. Crunch time starts Tuesday.
California officials don’t have to pay property owners to access their land to conduct preliminary testing before deciding whether to move forward with a $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels to supply drinking water for cities and irrigation for farmers, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday. … Officials promoting the tunnels will present plans to state water regulators in hearings starting Tuesday.
In a win for the state, the California Supreme Court declared Thursday that the state has the right to go on private property for soil and environmental testing as part of a plan to divert fresh water under or around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta on its way to Central and Southern California.
The California Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for state water authorities to do environmental and geological testing on private land for a proposed project to divert Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta water to the south.
The California Supreme Court is set to issue a ruling Thursday that could add millions of dollars to the cost of the governor’s $15.7 billion plan to build two giant water tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
A Southern California agency that provides drinking water for 19 million people officially became a substantial Delta landowner for the first time Monday after escrow closed on its $175 million purchase of several large islands.
Four islands in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and a chunk of a fifth are now officially the property of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, district officials announced Monday.
Working from a bland, windowless office on the 13th floor of the Resources Building, one of California’s newest state employees focuses on the one issue from which all else flows, water. Bruce Babbitt has signed on to help Jerry Brown fix what the governor calls the California WaterFix.
The sale of four Delta islands to Southern California’s largest water district was put back on hold Friday by an appeals court as Northern California opponents plan to take their case to the state Supreme Court.
Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s favorite projects — building a high-speed rail system and a pair of massive tunnels under the Delta — face a serious threat if California voters pass a measure heading for the November ballot.