Ten years after the first seeds were planted for the proposed twin tunnels, the battle shifts to a new arena in 2016 — a critical year for the controversial project.
A small state agency will soon begin the daunting process of deciding whether to change the water rights for the state and federal water projects, allowing them to divert some of their water from the Sacramento River and bypass the Delta for the first time.
The water rights must be changed before a shovelful of earth can be turned.
But it won’t be simple. Months of hearings are expected, starting in April.