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With Environmental Review Finalized, Could Construction On The Delta Tunnels Begin In 2018?

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. In spite of a recent call for a scaled-down version of the project from a prominent nonpartisan California water think-tank, state officials are moving forward with the original plan for what they call California WaterFix. The $15.5 billion project would tunnel two pipes 40 feet in diameter for 35 miles under the fragile ecosystem that serves as the hub of the state’s water-delivery network.


Snow Will Fall In Parts Of County On Christmas Eve

You can stop dreaming about a white Christmas. We’re going to have one. The second storm of the week will arrive in San Diego County Friday night and will drop 4’’ to 6’’ of snow above the 4,500-foot level by noon on Saturday — Christmas Eve. The National Weather Service says lower regions — including Julian — will get an inch or two of snow. Most of the white stuff should still be on the ground on Sunday — Christmas Day. The system will push ashore from the northwest and deposit an inch or more of rain along the coast, and 1.5’’ to 2’’ across the eastern foothills.

Jerry Brown’s Controversial Tunnel Project Moves Forward

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. Brown’s administration is pushing for final federal and state approval of the 35-mile-long, 40-foot-wide tunnels, touted to ensure more reliable water deliveries to city and farm water agencies in Central and Southern California.

BLOG: Final EIR/EIS For The California Water Fix Now Available Online

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan/California WaterFix Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) is now available. This Final EIR/EIS was prepared jointly by Lead Agencies: the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation).The Final EIR/EIS describes the alternatives, discusses potential environmental impacts, and identifies mitigation measures that would help avoid or minimize impacts. It also provides responses to all substantive comments received on the 2013 Draft EIR/EIS and 2015 Partially Recirculated Draft EIR/Supplemental Draft EIS (RDEIR/SDEIS).

OPINION: Seeking A ‘Grand Compromise’ On Delta Tunnels

We’ve made no secret of our objections to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plumbing project — drilling two enormous tunnels, each one 40 feet in diameter and 35 miles long, to divert water to Southern California cities and Central Valley growers. Brown’s plan looks even worse with President Barack Obama’s acquiescence to congressional legislation guaranteeing more water for irrigation at the expense of endangered salmon and the environmentally fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

December Storms Chip Away At California Drought

December storms have boosted the levels of reservoirs across California, and state officials responded by increasing their estimate of how much water they’ll be able to pump through the State Water Project next year. California’s Department of Water Resources said Wednesday that it now projects water agencies can count on receiving 45 percent of their full allotments, up from a preliminary estimate of 20 percent released in November.

Weather, Insects Wreaking Havoc With Trees Throughout California

One by one, big trees are disappearing, the sound of songbirds replaced by the buzz of chain saws and crews cleaning up dead branches. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 102 million trees have died in forests across California since 2010 due to heat, drought and infestation from beetles and other bugs. Many heritage oak trees in the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding open spaces are turning brown and falling over.

State Releases Report On Disputed Twin Tunnels Water Plan

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. The final environmental impact report on the controversial plan known as WaterFix does not contain a cliffhanger ending, but the governor characterized it as a crucial bookshelf filler for water wonks.


Farmers Score In Battle Over Diverting Klamath River Water For Endangered Species

Northern California and Oregon irrigation districts have won a key round in a long-running legal battle as they seek compensation for their loss of water in the Klamath River Basin. In a 53-page opinion, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marilyn Blank Horn concluded the federal government’s 2001 diversion of Klamath River Basin water amounted to a “physical taking” of the irrigation districts’ property. Horn’s ruling Wednesday rejected the government’s argument that the diversion instead amounted to a “regulatory taking.”

California Today: A Water Crisis On The Central Coast

Where will the water come from? We’re entering the wet time of year, but the drought continues to transform communities around the state. And now, Santa Barbara is almost out. Lake Cachuma, the county’s primary source of water for years, is at 7 percent of its capacity and is expected to go totally dry by the end of the year. So while state regulators have lifted the statewide mandatory 25 percent cut in water usage, Santa Barbara officials are cracking down. Beginning Jan. 1, the city will ban all residential lawn watering.