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Delaying Vote on California’s Delta Tunnels Gives Estuary Hope

On Aug. 28, the Central Basin Water Board voted, 5-2, to postpone a decision on California Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed Delta Tunnel project (also known as California Water Fix) until rate impacts of the project can be clarified. Specifically, officials are concerned about the burden citizens from poorer areas of Los Angeles County will bear without seeing an increase of water supplies. The $25 billion California Water Fix proposes to construct several massive underground tunnels that will update California’s water infrastructure by diverting more water, making the delivery more reliable and improving environmental conditions.

Frustration, Friction Flashed Behind the Scenes as Oroville Dam Emergency Grew

In the confusion and chaos of the emergency at Oroville Dam, as thousands of residents were being evacuated, public safety officials and others involved in managing the crisis found themselves clashing with the people operating the nation’s tallest dam. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea questioned an assertion by the director of the state Department of Water Resources that the situation was stabilizing.

Taxpayer Money Was Wrongly Used to Plan California Water Tunnel Project, Federal Audit Says

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. The audit found that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation improperly subsidized the districts’ share of planning costs for a controversial proposal to build two massive water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

BLOG: Why did the Fed Interior Dept misuse $84 million for California Delta Tunnels planning?

Mary Kendall, the deputy federal inspector general for the U.S. Department of Interior, today issued a 42 page report detailing the misuse of the money and the recommendations made to the state and federal agencies to resolve the issue. “The audit says that California water districts — and not federal taxpayers — were supposed to bear the costs of the $16-billion water project,“ the Associated Press reported via the LA Times. “The inspector general says federal authorities also did not fully disclose to Congress or others that it was covering much of the cost of the project’s planning.”

Governor’s Delta Tunnels Scheme Sees $50 Million in Federal Funds Misspent

The twin water tunnels project pushed by Gov. Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. as a substitute for his voter-rejected Peripheral Canal have seen at least $50 million misspent by the Bureau of Reclamation, one of the supporters of the controversial project. That’s the charge by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior, in a report Friday.

The US West Had a Snowy Winter, So Why the Fiery Summer?

Acrid yellow smoke clogs the skies of major Western U.S. cities, a human-caused fire in the Columbia River Gorge rains ash on Portland, Oregon, and a century-old backcountry chalet burns to the ground in Montana’s Glacier National Park. Wildfires are chewing across dried-out Western forests and grassland, putting 2017 on track to be among the worst fire seasons in a decade.