Just months after Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to shore up California’s water system with two giant tunnels won key approval from regulators, the $17 billion project is running into potential financial problems. The dozens of agencies that have expressed support for the delta tunnels as a way to ensure that they get more reliable water deliveries, from Silicon Valley to the Central Valley to Los Angeles, are supposed to produce financial commitments in coming weeks. Many, however, appear reluctant to sign on.
Archive for date: September 18th, 2017
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Some Sacramento-area water agencies would end up paying for a small share of the Delta tunnels under a last-minute alternative funding plan pitched by one of the state’s largest farming groups. 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.
A bipartisan federal bill was introduced Monday that aims to rehabilitate the Tijuana River Valley after a series of sewage spills in the area and to implement ways to prevent future spills. The Tijuana River Valley Comprehensive Protection and Rehabilitation Act of 2017, introduced at a news conference by Reps. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, and Darrell Issa, R-Vista, would provide grant funding and develop a coordinated plan to update the area’s infrastructure to prevent the flooding of sewage, trash and sediment into the area along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Immigration and housing dominated the headlines from Sacramento this year. But with little fanfare, state lawmakers working with Gov. Jerry Brown also approved a sweeping measure to provide $4.1 billion in new funding for parks and water projects — everything from building Bay Area hiking trails to expanding Lake Tahoe beaches to constructing new inner city parks in Los Angeles.
California is increasing the pressure on millions of Californians to help pay for two giant water tunnels that Gov. Jerry Brown wants built. The Associated Press obtained documents Friday and confirmed the expanded funding proposal in interviews with state and local water officials. Brown wants to re-engineer California’s north-south water system in the $16 billion project. Amid doubts about whether the mega-project is worth the cost, no big water district has yet to sign on to help pay.
Several groups converged at Los Angeles City Hall Monday with a demand: that the official advocate responsible for fighting for the interests of Department of Water and Power customers be fired. Many took issue in particular with his conclusions on a controversial $16 billion water tunnel project in northern California. Representatives of Consumer Watchdog and other groups say the utility’s official “ratepayer advocate,” Fred Pickel, has not been working on the side of customers. They have launched a campaign to oust him.
Repairs to the Oroville Dam spillway are on track for the Nov. 1 deadline, state Department of Water Resources representatives say, but work will be far from over then. The November deadline was set in the hopes of beating the start of the area’s typical rainy season. The spillway will be functional by then, able to pass flows of 100,000 cubic-feet per second, or cfs, according to DWR’s plans, but the structure will have a higher capacity when the redesign is complete.
In the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, large sections of southeast Texas and southern Florida were underwater. The massive flooding has claimed the lives of more than 100 people, and AccuWeather predicts that the economic cost of the two storms will be almost $300 billion. Right now, California may be dealing with more fire than flood, but there are still important lessons that the state can learn from Harvey and Irma, says Nicholas Pinter, the associate director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis.
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. In coming weeks, the districts are expected to decide if they want to sign on to California WaterFix — a long-planned proposal to construct two massive tunnels that would change the way water supplies move through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
With decision time approaching for water districts being asked to fund the most expensive water project in California history, the head of California’s largest water wholesaler Monday warned there is no room for subsidies or withdrawal from participation. “All of us have to work together to make this work, and all of us need to pay our share,” said Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Southern California Metropolitan Water District (MWD).