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. Now Brown’s son, the current Gov. Jerry Brown, is calling on Southern California to support another massive water project – the Delta tunnels, a controversial plan aimed at fixing the system his father helped build.
Archive for date: October 9th, 2017
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Unprecedented amounts of rain fell across Northern California last winter, ending a damaging drought that reached to the southern edges of San Diego County. The dramatic turnaround was highlighted by a series of powerful, river-like storms that might become more frequent in the future. That’s the thinking of many scientists, including Marty Ralph, director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Scripps researcher Alexander “Sasha” Gershunov. Ralph and Gershunov put the past and future in perspective during a discussion with the Union-Tribune.
The Metropolitan Water District Board in Los Angeles is scheduled to take a crucial vote Tuesday on whether to support a plan to build two massive tunnels underneath the Sacramento Delta. The $17 billion project promises to help maintain the flow of water from the state water project by easing pressure on endangered fish populations in the delta. Three new water intakes on the Sacramento River north of the delta would work in conjunction with the existing pump at the southern end of the delta.
After 11 years of planning, a massive tunnels project touted as a solution to the state’s vulnerable water supply faces its biggest test Tuesday. The 38-member board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California — the largest supplier of treated water in the United States delivering water to agencies serving 19 million people — is scheduled to vote on the $17 billion California WaterFix.
Environmentalists are adamant in their objections to moving water from Northern California south. They took a stand against the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta peripheral canal project in 1982, and they are against the delta tunnels project (the California WaterFix) now. I count myself an environmentalist but my position has long been less a stand than a crouch. I think the tunnels (or some form of them) are necessary but for years have preferred to let the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California take the heat for promoting them.
Water moves quickly but water policy slowly. For decades, Gov. Jerry Brown has wanted to shore up the State Water Project, the system of canals, pipelines and reservoirs that his father helped create and that now carries Northern California water to Southern California. In 1982, during Brown’s first stint as governor, he pushed for a big open canal to help ensure water would continue flowing south. Voters didn’t like that idea. Now, toward the end of his career, he’s backing a plan to build a pair of 35-mile underground tunnels instead.
The fate of a project that could cost Southern California water consumers billions of dollars hangs on a vote Tuesday at the Metropolitan Water District. It’s the California Water Fix. A $17-billion plan championed by Gov. Jerry Brown to build giant water tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. It would change how Northern California water is conveyed to the southern part of the state.