Today! Cali residents can question Metropolitan Water District about Delta Tunnels/Waterfix plan

  • Published on September 15th, 2016

By Dan Bacher

Delta residents will have a great opportunity to ask the major Delta Tunnels proponent and Delta islands purchaser, the stop the delta tunnels photo by dan bacherMetropolitan Water District of Southern California, some tough questions, in Stockton on September 15. Restore the Delta (RTD) encourages you to attend. See the meeting details below.

Governor Jerry Brown is currently promoting the California WaterFix, the plan to build two massive tunnels under the Delta to facilitate the export of northern California water to corporate agribusiness interests and Southern California water agencies, as his “legacy” project. The multi-billion dollar project will hasten the extinction of Central Valley steelhead, Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta and longfin smelt and other fish species, as well as imperiling the salmon and steelhead populations on the Trinity and Klamath rivers.

Via the Delta Protection Commission:

The Delta Protection Commission will hold its next meeting on Thursday, September 15, 2016.

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM (end time is approximate) WorkNet Center, 2nd Floor 56 S. Lincoln Street, Stockton, CA 95203

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board Chairman Randy Record will speak on the recent MWD purchase of Delta islands, and there will be a presentation on Blue-Green Algae.

To download the agenda and other relevant documents, please click here: http://www.delta.ca.gov/Meetings_2016_09-15-16.htm

For some background and ideas of what to ask, check out these previous questions RTD submitted from Sacramento Bee’s biased event with Metropolitan Water District’s General Manager Jeff Kightlinger:

1. Why does MWD staff continue to tell MWD board members that the Delta Tunnels will provide them more water when it is clear that climate change will lead to less snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and reduce flows to fill the tunnels?

2. Are you confident that your property-tax payers and ratepayers understand the magnitude of potential costs of this risky and expensive project that will take 14 years to build if all goes according to plan? Do your ratepayers understand the project will not bring them any drought relief?

3. Given these high stakes for the public, will you pledge to give ratepayers and property tax- payers a vote on the project? Will you pledge that there will be no cost overruns and the project will be completed on time?

4. Can you provide us with Metropolitan’s cost-benefit analysis that has been used to arrive at the conclusion to support the project? How many billions of dollars will Metropolitan Water District be paying for its share of the project?

5. Official State environmental documents indicate that the tunnels cannot increase water exports out of the Bay-Delta Estuary without unacceptable sacrifices to water quality protections for the Bay-Delta and for endangered species. Will you commit to accepting no additional exports (or even less water) from the Delta if the tunnels are built to protect Bay-Delta water quality and species?

6. Metropolitan is proposing to spend hundreds of millions on the purchase of the Delta Islands with a declaration that “no” decision has been made to use these islands as a means to export more water. Will you pledge today that the islands will not be used as a means to take even more water from this imperiled estuary?

7. Can you promise that the Delta Islands purchase will not be paid for by California taxpayers, such as by applying for Proposition 1 funding, to meet your existing mitigation obligations for present water exports from this imperiled estuary?

(Image by Dan Bacher)

About the Author

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento who focuses on California's water issues, a healthy environment for the salmon fishery of the Northwest, and the attempts by big agriculture and big oil to hog all the water.