SACRAMENTO, CA—In response to an announcement by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service regarding their biological opinion of environmental impacts of the California “WaterFix” twin tunnels plan through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the Delta Counties Coalition (DCC) issued the following statement:
“The agencies responsible for protecting the sensitive and critical environmental balance that is the heart of the Delta are acting against the clear scientific evidence showing that this project is devastating for the Delta,” said San Joaquin County Supervisor Kathy Miller.
“It is incredibly difficult to understand or reconcile how the addition of 1,800 acres of habitat restoration to this massive water operations project now results in a “no-jeopardy” finding for the listed species; it certainly does nothing to reduce the socioeconomic impacts to the people that live and work in the Delta,” said Supervisor Diane Burgis of Contra Costa County.
“We are still hopeful that the ratepayers in water districts such as Metropolitan, Westlands, and Santa Clara, realize that $17.1 billion should only be spent on projects that will actually produce more water,” said Solano County Supervisor Skip Thomson.
The DCC advocates for protecting the interests of the Delta and California’s water supply and supports a set of approaches that will achieve balance for the economic and environmental health of the Delta while also improving water supply stability. These solutions include:
- Improving the ability to move water around as needed with cost-effective water system operation improvements.
- Increasing storage capacity.
- Reinforcing our levee system.
- Increasing opportunities for local storage, increased conservation plans, water reuse and recycling and desalination.
- Restoring the Delta’s health so that it can continue its role as an economic, agricultural, recreational and environmental engine for the region and state.
“There are currently multiple projects throughout California that provide these solutions and would cost billions less, and unlike the tunnels, would produce millions of acre-feet of new water to address the state’s current and long-term water needs,” noted San Joaquin County Supervisor, Chuck Winn. “Also, the additional storage would greatly benefit the environment and reduce the adverse impacts of floods and future droughts.”
For more information on the Delta Counties Coalition, visit them at www.delta.saccounty.net