Delta Tunnel News: CA Water Board Gets “Fixed” Application to Take Water

For Immediate Release: Tuesday September 1, 2015
Osha Meserve 916/425-9914
Dante Nomellini 209/465-3956
Brian Smith 415/320-9384

CA Water Resources Control Board Gets “Fixed” Application
from DWR and USBR To Take Water;
Ignores Requirements and Private Property Rights Needed for Project

Sacramento, CA – Focusing on false and misleading information provided by state and federal officials to take water supplies, Local Agencies of the North Delta and the Central Delta Water Agency have filed objections to the potential perjury caused by the misinformation contained in the DWR/USBR August 26, 2015 petition filed to divert water some 35 miles of the Delta estuary.
In yet another attempt to rush building of massive underground water tunnels that would drain the Delta of fresh water and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, last week DWR and USBR filed a petition to change the water export points for the federal and state water projects.

Petition filed by DWR and the Bureau
The letter released today from farms and local landowners seeks withdrawal of the water take petition based on misleading and false information provided, utter failure to disclose injuries to other water users, impacts to communities and economic livelihoods based on present water right diversion points. 
These communities and landowners decried the incomplete petition for its failure to disclose the impacts from taking much of the freshwater from the Delta just south of the City of Sacramento.  The Petition also falsely claims that DWR and/or the Bureau already own the thousands of acres of private land that would be taken to construct the Water Tunnels project. The letter to the SWRCB requests action to remedy that these serious omissions in the Petition make it defective and compel the SWRCB to reject it as incomplete.
Read the Delta agencies’ letter.
“This is a rush to push through water rights changes for the Delta Water Tunnels, which includes a massive private land grab, while the project is still under public review,” said Central Delta Water Agency attorney Dante Nomellini. “The Tunnels do not create new water during droughts, but they would substantially degrade water quality, and take thousands of acres of sustainable Delta farmland and homes.” 
Osha Meserve, counsel for Local Agencies of the North Delta, said “It is shocking that after nine years of planning for the Delta Tunnels project, that DWR and the Bureau would submit such a deficient and misleading Petition.  The cavalier manner in which some of the most senior water rights in the state are dismissed as nonexistent – stating that they are ‘N/A’ –  is very disturbing given the major changes to Delta waterways being proposed.”  As a result of the false statements in the Petition, review by local law enforcement is being sought to investigate whether state and federal officials committed perjury.
Rather than continuing to take actions that degrade water quality in the San Francisco Bay-Delta, as would occur if the Water Tunnels are built, Californians must work together to save water and create jobs through conservation, storage, and effective drought planning.   Instead, the Water Tunnels project trades off one listed fish for another, and benefits unsustainable mega-farms in the San Joaquin Valley while destroying multi-generational Delta family farms and threatening the irreplaceable fish and wildlife of the Delta.

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