For Immediate Release: 1/7/2016
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, 209-479-2053, email@example.com
Gov. Brown Includes $3.6 Million for Delta Tunnels
Water users were to fund project, not taxpayers
Sacramento – In today’s California Budget Summary for 2016-17, Governor Jerry Brown includes $3.6 million funding for the highly controversial Delta Tunnels project (California WaterFix). The money would come out of the General Fund to the Delta Stewardship Council and is intended to incorporate the Delta Water Tunnels conveyance project into the Delta Plan.
The Delta Plan was originally written for incorporation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) a plan that failed to meet Federal guidelines for water quality and fishery standards. The new plan for the Delta Tunnels (WaterFix) has already received a failing grade from the Federal EPA. The separated out and reduced conservation effort is now called “EcoRestore.”
Here is the language at issue on page 107 in the pdf.
"Update of the Delta Plan—An increase of $3.6 million General Fund for the Delta Stewardship Council to implement the Delta Science Plan and incorporate the WaterFix Delta conveyance project into the Delta Plan."
The “WaterFix” has not received any of the state or federal permits required to begin construction. The Governor is rushing the permitting process at the California State Water Resources Control Board despite the fact that the best available science needed to evaluate these permits is now more than 20 years old. The Bay-Delta Water Quality control plan is now 7535 days overdue.
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta issued the following statement today:
“Governor Brown promised Californians that no money from Proposition 1 would be used for the Delta tunnels. Now the Governor's budget is calling for $3.6 million for the Delta Stewardship Council to include the tunnels into the Delta Plan from these same bond funds that have been put into the General Fund. He has broken his promise to taxpayers.
“Governor Brown wants to waste more taxpayer money to prop up a hugely controversial project that was supposed to be paid for by the water exporters. It's time for the madness to end. Let’s redirect available funding to projects that will make California water more resilient to climate change and extended droughts. Water recycling, urban water conservation, groundwater recharging, and storm water capture are all projects that are desperately needed, as we see by the massive flooding in Southern California today. The tunnels fail to address those opportunities. The Delta Tunnels are a 20th Century fix to a 21st Century problem.”