Governor Brown Forgoes Details on the Status of the Delta Tunnels Project in Final State of the State Address

SACRAMENTO – This morning, Governor Jerry Brown briefly discussed the Delta tunnels project (CA WaterFix) during his final State of the State address, defending his persistence on the project, but dodging the burning question on the minds of the press, environmental groups, Northern California tribes, commercial and recreational fishermen, and environmental justice communities: will the tunnels scale down to a smaller one tunnel project, or stay the course of two tunnels that are built in phases?
Tunnels opponents are convinced that neither solution will save CA WaterFix from failure, and will deal a devastating blow to the health of the ailing San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary.
In his State of the State address, Governor Jerry Brown focused on fighting climate change and preparing for natural disasters noting, “We can’t fight nature; we have to learn to get along with it.”
Executive Director of Restore the Delta Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla responded,
“That is why the Delta tunnels are such a bad idea. One or two 35-mile pipes to divert the Sacramento River from the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary is not a plan to get along with nature.
“We agree with Governor Brown’s comments about climate change science, planning, and response. This is the most important government work that should be done. However, Delta tunnels that will have less and less water in them with declining watersheds are not a sustainable water management solution to meet our climate change challenges.
“We disagree with the Governor’s beliefs that the CA WaterFix will conserve water and protect fish. The EIR for WaterFix shows that fish like Delta smelt and salmon do worse with the tunnels. Moreover, how are the tunnels going to be used to conserve water when water will have to be continuously delivered to repay $17 billion worth of bonds, plus interest, and operations?”


For immediate release: 1/25/18
Nora Kovaleski, 408-806-6470,
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta, 209-479-2053,

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