Plans to divert fresh water from the Sacramento River and send it through two tunnels to pumps on the southern end of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta could devastate the San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystem. Baykeeper has worked to oppose the construction of Delta tunnels for many years. Now, we have issued a summary of our science-based position for rejecting the tunnels plan, known as California WaterFix.
Consistent with the conclusions of agencies, independent scientists, and other nonprofit organizations, Baykeeper has determined that:
- Changes in the point of freshwater diversion will create more lagoon-like conditions in the Delta, resulting in decreased water quality in the Bay and Delta.
- Reductions in freshwater flow through the Delta increase the likelihood of toxic algae blooms and increase concentrations of toxic pollutants, including selenium, mercury, and pesticides.
- Implementation of Cal WaterFix will worsen flow conditions that have contributed to the near extinction of the delta smelt and Chinook salmon.
- Reduced freshwater flows through the Delta will intensify the harmful effects of climate change on the Bay and Delta.
Baykeeper’s summary report also offers recommendations of better ways to ensure a reliable California water supply and restore the Bay-Delta ecosystem. It is vital that California use simpler and more effective solutions than the Delta tunnels to ensure a healthier future for our water supply and waterways.