Baykeeper Update

Baykeeper Issues Opposition Paper to Cal WaterFix Delta Tunnels Plan

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.