Two major water districts, in Southern California and Silicon Valley, recently voted to help pay for the proposed Delta Tunnels project—despite the fact that the project will harm San Francisco Bay and waterways across the state.
If completed, the Delta Tunnels would divert huge quantities of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Southern California cities and Central Valley farms. The Delta Tunnels project would mean less water flowing into the Bay and Delta—an estuary that is already starved for fresh water.
By supporting the project, the Santa Clara Valley Water District may be trying to buy some control over the Delta Tunnels plan. "But there is no guaranteed increase in water supply for Santa Clara Valley ratepayers," says Baykeeper Staff Attorney Ben Eichenberg. “Silicon Valley residents may end up on the hook for a hugely expensive, ineffective, and damaging project."
Baykeeper and our allies are advocating for more sensible and inexpensive alternatives. Water recycling, upgrades to existing infrastructure, and rainwater capture are examples of ways to increase California's water supply without harming the environment.
Southern California’s Metropolitan Water District is set to re-vote on the Delta Tunnels in early July. Regardless of the vote’s outcome, Baykeeper will continue to advocate for smart water management that doesn't put the Bay-Delta Estuary at risk.
Photo courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources