From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

Editorial: Delta tunnels just another South State water grab?

Coalition response...Questions from individuals and organizations from throughout the State, including the Sacramento Valley, have been directed for years toward the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Questions related to protection of local water supplies have been answered with existing California law that safeguards areas of origin and prohibits any new projects from negatively impacting existing water rights.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is an effort to obtain a 50-year endangered species permit that will improve the Delta through habitat restoration and protection of species. In doing so it is expected that water supply reliability will improve for users who have a legal right to use existing water supplies. The BDCP does not increase the average amount of water that has been delivered through the Delta over the past 20 years. This permit should improve water supply reliability for almost 4,000 farms and 25 million Californians. The importance of a dependable supply of water to farmers means California consumers can depend on a variety of safe, healthy and affordable food products from local sources.

An explanation of the operation of the proposed tunnels as been on the BDCP website for five months with an easy-to-understand diagram of variable export rates based on Sacramento River flow conditions. When water levels are high in the Sacramento River, more water will be available to move through the tunnels. When river levels are low, less water will be diverted. Individuals seeking to learn more about the flow of water through the tunnels can read it themselves at

Attempts to compare the proposed tunnels to the Peripheral Canal of 1982 are an effort that is absent in facts. Capacity of the tunnels is only 9,000 cubic feet per second and the canal would have transported 21,800 cfs. Many other improvements have been incorporated into the current BDCP process thanks to public input and responsiveness by the Resources Agency. Learn more about the differences between yesterday’s canal and today’s state-of-the-art tunnel proposal at

The economic impact study of the tunnel proposal identifies an $84 billion contribution to the State’s economy and $11 billion in new job wages during the first ten years of the permit. Who is opposed to that as the state recovers from tough economic times?

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