Aug 06 2012

Activists Ramp Up Opposition to California Water Pipeline Project

Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed $23 billion water tunnel is being called a corporate water-grab scheme by environmental and consumer advocacy groups organizing to stop it.

The Peripheral Tunnels project announced this month will divert water from the Sacramento river into two underground tunnels underneath the Sacramento Delta to a pumping facility 37 miles to the south. The water would eventually be used on San Joaquin Valley farms and in Southern Californian cities, including Los Angeles. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 with an estimated price tag of $14 billion dollars to be paid by the state’s two largest water districts, the Metropolitan Water district in L.A. and the Westlands Water District in Fresno. Californian taxpayers will cover the remaining $9 billion allocated for the new tunnels’ operation and wetland restoration around the Sacramento Delta.

The project has drawn the ire of California environmentalists who fear that the plan will only hasten the Delta’s collapse. More diversions of freshwater from the ecosystem, they say, will increase the estuary’s salinity and destroy already diminished fish populations. The consumer advocacy group Food and Water Watch says their independent economic analysis shows L.A. rate payers will likely be hit with rate hikes to cover the project’s cost.

GUESTS: Brenna Norton, Organizer with Food & Water Watch and Conner Everts, Executive Director of Southern California Watershed Alliance and Co-chair of the Desal Response Group

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One response so far

One Response to “Activists Ramp Up Opposition to California Water Pipeline Project”

  1. Brenton 27 Feb 2014 at 7:40 am

    It should be noted that for $14 billion you could build a large enough water desalination plant to meet the needs to 30 million people. That is more than 75% of the entire population of California. In doing so you would also almost entirely eliminate the threat of drought fueled resource management issues and have enough natural water resources for farmers to expand and for lakes to be filled. Instead of leading the way for depletion of natural fresh water resources and habitats California should be leadin the way in preserving these and creating more jobs through the creation large scale desalination plants. If you really want to stop this pipeline project this should be brought to the public attention because desalinization is more effecient, more reliable, will create more jobs and in general is much better for farmers and the environment at a smaller price tag. How could Californians say no to that?