“FRESNO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown is set to reignite the state’s water wars when he makes the long-awaited announcement next week about plans to build a massive twin tunnel system to carry water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farmland and cities.
Already the $23.7 billion proposal is facing heavy criticism. Opponents say the tunnels will suck more water from the already fragile delta, further harming its fisheries, increasing costs for water users and devastating the area’s agricultural-based economy by destroying water quality.
Last week, 11 members of Congress from the area sent a letter to the governor and federal Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, urging them to conduct a statewide analysis before proceeding with the plan. They questioned the thoroughness of a report done for the state that found the project’s benefits outweigh the costs.
Supporters say the project is the long-overdue answer to pleas for a steady water supply to adequately supply farmers and municipalities south of the delta. They also claim the project’s location actually will help the region’s endangered fish species, especially the salmon and smelt.
State and federal officials acknowledge the plan has holes, but believe they will be able to address concerns as the project is built over the next 10 to 15 years.”
Read more: Huffington Post