California Delta Project Facing Approval Challenges
California Governor Jerry Brown wants to build a pair of tunnels to get water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California. However, the project, called California WaterFix, will not get a certification it needs from the Delta Stewardship Council, meaning it will not have approval before Brown’s departure in January.
The California Department of Water Resources withdrew its petition to the council after feedback that the analysis was lacking, particularly related to climate change and its effect on water usage. Environmental and conservation groups consider the withdrawal a victory. They say the tunnels will remove too much water from the delta and adversely affect fish and wildlife.
The project was supposed to remedy the main problem with the water system: pumps near Tracy, California, that kill fish and cause delta water to flow backward. The result has been rationing of water in the Central Valley, Southern California, and the San Francisco Bay Area.