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California's $17 Billion Delta Tunnel Project Had a No Good, Very Bad Day

The first water agency to weigh in on the $17 billion water tunnel project proposed for California's Bay Delta delivered a potentially fatal blow to the project.
September 20, 2017, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Bay Delta Drawbridge
The Rio Vista Bridge, located on the Bay Delta in Solano County.
Hank Shiffman

Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow report: "A large agricultural district Tuesday dealt a potentially fatal blow to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Delta tunnels project, voting overwhelmingly not to help pay for the $17 billion plan to remake the fragile estuary that serves as the hub of California’s water delivery network."

"Westlands Water District’s board of directors, following more than an hour of debate over the tunnels’ costs, voted 7-1 against participating in the project, known officially as California WaterFix," add Kasler and Sabalow.

The article describes the decision by Westlands as a "huge blow." The district would have funded a $3 billion share of the project. Ryan Sabalow also took to Twitter to share the opinion of one of Southern California's most powerful water executives, Metropolitan Water District General manager Jeff Kightlinger.

The article includes a lot more detail about the thinking behind the Westlands decision, as well as the political context the decision will affect.

This isn't the first bad news for the California WaterFix project to emerge in September. Earlier this month, the Associated press reported that an audit had revealed improper spending on the project by the federal government.

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in The Sacramento Bee
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