On July 25, Governor Brown announced his plan to drill two 33-foot tunnels 150 feet under California’s Delta, big enough to siphon the entire Sacramento River to thirsty San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and Southern California cities.
Previous plans to build a “Peripheral Canal” were defeated by California voters in 1982 during Brown’s first tenure as governor of California.
The Governor is refusing to define any specifics of the project and is asking citizens to just “trust us.” Water export amounts and fishery protection flows are being put off until after the project is constructed, a “plumbing before policy” decision to misinform the public about the true costs. Cost estimates are significantly underestimated.
While Peripheral Tunnel proponents claim that the beneficiaries of the project will pay for it, they are planning on substantial subsidies from state and federal taxpayers amounting to billions more borrowed dollars.
Much more cost effective means of providing water supply reliability including recycling, conservation, storm water capture, desalination and reinstatement of the urban water preference in State Water Project contracts. A cost/benefit study found for every $2.50 spent on the project, there would be only $1 in benefits.
On Tues., Sept. 18, at 7 pm at Northern Delights Coffeehouse on Main Street in Hayfork, Trinity County, Tom Stokely will present his program on this crucial issue regarding water in northern California. All are welcome to this free event.
Tom Stokely, a former Trinity County natural resources planner, worked for 20 years on passage and implementation of the 2000 Trinity River Record of Decision that reallocated water back to the Trinity River for fishery restoration.
Now Tom works with the California Water Impact Network, which promotes the equitable and environmental use of California’s water, including instream uses, through research, planning, public education and litigation.