Public comment period through October 27.
Governor Newsom cancelled the Delta Tunnel project (then called California WaterFix) in early 2019 and promised a fresh look at the project.
Now, two-and-a-half years later, the Department of Water Resources has just released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the current version of the Delta Tunnel, which it calls the Delta Conveyance Project.
Despite DWR’s claims, the single tunnel project is no better for the Delta than the twin tunnels project. Here are the key issues:
- 2-3 intakes on the Sacramento River in Hood, Courtland, and possibly Clarksburg. Each intake would be a quarter of a mile long and take 3000 cubic feet per second from the river.
- By taking fresh water from the top of the Delta and bypassing the rest of the ecosystem, less fresh water will be available in the Delta, resulting in degraded water quality for Delta residents, agriculture, fish and wildlife.
- The 40-foot diameter concrete tunnel would be approximately 45 miles long, buried 150 feet below the surface.
- 14 years of construction, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, creating air pollution, noise, community and business disruption, and economic losses for the Delta.
- Heavy truck trips on I-5 and local roads (200,000+ truck trips).
- More Harmful Algae Blooms (HABS) in the Delta.
- Permanent Tunnel Muck – 123 acres of muck piled 15 feet high with no plan to actually re-use the so-called “Reusable Tunnel Material.”
- Loss of farmland for construction of intakes and the tunnel.
Loss of even more farmland for habitat restoration to mitigate the negative impacts to the already fragile Delta ecosystem.
What are the next steps?
We will be working to review the new DEIR to provide comments. We will be holding workshops in Clarksburg to understand the current proposal and develop our community response. We won once — we can win again.