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Backroom Deals

"It is interesting to note that Santa Clara’s renewed interest is at the same time that the governor’s water commission has just determined that Santa Clara is eligible to receive $485 million."

May 01, 2018

Just last October the San Jose Mercury News reported that the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board "made the most courageous decision in its history...when it stood up to direct pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown and rejected his $17 billion plan to build two, 35-mile long, four-story tall tunnels."  That was last October.

Last Friday the Mercury News reported 
"In a dramatic reversal of its stance just six months ago, Silicon Valley’s largest water district has scheduled a vote Wednesday on a plan to commit up to $650 million to Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial proposal to build two massive tunnels."  So what happened?

According to Jonas Minton, senior water policy adviser at the Planning and Conservation League, "It is interesting to note that Santa Clara’s renewed interest is at the same time that the governor’s water commission has just determined that Santa Clara is eligible to receive $485 million to build a new dam.”

That's not all.  In February the California Water Commission recommended against funding the Pacheco Dam Project, a project of the Santa Clara Water District which is seeking Prop 1 funding.  In just the past couple of weeks the water board had closed door meetings with the Brown administration, then the announcement by the Water Commission that Santa Clara would be getting the full $485 million they were requesting for the dam.  That was followed by the water district's announcement that they would be voting on supporting the tunnels. 

The San Jose Mercury News editorialized, "
The twin-tunnels plan hasn’t changed in the last six months. But the ugly politics have."

Santa Clara, by the way, gets their water from San Luis Reservoir.  Their new reservoir would allow them to put 130,000 acre feet of San Luis water into their new Pacheco Reservoir.  The Mercury News reports the "district would take water it now stores in nearby San Luis Reservoir and pipe it into the new reservoir, filling it in wet years. There’s already a pipe, known as the San Felipe Project, running from San Luis Reservoir through the mountains into Anderson Reservoir, so building a connection to bring the water into the San Jose area would be relatively easy, district officials believe."

Temperance Flat supporters must be wondering how they can get a backroom deal to get their dam built.

In reversal, Santa Clara Valley Water District may provide $650 million to Brown’s Delta tunnels plan

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