May 02, 2019
From Christie Kalkowski, Bureau of Reclamation, Acting Public Affairs Officer for Mid-Pacific Region:
Reclamation has coordinated with the State as a joint petitioner to the State Water Resources Control Board for the Change in Point in Diversion process, and as the NEPA and Section 7 ESA Federal lead for the California WaterFix project.
Reclamation looks forward to working with and supporting the State to determine what a modified project as described in today’s press release would mean for the Central Valley Project.
From Maurice Hall at the Environmental Defense Fund:
“It’s critical that we address water supply and environmental needs in the Delta. Improved conveyance – if designed, operated and governed the right way – is almost certainly part of the solution. Pausing to take a fresh look at what the best answer is for California’s communities, farms and the environment is a smart move at this time.”
Maurice Hall, Associate VP, Ecosystems – Water
From John McManus at the Golden Gate Salmon Association:
“We are grateful to Governor Newsom and his team for the steps taken today. As a result, we’re more hopeful for the future of the salmon runs we rely on to feed our families and keep our communities whole. We’re more hopeful that California’s incredible salmon runs, natural resources, and environment might have a better chance to heal.
GGSA was party to a lawsuit challenging the twin tunnels and that suit may have played into the governor’s decision to call for a reset. Salmon fishermen and women look forward to working with the governor’s team on ways forward that share the state’s precious water in ways that work better for everyone.”
Golden Gate Salmon Association
From Jeffrey Kightlinger at the Metropolitan Water District:
“We are pleased that Gov. Newsom’s Administration has reaffirmed a strong commitment to modernize the state’s water delivery infrastructure with a single-tunnel project in the Delta. We will work with the administration to expeditiously advance a project that is long overdue to both meet the water reliability needs of the state and minimize impacts to the communities and ecology of the Delta.
“Governor Newsom and Natural Resources Secretary Crowfoot recognize that the status quo in the Delta is simply not an option. New conveyance is essential. The current system is already outdated and vulnerable; climate change will further stress it with a future of sea level rise and increasingly intense floods and droughts. We must work together to California’s infrastructure and make our water supply more climate resilient.”
From Doug Obegi for the Natural Resources Defense Council:
““Over the last decade, Delta communities, fishermen, and conservation groups have risen up to take a stand against the WaterFix project to protect the health of the Bay-Delta estuary. Today’s announcement appears to mark the successful end of that fight. We now look forward to working with the Newsom Administration on sustainable water solutions that will protect the economy and the environment.”
From Barbara Barrigan-Parilla at Restore the Delta:
“We are extremely pleased that the Department of Water Resources has withdrawn its application for the twin tunnels project. We are relieved that our coalition’s critique of CA WaterFix made before the State Water Resources Control Board was taken seriously. We support a portfolio approach to solving California’s water challenges. We will collaborate and participate in as many processes as possible, and we will support other communities in California working on regional water solutions. Naturally, as Delta people we don’t care for tunnels, but we look forward to engaging in an honest and transparent public process that helps move us towards the co-equal goals of the Delta Reform Act of 2009, including reducing reliance on the Delta.”
From Save the California Delta Alliance:
Save the California Delta Alliance attorney Michael Brodsky reacted to the news today that the California WaterFix is dead. “We are overjoyed that our long battle against this ill-concieved project has finally paid off and that the Newsom administration has reached the only possible rational conclusion: that the massive twin-tunnel project makes no sense. It would have destroyed the aquatic environment through siphoning off up to half of the Delta’s fresh water supply. It would have destroyed our Delta way of life through eleven years of construction on our scenic Delta waterways and in the midst of our fragile Delta legacy communities.
We, and many others, have long advocated a portfolio solution. The Newsom administration is now listening. Whether a smaller single tunnel has any place in the ultimate solution we shall have to see. However, an honest assessment of all potential portfolio elements, as the Governor’s executive order specifies, may well make it clear to everyone that there are other, better, more cost effective solutions than new diversion projects.”
From Charles Wilson at the Southern California Water Coalition:
“Today’s announcement demonstrated that under the Governor’s leadership, this administration remains committed to addressing California’s complex water challenges. By supporting a modern conveyance solution in the Delta, the Newsom administration is taking the much-needed action to secure California’s backbone source, protecting our precious water supplies against the increasing impacts of climate change and the uncertain threats of natural disaster.
This is no longer an either-or conversation. California needs a Delta tunnel and continued dedication to and investments in local supply projects. We need to kick this project into high-gear to secure a resilient water supply for generations.”
Southern California Water Coalition
From Jennifer Pierre at the State Water Contractors:
“We’re grateful that the Newsom Administration recognizes that a modern, conveyance solution in the Delta that moves forward now is a necessary part of the equation — ensuring that California’s water supply management is responsive to the imminent impacts of climate change and devastating threats of earthquake. California now has a renewed sense of urgency to advance the design and planning of a tunnel project that addresses what we’ve all known for decades: the status quo is completely unacceptable.
The State Water Contractors have developed successful local and regional projects to diversify and build out our water supply, but these projects are not a replacement for a statewide solution that will create a more resilient and sustainable California. We need to do it all, and we stand by the Newsom Administration in its commitment and dedication to implementing a multi-faceted solution that includes a Delta tunnel.”
State Water Contractors
From Chair Linda J. LeZotte of the Valley Water (formerly Santa Clara Valley Water District):
I am pleased to learn of Governor Newsom’s direction to modernize the Delta water system. The rightsized project will fulfill the state’s desire to improve the infrastructure that carries water through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
In October of 2017, Valley Water’s Board of Directors voted to support a project of the size and scope consistent with the Governor’s new direction.
Because as much as 55 percent of the water our county uses each year is drawn from the Delta or its tributaries, improving its health is important to Santa Clara County. Increasing stresses on the Delta infrastructure and ecosystem have led to greater restrictions on when water can move through the Delta to our county and others.
We all know something needs to be done to shore up the Delta so it can be resilient for future generations. We support Governor Newsom and his administration in their efforts to do what’s best for the Delta ecosystem and the people of California.