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1 Tunnel Theory

We've always said the people of L.A. will get their water one way or another, or else.

Jan 18, 2018

We don't claim to know if any Delta tunnels will ever be built, but we do think if anythng ever happens it will only be 1 tunnel.  It's kind of a waste of money when there's a perfectly good delivery system in place right now that just needs a little environmental accountability added to the equation.  If something like that were to happen there would be adequate water for all.  But, since the likelihood of that happening is slim, the other possibility is a tunnel system of either one or two tunnels.  We've always said the people of L.A. will get their water one way or another, or else.  Too many voters to ignore.  As for farmers in the Central Valley, well, that's another story. 


According to the San Jose Mercury News, "Governor Brown’s Department of Water Resources has been negotiating with major California water agencies in recent weeks on a revised plan to build just one tunnel at slightly more than half the cost of the original project...The new approach... could be announced within the next month, said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the influential Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 19 million people in Los Angeles, San Diego and other areas."  19 million people...they will get their water.


The two tunnel vision was priced way out of reach for farmers who have a lot of land but not a lot of people.  However, the cost for one tunnel can easily be spread over 19 million people in Southern California.  Still, environmental groups are not totally as ease with the one tunnel plan.  Jonas Minton, a senior water analyst with the Planning and Conservation League observed, "the problem with a somewhat smaller version is that it still lacks all the safeguards required to ensure that it will not destroy the environment and economy of the Bay Delta estuary.”  And, "complicating Brown’s plans, his administration has not been able to guarantee that the tunnels will allow any more water to be pumped out of the Delta than is being pumped out now." 


That's quite a deal.  Spend $10-$17-billion on a plan that might leave everyone right where they started. 


By the way, we pointed out in a March 2013 newsletter (Tunnels, Will They Ever Be Built?), "the Natural Resources Defense Council, always the lead group when it comes to stabbing Central Valley farmers in the back (see SJ River Restoration and the Delta Smelt) is proposing a smaller version of the tunnels which would get water to L.A., but leave farmers out of the deal."  They always knew if any tunnels were built it would just be the one tunnel. 

Brown administration working to scale down $17 billion Delta tunnels project

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