Wednesday August 24, 2022

Sacramento News and Review

The California Department of Water Resources, or DWR, has released the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the embattled Delta Tunnel, beginning the 90-day public comment period from July 27 to October 27 for what conservationists describe as an “environmentally destructive project.” 

According to project opponents, different versions of this same gigantic and wasteful public works project — the Peripheral Canal, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the California Water Fix and now the single Delta Conveyance — have cast a dark, toxic shadow over California water policy since it was first decisively rejected by California voters in November 1982 as the Peripheral Canal.

While tunnel advocates claim the tunnel will protect the reliability of water transport infrastructure, address the impacts of sea level rise, and improve the Delta’s aquatic conditions, critics say the project will do none of these things, instead hastening the extinction of Sacramento River winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, the Central Valley steelhead, the Delta and longfin smelt, and the green sturgeon. It’s feared these fish species will die off as the multi-billion tunnel keeps indebting Californians for generations to come.

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