Meeting on Delta tunnel project Wednesday in Sacramento

Published: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 3:40 pm
Last Modified: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 3:53 pm

The public is invited to a meeting in Sacramento on Wednesday to learn more about Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to build two giant water diversion tunnels in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The meeting will focus on the last round of draft project chapters, released in May. The highlight of these documents is Chapter 8, which outlines anticipated project costs and funding sources.

The project, officially known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, has been in development for seven years. It proposes two massive water tunnels, each 40 feet in diameter and 35 miles long. These would divert a portion of the Sacramento River's flow, using three new intakes on the river near Courtland, and deliver it to existing state and federal pump systems near Tracy.

Total cost is estimated at about $25 billion. Plumbing hardware would be paid for by bonds issued by the California Department of Water Resources, and repaid by water rates charged to beneficiaries of the project. The price tag also includes about $4 billion in habitat restoration projects funded by separate bond measures, which would require future voter approval.

California state officials and water users consider the project necessary to restore endangered fish species and to make freshwater deliveries from the Delta more reliable. Critics, including environmental groups and Delta residents, say the project will damage farming and water quality in the Delta with no guarantee the habitat restoration will help.

Wednesday's meeting is from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center, 2001 Point West Way, in Sacramento. Staff will be available from noon to 6 p.m. to answer questions. For more information, visit: baydeltaconservationplan.com.

The meeting is also available on a listen-only conference call by dialing (888) 369-1427, access code 8278112. Questions can also be emailed to info@baydeltaconservationplan.com

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matt Weiser



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