California launches public meetings on Delta water tunnel project

01/15/2014 11:18 AM

10/07/2014 9:06 PM

A series of public meetings on the giant water diversion tunnels proposed in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta begin today in Fresno and continue into February across the state.

The massive project calls for two tunnels, each 40 feet in diameter and 35 miles long, to divert some of the Sacramento River’s flow under the threatened estuary to existing diversion canals. It also includes 100,000 acres of habitat restoration.

The goal of the project, estimated to cost $25 billion, is to balance the state’s water demands with environmental protections for the sensitive estuary. Delta water estuary serves about 3 million acres of farmland and 25 million people from San Jose to San Diego.

State officials released a draft plan and environmental impact study on the project in December. A series of public meetings to discuss those documents begins today in Fresno. That meeting will be held at the Fresno Convention Center, 848 M St., from 3 to 7 p.m.

The meetings are an open-house format, in which the public can drop in at any time to view informational exhibits and ask questions of project representatives. A court reporter will also be on hand to record comments.

Eleven more meetings are planned across the state through Feb. 12. Meetings in the Sacramento area include Jan. 21 in Stockton, Jan. 29 in Walnut Grove, Jan. 30 in Sacramento and Feb. 12 in Clarksburg.

Public comments will be accepted through April 14. For more information, call (866) 924-9955 or visit http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/.

 

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