Northern California Members of Congress Urge Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water Resources to Provide Transparency about Proposed California Water Fix
Today, Reps. John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, Mike Thompson and Doris Matsui (D-CA), each of whom represent communities that would be severely impacted by the Governor’s California WaterFix, delivered a letter to the Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources calling for responses to a recent cost-benefit analysis of the California WaterFix Tunnels project. The analysis, prepared by Dr. Jeffrey Michael at the University of the Pacific, raises key questions about the plan. The letter also raises a number of questions based upon another recent and unofficially released cost-benefit analysis prepared by David Sunding for the California Natural Resources Agency.
“The analysis done by Dr. Michael shows that the advertised benefits of the Twin Tunnels simply don’t hold water,” said Congressman Garamendi. “Both cost-benefit breakdowns of the WaterFix that have been released to the public raise major questions about the viability of the project, and its funding sources.”
“The numbers don’t pencil out for farmers south of the Delta,” said Congressman McNerney. “Delta farming operations could be severely disrupted, and endangered species are at risk of not surviving the consequences of this massive project. The WaterFix plan’s costs outweigh the alleged benefits and would require a large federal subsidy, while causing irreparable harm to Delta and Northern California communities who have not been adequately included in project negotiations. I urge the state to move away from the flawed WaterFix tunnels plan and implement the cost-effective policy solutions already outlined in the California Water Action Plan – like conservation, recycling, increased efficiency, and storage – that will ensure sustainable water supplies for a healthy Delta ecosystem and California’s farmers and communities statewide.”
“Both reports confirm what we’ve long suspected –WaterFix doesn’t make good financial sense for California,” said Rep. Thompson. “Under these analyses, water users and even federal taxpayers would be on the hook for investments in a project that can’t promise better water deliveries. State and federal water agencies must not be allowed to squander taxpayer dollars on infrastructure that would devastate the Delta without any guaranteed benefit.”
The letter can be viewed here.