Gov. Jerry Brown promoted his twin tunnels plan during the State of the State address today, expressing concern for regions that are “critically dependent” on the Delta for water.
He named those regions: the Silicon Valley. The Livermore Valley. Farmers on the San Joaquin Valley’s east side. Farmers on the west side between Tracy and Los Banos. Urban Southern California. Northern Contra Costa County.
But there was no mention of Stockton and its new $220 million Delta drinking water plant. Not a word about San Joaquin County’s $2 billion annual ag industry, a portion of which depends on the Delta for irrigation water.
Stockton’s new assemblywoman, Susan Eggman, pointed this out in a statement after the speech:
“The governor’s description of farming’s water needs includes everyone but the farmers in the heart of the San Joaquin Delta,” Eggman said. ”A plan that doesn’t recognize and protect the needs of the people who actually live and work in the Delta, and threatens its environmental health and the survival of its native species, is not a sound plan for San Joaquin County, or California.”
Here’s what other folks are saying about the governor’s recommitment to the tunnels:
“California’s long-term water problems cannot be solved without the vision and leadership from the state and federal governments. Gov. Brown’s solid commitment to addressing our water supply and environmental issues is precisely what we need at this critical time. The right plan and the right investments in the Delta will serve California well for the next 100 years. Metropolitan looks forward to working constructively with the state and federal leaders and other stakeholders to make this plan a reality.” — Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
“Any proposed solution must balance Delta concerns with protections for the rights of north state water users… Our region, and each and every one of its citizens, must be protected.” — Sacramento-area Regional Water Authority
“Unfortunately, Gov. Brown’s speech failed to mention that the people of the Delta in a catastrophic event would experience the majority of the economic loss, and all of the loss of life… We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and saddle taxpayers with tens of billions in debt, mainly to benefit a small number of huge corporate agribusinesses on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.” — Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, director of Restore the Delta
“The risk is too great to not move forward with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. California’s water supply and economic future depend on the leadership we heard in Gov. Brown’s remarks today.” — Mike Wade, California Farm Water Coalition.
“Giant tunnels or a peripheral canal are both out of order and won’t solve the water problems we face. Creating infrastructure that will literally suck the life out of a vast ecosystem on which the fishing industry, regional tourism, local farms and California’s complex natural environment are all dependent is an outdated idea that needs to be deep-sixed.” — Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club California director
“This is the year to make progress on addressing our daunting water supply challenges… the Bay Delta Conservation Plan process mentioned by the governor may be our best opportunity to put California on a path to retool our water system for the 21st century.” — Timothy Quinn, Association of California Water Agencies
“Gov. Brown is focused on addressing the risks to California water supply posed by earthquakes, big storms and sea level rise, but that’s only part of the problem. The Bay-Delta environment is collapsing… we need long term, effective and affordable solutions that will restore the Delta and its fisheries. That means more flow through the Delta, not less.” — Kate Poole, Natural Resources Defense Council.
“We’ve been talking about it for years, but this truly is the year for water in California. It’s the year that will determine what we build, and how we build it… Gov. Brown said that he will do whatever he can to prevent a natural disaster near the Delta from triggering massive economic losses and destroying water supply.” — Richard Atwater, executive director of the Southern California Water Committee.