The Twin Tunnels: Ruinous to Ratepayers, Catastrophic for the Environment
California Water Impact Network (C-WIN) | January 1st, 2014
Water is California’s most essential resource. It is limited in availability—in some years, extremely limited, forcing devastating delivery cut-backs to cities, farms and the environment. A recent paper in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment concludes that the average flow in the Sacramento River—the state’s major source for developed surface water—could decrease by 20 percent by 2050 largely due to climate change. By that same year, California’s population is expected to top 50 million, up from the current figure of 38 million. In other words, our water supplies will dwindle as our population burgeons.
Meanwhile, the state’s water delivery policies are already demonstrably incapable of providing water to citizens, agriculture and commerce while simultaneously sustaining essential ecosystems. In response, Governor Jerry Brown and his allies in the state legislature and agribusiness are promoting the “Twin Tunnels” boondoggle: a massive conveyance system that will shunt water under the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta to the south state.