Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Water Resources and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today released the Final Environmental Impact Report/Statement for California WaterFix, culminating more than ten years of extensive research, planning and review of solutions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
State and federal agencies carefully analyzed 18 projects in great detail through the EIR process. California WaterFix emerged as the most responsible, viable and economically feasible solution – widely supported throughout the state and balancing the needs of people and the environment.
“After years of analysis and significant compromise, we are on the brink of a successful solution for the Delta,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “Because a handful of storms can determine the supply outlook for an entire year, we need a flexible water system that can reliably capture water during those peak storm periods of high flows.”
Challenges in the Delta have intensified as outdated infrastructure, environmental impacts, climate change, pollution and other factors threaten both water supplies and an important ecosystem. The preferred project would modernize the water delivery system by constructing new intakes in the northern Delta and two tunnels to move the supplies underneath rather than through the fragile Delta, helping to protect endangered fish species from entrainment into project pumps.
Twenty-six million people, businesses and farms depend on the State Water Project and Central Valley Project for clean, reliable water supplies. By utilizing tunnels that carry water under the Delta, rather than through it, California can realize benefits ranging from drinking water security to climate change protection, instead of depending on an aged levee system highly susceptible to both rising sea levels and collapse during earthquakes.
“This is a critical milestone that brings us that much closer to a healthier Delta and more reliable water supplies,” added Erlewine. “The current system doesn’t work, and it’s time to move forward.”
For more information, please visit www.californiawaterfix.com.
The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 26 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land.