Sacramento, CA — A major issue over the next year will be whether to move forward with a plan to construct two 35-mile long water tunnels that would help transport water from northern to southern California.
The $17-billion twin-tunnel project is being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown, along with several large water districts. The proponents argue that it would make water supply more resilient to things like potential earthquakes. However, there is opposition from many environmental organizations, and residents of the towns the tunnels would pass through. The Associated Press Reports that 2016 will be full of state and federal hearings that are required before digging the tunnels. Yesterday the State Water Resources Board debated whether it was appropriate to begin the needed public hearings as the environmental documents are not completed, and the plans are not yet finalized. A decision related to the timing of the upcoming hearings will come in the next few weeks. The AP adds that a separate agency, the Water Resources Control Board, is slated to begin hearings in April. However, the actual Environmental Impact Report for the project is not anticipated to be completed until June.
The tunnels would move water from the delta of the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers.