A new Delta water plan rolls out
July 25, 2012
A controversial conveyance project designed to transport more fresh water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has changed form but it remains the bane of conservation groups and a number of major agricultural interests.
The Delta provides water for the State Water Project, which is planned to supply several San Luis Obispo County areas.
The federal-state plan, called the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, is being unveiled today in Sacramento. It already has been criticized by interests fearful that current water supplies will be compromised. What was once a plan for an overland canal — known as the Peripheral Canal — the idea now is to transport water around the estuary in two huge underground tunnels.
Consumer, environmental, sport and commercial fishing operators and farm bureau will protest the plan, along with lawmakers from both parties.
The plan would include two 35-mile-long tunnels from the Sacramento River moving water to pumps south of Tracy. The idea is to prevent removal of water directly from the Delta, which often compromises both water quality and the health of Delta fisheries.