California plans to seize farms to build water tunnels

August 18, 2015
Gov. Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown

California officials are preparing to take as many as 300 Central Valley farms by eminent domain in order to build water tunnels, according to a report prepared by state contractors. [ABC News]

Governor Jerry Brown is calling for the state to build two 30-mile tunnels in the delta formed by the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. The plan targets public and private land in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

Landowners would have 30 days to consider and negotiate a one-time state offer, according to the 160-page property acquisition report. If landowners do not sell, officials will take their property by force.

Opponents of the plan obtained the property acquisition report through a California records request. Opponents say the water tunnels would jeopardize farming in the delta and would destroy vital wildlife habitat.

Brown has pushed for a delta makeover since he first held the governorship in 1970s and 1980s. In May, Brown told critics of the proposed tunnels to “shut up.”

Brown’s administration said it is essential to re-engineer water flows of the delta to undo mistakes of past water projects and to supply water to Southern California.

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which serves 17 million people, would be one of the agencies to benefit from the tunnels. The Southern California district, as well as water agencies in the Bay Area and Central California, paid for the property acquisition plan, a Department of Water Resources spokesperson said.

The project is currently in a period for public comment on the environmental impact of the tunnels. The federal Environmental Protection Agency, which opposed a prior version of the project, must have its say, as well.

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Jerry, why would you call for the destruction of more of the very central valley farms that FEED southern California. this is about a loot more than water.


Steal from someone (a taxpayer) to force your will onto someone else (a property owner) for the good of the people.


stop name calling

please resubmit your comments without the slur.

??? or !!! about moderation


First they take your water then it is affordable to take your land.

Since it seems the Governor’s train to nowhere may be falling apart, he now if looking for a tunnel to nowhere.

he believes he can remedy a previous error, I do believe that is something we need him to do now, at the hottest time ever in Ca. rather then wait for the el-nino monsoon this winter dampen our drought awareness for the long term.

Beware whenever government declares an emergency and the wonderful and cost effective solutions that they propose (that never work), additional agencies they create to administer those solutions and property confiscated from taxpayers and put directly in the pockets of donors.

Read Kelo v City of New London regarding the stupidity of government when it comes to eminent domain.

would like to know more about the farms the State wants to take, appraised value (the the State’s) etc.

meant NOT the State’s offer

How ’bout making this a ballot measure so the California state taxpayers can decide if this is good or bad idea? What a concept!

You really don’t expect the people who scream “DEMOCRACY NOW!” the loudest, to actually be, you know, democratic?

Just check the Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee. Why aren’t they running this story?