From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

Editorial: Tunnel realignment won’t ease worries

Kudos are in order for Mark Cowin, the director of the California Department of Water Resources. For months, Cowin has taken seriously the concerns of farmers and landowners whose lives and businesses could be upended by a gargantuan water tunnel project the state wants to build through the Sacramento- San Joaquin Delta.

Coalition response…The changes announced last week to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan as outlined by this editorial is a continuation of changes that have taken place with the planning process. People may forget, or may not even be aware that at one time the proposal called for three tunnels. These and other changes have been the result to listening to comments and conducting studies and analyses to determine if they would benefit the Plan.

It is puzzling why the editorial continued to question how the project will be operated during different times of the year or in wet or dry years. The BDCP Conservation Measure 1 – Water Facilities and Operations brochure has been on the BDCP web site for five months with an easy-to-understand diagram of variable export rates based on Sacramento River flow conditions. When water levels are high in the Sacramento River, more water will be available to move through the tunnels. When river levels are low, less water will be diverted. Individuals seeking to learn more about the flow of water through the tunnels can read it themselves at

It is also important to remember that the objective of BDCP is to obtain a 50-year endangered species permit that will improve the Delta through a long-term conservation strategy. These improvements should also increase the reliability of water supply deliveries to almost 4,000 farms and 25 million Californians from the Bay Area to San Diego.

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