California Water Agencies Look for Larger Stake to Speed Up Delta Tunnel Plan
CALIFORNIA - After coming out of a major drought via a remarkably wet winter, California water management is top of mind for the fresh produce industry. Looking to address the issue, major water agencies are working with California Governor Jerry Brown to take additional responsibility in order to close a $15.7 billion delta tunnel deal, named WaterFix, according to the Associated Press.
Initially proposed in 1982, and revisited numerous times in the decades since, the WaterFix plan seeks to modernize the 50-year-old water conveyance system throughout the state, but has moved slowly due to environmental concerns.
According to the source, two insiders speaking on condition of anonymity have shared that there are discussions of the state taking a step back and allowing a group of regional California water agencies consisting of the largest urban and agricultural water suppliers in the United States, coming together to work as a joint-powers authority, to assist with designing, building, and arranging financing for the project in order to speed up the process.
“Details have not been finalized, but our shared goal is a structure that assures the best design and construction talent and protects state oversight,” Nancy Vogel, State Spokeswoman, told the Associated Press.
The mega-project involves siphoning water from the northern river and shipping water south, serving as a safeguard in case the delta levees fall. The plan as it stands calls for 35 miles of two 40-foot-high underground tunnels. For more on the details of the plan, visit CaliforniaWaterFix.com
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