Environmental Justice Topic Of New Delta Report

In their ongoing effort to sink Governor Jerry Brown's California Water Fix and Eco Restore project, formerly known as the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the group calling itself Restore the Delta is out with a new report on "environmental justice" in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.  An area of environment justice is defined as people who live below the poverty threshold.

Restore the Delta spokeswoman Barbara Barrigan-Parilla said the report details how damaging the proposed tunnels will be to poor families living in the Delta. "First off, 70 percent of the water that will be taken from this project, as is historical, will go to industrial agriculture," she insisted.  "Second, Metropolitan Water District General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger repeatedly told water districts that fall within environmental justice communities that would not have to take the water or pay for the water.  In truth, they'll have to pay for the water, but the water won't make it to them."  One of the stated goals of the state project is to deliver more water to impoverished communities with questionable water sources.

The $15 billion plan proposed by Governor Jerry Brown and the California Department of Water Resources calls for the construction two large, four-story tall tunnels which would move fresh water from the Sacramento River under the Sacramento-San Joaquin to pumping stations that send water south the Central Valley and points south.

Barrigan-Parilla believes the project will be rejected by the public because of the cost.  She suggested there is no comparison to the voter-approved high-speed rail project from the Bay Area to southern California, which is suffering cost overruns but seems to be surviving public push back.

Restore the Delta claiming that this report will provide Delta environmental justice communities and Northern California Indian tribes with the data, research, and tools needed to empower local social and environmental justice groups to advocate for themselves in California's water management processes.

Barrigan-Parilla said the plan is get her report into the hands of as many state lawmakers and other decision makers as possible.

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