"Delta Tunnel Plan Called a Fish Death Sentence By Key Group"

"The state's plan to build a pair of 35-mile tunnels under the delta would cause the extinction of winter-run chinook salmon, steep declines in dozens of other species and devastate water quality in San Francisco Bay, an environmental group said Wednesday.

'This project would be a major step in the wrong direction,' said Gary Bobker, policy analyst for the Bay Institute, which submitted its 250-page findings this week to the state Department of Water Resources as it updates its Bay Delta Conservation Plan. 'Diverting more water from the delta is exactly what we need to stop doing if we're going to have a sustainable ecosystem.'

The state's $25 billion plan for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta calls for two 40-foot-wide tunnels to carry water from the northern end of the delta to the pumps at the southern end. The purpose is to improve water flow throughout the 1,100-square-mile delta; reduce reliance on old, crumbling levees; and potentially increase water allocations to farms and consumers in Central and Southern California."

Carolyn Jones reports for the San Francisco Chronicle July 30, 2014.

Thursday, July 31, 2014