Breaking: Governor Newsom calls for end to twin tunnels, but supports one tunnel



By Dan Bacher

In his first State of the State Address today at the State Capitol today, Governor Gavin Newsom called for an end to Jerry Brown's Twin Tunnels, but said he supports one tunnel:

"I do not support the Water Fix as currently configured. Meaning, I do not support the twin tunnels. But we can build on the important work that’s already been done. That’s why I do support a single tunnel.

"The status quo is not an option. We need to protect our water supply from earthquakes and rising sea levels, preserve delta fisheries, and meet the needs of cities and farms."

Newsom also said he has appointed a new chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, Joaquin Esquivel, to replace Felicia Marcus:

"We have to get past the old binaries, like farmers versus environmentalists, or North versus South. Our approach can’t be 'either/or.' It must be 'yes/and.'

Conveyance and efficiency. And recycling projects like we’re seeing in Southern California’s Met Water District, expanding floodplains in the Central Valley, groundwater recharge, like farmers are doing in Fresno County. We need a portfolio approach to building water infrastructure and meeting long-term demand.

To help bring this balance, I’m appointing a new chair of the California water board, Joaquin Esquivel.

Our first task is to cross the finish line on real agreements to save the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta."

In addition, Newsom called for solving California's clean drinking water crisis in poorer communities.

Now, let’s talk honestly about clean drinking water.

Just this morning, more than a million Californians woke up without clean water to bathe in or drink. Some schools have shut down drinking fountains due to contamination. Some poorer communities, like those I visited recently in Stanislaus County, are paying more for undrinkable water than Beverly Hills pays for its pristine water.

This is a moral disgrace and a medical emergency. There are literally hundreds of water systems across the state contaminated by lead, arsenic, or uranium.

Solving this crisis demands sustained funding. It demands political will. 

In response to his comments on the California WaterFix, Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta said in a statement:

“We are grateful to Governor Newsom for listening to the people of the Delta, and California, and putting an end to the boondoggle WaterFix, twin tunnels project.

"We look forward to working with his administration and the State Water Resources Control Board to create and enforce policies that will restore Delta water quality and quantity, lessen water dependence on the Delta, and promote clean drinking programs and regional self-sufficiency for the benefit of all Californians.

"As we testified under oath at the State Water Resources Control Board, we will re-evaluate any proposed new conveyance projects for their merits and weaknesses and share our findings with Californians.”

Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), whose district encompasses a large portion of the Delta, issued the following statement today after Gov. Gavin Newsom said in his State of the State address he does not support the twin tunnels project, calling this a “step in the right direction."

“I’m grateful Governor Newsom has been willing to listen to local stakeholders in the battle for the future of the Delta. His unequivocal denunciation of the twin tunnels project is a step in the right direction. I look forward to working with the governor to convince him there are alternative water delivery solutions that are economical and can be delivered in a timely manner, nullifying the need for even a single tunnel.”

As I receive more responses to Newsom’s statement, I will post them here.

Below is the complete transcript of Newsom's comments today about California water:

“We also need a fresh approach when it comes to meeting California’s massive water challenges.
We have a big state with diverse water needs. Cities that need clean water to drink, farms that need irrigation to keep feeding the world, fragile ecosystems that must be protected.

Our water supply is becoming less reliable because of climate change. And our population is growing because of a strong economy. That means a lot of demand on an unpredictable supply. There are no easy answers.  But let me be direct about where I stand:

I do not support the Water Fix as currently configured. Meaning, I do not support the twin tunnels. But we can build on the important work that’s already been done. That’s why I do support a single tunnel.

The status quo is not an option.

We need to protect our water supply from earthquakes and rising sea levels, preserve delta fisheries, and meet the needs of cities and farms.

We have to get past the old binaries, like farmers versus environmentalists, or North versus South. Our approach can’t be “either/or.”  It must be “yes/and.”

Conveyance and efficiency. And recycling projects like we’re seeing in Southern California’s Met Water District, expanding floodplains in the Central Valley, groundwater recharge, like farmers are doing in Fresno County. We need a portfolio approach to building water infrastructure and meeting long-term demand.

To help bring this balance, I’m appointing a new chair of the California water board, Joaquin Esquivel.

Our first task is to cross the finish line on real agreements to save the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

We must get this done – for the resilience of our mighty rivers, the stability of our agriculture sector, and the millions who depend on this water every day.

Now, let’s talk honestly about clean drinking water.

Just this morning, more than a million Californians woke up without clean water to bathe in or drink. Some schools have shut down drinking fountains due to contamination. Some poorer communities, like those I visited recently in Stanislaus County, are paying more for undrinkable water than Beverly Hills pays for its pristine water.

This is a moral disgrace and a medical emergency. There are literally hundreds of water systems across the state contaminated by lead, arsenic, or uranium.

Solving this crisis demands sustained funding. It demands political will.







Related

Government & Politics 4022620784845131901

Post a Comment Default Comments

Follow Us



Popular

Archives

Corrections

Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me are now available on iTunes
Play Music - Share Audio -
Upload Music - Embed Audio -
Embed Music - Upload Audio Files -
Download Music - Play Audio -


item
[image src="IMAGE LINK"/]