Delta plan backed by feds

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar confirms support for Delta diversion plan

The federal government confirmed its support for the controversial Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta tunnel diversion plan during a press conference on Wednesday, July 25.

Gov. Jerry Brown and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar maintain the project—which would divert the Sacramento River through two massive 35-mile-long tunnels at 9,000 cubic feet a second—will improve aquatic habitat in the south Delta, according to The Sacramento Bee.

At a construction cost of $14 billion, the tunnels would presumably remedy “reverse flows” caused by existing pumps, which alter habitat and kill millions of fish. Funding would come from water agencies relying on the Delta to provide water for 23 million Californians and 3 million acres of farmland.

“This proposal is fatally flawed,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta. “We oppose the rush to build a project that would exterminate salmon runs, destroy sustainable family farms and saddle taxpayers with tens of billions of dollars in debt.”