Assemblymember Frazier opposes tunnels project in letter to State Water Resources Control board
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Jim Frazier, whose 11th Assembly District includes much of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, has called upon a state board to reject a change in water rights as proposed by proponents of the Delta twin tunnels project.
“My constituents expect to be protected by the State of California,” Frazier said in a six-page letter to the State Water Resources Control Board, which is considering a petition to divert water from the Sacramento River into the tunnels that would be built by the California WaterFix Project.
The project requires a change in water rights. A petition for that change was filed this summer by the state Department of Water Resources and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which want to ship water to Central and Southern California by going around the Delta via twin tunnels.
With public hearings on the petition continuing this month and into the new year, Assemblymember Frazier denounced the proposed diversions, saying they would “devastate Delta communities that rely on a healthy Delta environment to ensure a thriving local economy.”
Frazier asserted that the WaterFix Project does not meet the requirements of the 2009 Delta Reform Act, which established the co-equal goals of providing a reliable water supply while protecting, restoring and enhancing the Delta – “in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource and agricultural values of the Delta.”
“This language was not just provided as an idle consideration for the administration, but represents a high-level declaration of policy that must be satisfied,” Frazier wrote.
Frazier criticized the WaterFix Project, stating that it does nothing to increase or ensure a reliable water supply, nor does it take into consideration that the water it proposes to take is needed by those who live and work in and around the Delta. The diversions, he said, will endanger the livelihoods of those who depend on Delta farming, fishing and tourism, as well as the millions of Californians who get their drinking water directly from the Delta.
And a proposal to backfill the diversion by taking water from farmers and communities in other parts of the state is also unacceptable, Frazier said. “I urge the administration not to take water from farmers and communities around the state to give it to the Delta just so that the administration can turn around and justify shipping approximately the same volume of water to Southern California.”
To contact Assemblymember Jim Frazier please visit his website at www.asmdc.org/frazier or call his District Offices at 707-399-3011 or 925-513-0411. Follow Assemblymember Jim Frazier on Facebook and “Like” him for updates on events and happenings in the 11th AD.