June 29, 2017
Discussions about California water supplies have too often become fact-free discourses that fail to advance an informed discussion. The State Water Contractors’ “Delta Doozy” series was launched in order to distinguish the facts from the fiction and promote constructive dialogue.
Today’s Doozy comes in response to a June 28 guest editorial in the Sacramento Bee from U.S. Representative (D-CA 3rd District) John Garamendi, “There’s no green light for terrible Delta tunnels.”
“Consider that the average flow of the Sacramento River half of the year is 12,000 to 15,000 cubic feet of water per second. If fully built, the tunnels could transport as much as 15,000 cfs, literally draining all fresh water from the San Francisco Bay and Delta half the year.”
Truth be told: There is no scenario in which the tunnels “fully built” would transport 15,000 cfs of water. The proposed tunnels would operate based on river flows. Only when the Sacramento River reaches a minimum of 35,000 cfs would the tunnels be allowed to move up to 9,000 cubic feet per second, much less than the 15,000 cfs stated by Rep. Garamendi. The tunnels could never drain all fresh water from the Delta or the San Francisco Bay. Literally.
The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 25 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural land.