Farmers Deal Brown's Delta Tunnels Project A Major Blow

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 20, 2017

Farmers in the nation's largest irrigation district on Tuesday voted against participating in Gov.

The Westlands Water District was considered a key player in the project's success or failure having already having invested millions toward planning.

Administrators at Westlands, which supplies water to hundreds of family farms and some large corporate farms, had recommended that its farmers support the tunnels only if the costs are spread out to other agencies in proportion to how much water they get from the state, making it more affordable for the agricultural district.

"This doesn't work for Westlands Water District", said board member Todd Neves, who led the move against joining the project.

"I don't know that there are negotiations that would address the concerns that were raised by the directors", he said after the board vote in the district's Fresno office.

The proposed study would (1) provide an independent analysis of water demand in the Valley District service area, (2) analyze the cost-effectiveness of the water management strategies, and (3) help determine the amount of investment in water management strategies. Jerry Brown's $16 billion twin tunnels project.

No water districts so far have committed to paying.

He also reported on a plan by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to expand it casino, possibly impacting a Valley District water line.

It's unclear whether the Westlands board will take a firm stand, or postpone its vote because of the high cost.

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