Securing Reliable Water Supplies for Future Generations
Governor Newsom Sets New Direction for WaterFix
In his first State of the State Address on Feb. 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his support of a one-tunnel approach to water conveyance in the Delta under California WaterFix. The state will provide additional information about the project's new direction, including next steps, as it becomes available.
About 30 percent of the water that flows out of taps in Southern California comes from Northern California via the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta's delivery system is badly outdated, a problem compounded both by a declining ecosystem and 1,100-mile levee system that are increasingly vulnerable. California WaterFix is a comprehensive solution proposed by state and federal agencies to ensure our state has a reliable water supply for many years to come. It would modernize the decades-old delivery system through the building of three new intakes in the northern Delta along with two tunnels to carry water to the existing aqueduct system in the southern Delta.
On July 10, 2018, the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors voted 59.5 percent to 39 percent to provide additional financing necessary to allow for the construction of the full California WaterFix project.
The Delta Stewardship Council will hold an important hearing in October to rule on appeals that challenge the ability of the California WaterFix project to move forward and begin construction. Read the informational fact sheet for more.
DWR recently released a Benefit-Cost Analysis for California WaterFix by Dr. David Sunding, a professor of natural resource economics at UC Berkeley, that finds WaterFix could bring billions of dollars in benefits to Californians who obtain their water from participating State Water Project contractors. Read the
New Opportunities for Contractors
Contractors interested in working for the California WaterFix project have a new way to access bid opportunities through a bid management system that was just established in August.
The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA), the agency, responsible for the design, construction, and delivery of the California WaterFix facilities, has joined PlanetBids, a fully automated web-based vendor and bid management system. Those who are interested in contract opportunities with CA WaterFix can visit PlanetBids to register as a vendor and receive upcoming bid opportunities related to WaterFix and the DCA.
Upon successful registration, participants will be sent a confirmation email and begin receiving Bid Alert emails directly from PlanetBids when projects in their area of interest are posted.
Response to Alleged Violation of Brown Act
On May 7, 2018, Metropolitan received a Notice of Brown Act Violation from Food & Water Watch and the First Amendment Coalition asserting two violations in connection with Metropolitan’s consideration and approval of increased funding for California WaterFix. Below is a link to the notice and Metropolitan’s response.
Response to the PRA Request for Communications Relating to the 4/10/2018 Board Action
California WaterFix Implementation
To ensure the most effective approach to designing, constructing and financing California WaterFix, the State of California and the public agencies that are funding the project are forming a partnership to manage risk and build the project on time and budget. The partnership includes:
The Delta water system is outdated and unreliable. The system relies on levees that are vulnerable to earthquakes, floods and rising sea levels under climate change. And when these levees fail, water rushes into the lower-than-sea level islands behind them, pulling in salt water from the bay and fouling water quality before it can be delivered to Southern California, the Bay Area and Central Valley farmland. In addition, powerful existing state and federal pumps are strong enough to cause rivers to flow in reverse. This traps migrating and endangered fish, leading to declines in native fish populations.
"This project has been subjected to 10 years of detailed analysis and more environmental review than any other project in the history of the world. It is absolutely essential if California is to maintain a reliable water supply."
Near the end of 2016, the final environmental analysis for the California WaterFix project was published, representing a decade of scientific study, analysis and public input. The next milestone in the decision-making process was the release of biological opinions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service on June 26, which showed the project’s effects on endangered species. This opinion will be followed by the release of the federal Record of Decision and the state’s Notice of Decision, which would allow the project to proceed.
Metropolitan’s Board of Directors held a series of public meetings to review different components of California WaterFix including the physical project, the proposed water operations and key financial issues. Each of the workshops discussed detailed white papers (links below). A listing of letters and resolutions submitted to Metropolitan can be found here.