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The Governor pledged to right-size this project to one tunnel and embrace an all-of-the-above approach to protecting California's water access. The release of the final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is a milestone in the state's water strategy.
California is expected to lose 10% of its water supply due to hotter and drier conditions, threatening the water supply for millions of Californians. Extreme weather whiplash will result in more intense swings between droughts and floods – California's 60-year-old water infrastructure is not built for these climate impacts. During January's atmospheric rivers, the Delta Conveyance Project could have captured enough water for 2.3 million people's yearly usage.
The redesigned Delta Conveyance Project would capture and move more water during wet seasons to better endure dry seasons. The tunnel, a modernization of the infrastructure system that delivers water to millions of people, would improve California's ability to take advantage of intense periods of rain and excess flows in the Sacramento River. It would also help protect against the risk of an earthquake cutting off water supplies to millions of Californians, currently a 72% chance of 6.7+ magnitude in the area.
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In a statement, Governor Newsom said: "Climate change is threatening our access to clean drinking water, diminishing future supplies for millions of Californians – doing nothing is not an option...This proposed project is essential to updating our water system for millions of Californians. This new approach, redesigned following community and environmental input, is how we can build a California of the future."
The Delta Conveyance Project proposal has been redesigned following input from both public and Governor Newsom himself in order to protect access for millions of Californians against climate change's dwindling effects on our water supply. The release of its final Environmental Impact Report marks an important milestone in California's strategy towards protecting its citizens' access to clean drinking water in light of climate change's intensifying effects on our environment.
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