Delta tunnel nears final approval with latest report

The controversial plan sees Newsom on the opposite sides of environmental groups.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is moving ahead with the delta tunnel project despite objections from environmental groups. 

Driving the news: The Department of Water Resources released its final report on the plan to build a tunnel beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. 


  • According to the report, the construction of the tunnel and its operations would significantly impact the Delta’s endangered fish species, farmland and tribal cultural resources. 
  • Newsom and other state officials have argued that the tunnel is needed to help the state’s long-standing water issues. 
  • The proposed tunnel would pipe water from the Sacramento River, bypassing the Delta, and redirect it into Bethany Reservoir. That water would then feed into an aqueduct headed south. 
  • The final report’s release marks a major step toward finalizing the plan, which would overhaul California’s water management system. 
  • A 2020 estimate placed the cost for the tunnel at $16 billion. 

What they’re saying: “This updated plan is still exactly what we thought – a disastrous water grab to steal our Valley water,” said Rep. Josh Harder (D–Turlock). Sacramento is hellbent on spending $16 billion of our taxpayer dollars to ship our water down south so Beverly Hills can have green lawns. It’s a complete disgrace. Our community is universally opposed to this project and we will not stop fighting this tooth and nail.” 

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