[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Partly sunny
Partly sunny
94°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
June 22
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]


By Nick Cahill, Courthouse News

SAN JOSE (CN) – The $17 billion “California WaterFix” project reached a tipping point Tuesday after a Silicon Valley water district voted against Gov. Jerry Brown’s approach in favor of a less expensive, scaled-back version.

The San Jose-based Santa Clara Valley Water District agreed to “conditionally support” California WaterFix – a plan to divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta through a pair of 40-foot-wide, 35-mile-long tunnels – but said the state will have to consider cheaper alternatives before the district can commit hundreds of millions to the water project.

“It’s clearly going to be a smaller project than what was originally proposed,” said board member Gary Kremen.

Under the current plan, local water suppliers would pay for most of the estimated $17 billion project, passing the cost on to ratepayers. Santa Clara board members said they are wary of the potential for cost overruns with a project that could take more than 10 years to complete.

Brown met with some board members and Silicon Valley business advocates last week in an attempt to drum up support for the contentious plan, and also called the water board’s chairman Monday night.

Yet board members remain skeptical of the two-tunnel approach and the financial risks associated with the project. In the end, the water district said it would prefer a one-tunnel solution.

“I’m open to negotiating, I’m not open to a blank checkbook,” board member Dick Santos said.

Support for the plan championed by Brown is suddenly wavering. A pair of audits questioned the plan’s financial viability and last month the state’s largest irrigation district pulled out of the effort to replumb the West Coast’s largest estuary.

The recent setbacks are forcing the state to consider a smaller approach.

San Joachin-Sacramento River Delta | Photo: Courthouse News

Santa Clara Valley Water District chairman John Varela said Tuesday that Brown’s administration is “open to the idea of a single tunnel.” Varela said he has talked with both Brown and Natural Resources secretary John Laird about the “scope” of the project.

Nonetheless, Brown and Laird painted the water district’s vote as a win for the Delta Tunnels and said they are not throwing in the towel on the decades-old project mired in the planning stage.

“The board’s vote today is a major step forward for California WaterFix and ensures that Santa Clara will have the water it desperately needs,” Brown said in a statement.

Laird said the unanimous vote “adds to the momentum we’ve seen in the last two weeks as local agencies around the state have seen the value of WaterFix and formally voted to participate in the project.”

Environmentalists have tagged the WaterFix as a “boondoggle” and an existential threat to the delta’s ecosystem. They warn that diverting freshwater flows from the delta will degrade water quality to the detriment of endangered salmon and other fish species.

“These contradictory views of Santa Clara Valley’s vote reveal the deep disarray that this project is in,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta executive director. “Gov. Brown wants to sell the vote as a win. Yet, Santa Clara’s support is for something other than California WaterFix.”

The project, while still in the planning stages, has been approved by state and federal fisheries agencies and construction could begin as soon as 2018.

Supporters say the project is necessary to renovate the state’s water infrastructure and protect the delta’s levees from earthquakes and climate change. Brown notes the plan has been subjected to more environmental review than “any other project in the world” and is critical to California’s future water supply.

The state is also fighting a series of lawsuits filed this summer by environmental groups and Northern California municipalities opposed to the project. The petitioners want the courts to throw out the state’s environmental certification and halt one of the largest public works projects in state history.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Jun 22, 2018
USA Today: Six Flags Magic Mountain No. 1 Theme Park
After four weeks of spirited voting, USA Today announced Friday that readers have voted Six Flags Magic Mountain the winner of the 2018 Best Theme Park contest.
Friday, Jun 22, 2018
After Firearms Raid, Acosta Calls for More Law Enforcement Funding
The state of California has a list of more than 10,000 known individuals in illegal possession of firearms, but has not provided adequate resources for law enforcement to recover their weapons, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said in a statement Friday.
Friday, Jun 22, 2018
Study: Prop. 47 Decreased Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
A voter-approved ballot measure aimed at reducing California’s prison population and ending racial disparities in the war on drugs has produced most of the cost-saving, equity-focused results it promised, with some exceptions, according to a study published Thursday.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan announced the sixth ballot counting update for the June 5 Statewide Direct Primary Election on Friday.
Sixth Election Results Update for June 5 Primary Election
The Master's University women's cross country team released its 2018 schedule Friday, the highlight coming Nov. 3 when it hosts the Golden State Athletic Conference Championships at Central Park in Saugus.
TMU Women’s Cross Country Releases 2018 Schedule
Minimum wage laws change July 1, so the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation and SCV law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP will present a "Minimum Wage Forum" at College of the Canyons' University Center on Wednesday, August 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
August 1: Minimum Wage Forum at COC University Center
Allison Needham of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation outlines the top five digital trends shaping 2018 so far.
It’s Personal: 5 Digital Trends Shaping 2018
The Robert T. Brentnall Pawsibilities Foundation, a Santa Clarita-based nonprofit animal rescue organization (Tax ID# is 47-5634745), is asking the community to help a family with a litter of German shepherd puppies, by adopting one or donating funds to help care for them.
Animal Rescue Group Seeks Help for German Shepherd Puppies
CalArts School of Art faculty member Shirley Tse will represent Hong Kong at the 2019 Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy, happening now through November 2019.
CalArts’ Shirley Tse to Represent Hong Kong at Venice Biennale
University administrators are falling short in their responsibilities to swiftly hold accountable staff and faculty named in sexual violence complaints and align disciplinary policies with federal guidelines, according to a state audit released Thursday of three University of California campuses.
UCLA, 2 More UC Campuses Faulted for Sex Misconduct Process
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is proud to announce commitments from four additional industry partners – AMC Networks, Moving Picture Institute, Telsey + Company, and Xperi – to participate in Academy Gold, an entertainment industry-wide internship enhancement and mentorship program for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities.
Academy Launches Summer ‘Gold’ Diversity Internships
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in their meeting Tuesday will consider a motion urging California to create an emblem program for licensed cannabis stores so consumers will know which stores are legal.
Supes Propose Statewide Cannabis Store Licensing Program
The JetHawks began the second half of the 2018 season with a win, beating Inland Empire, 7-5, at The Hangar Thursday night.
JetHawks Start Strong in Second Half, Beat IE 7-5
After four weeks of spirited voting, USA Today announced Friday that readers have voted Six Flags Magic Mountain the winner of the 2018 Best Theme Park contest.
USA Today: Six Flags Magic Mountain No. 1 Theme Park
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, June 26, starting at 9:30 a.m.
June 26: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The state of California has a list of more than 10,000 known individuals in illegal possession of firearms, but has not provided adequate resources for law enforcement to recover their weapons, Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said in a statement Friday.
After Firearms Raid, Acosta Calls for More Law Enforcement Funding
A voter-approved ballot measure aimed at reducing California’s prison population and ending racial disparities in the war on drugs has produced most of the cost-saving, equity-focused results it promised, with some exceptions, according to a study published Thursday.
Study: Prop. 47 Decreased Racial Disparities in Drug Arrests
A Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputy reportedly clocked a Las Vegas woman driving 93 miles an hour near the Saugus Speedway and arrested her on charges of excessive speed and reckless driving late Wednesday night.
Nevada Woman Arrested for Speeding, Reckless Driving in Saugus
1972 - Vasquez Rocks added to National Register of Historic Places [list]
The ARTree still has openings for next week's Junior Arts Sampler and "I Made That!" pastel classes.
ARTree Summer Classes Still Available
The Santa Clarita Arts Commission will hold a study session, Monday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m.
June 25: Arts Commission Study Session
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold a teleconference meeting, Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
June 28: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday, June 26, at 5:30 p.m.
June 26: Santa Clarita City Council Special Meeting
Firefighters are battling a brush fire at the Sunshine Canyon Landfill that started around 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Firefighters Battling 1-2 Acre Fire Near Newhall Pass
Glenn Frankel and Keri Walsh have been named 2018 Academy Film Scholars by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy Honors 2018 Film Scholars
Join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and Sweat Box Sauna Bar as they celebrate the opening of their new location.
June 27: Grand Opening Celebration Sweat Box Sauna Bar
Fresh Mustang connections to Major League Baseball didn't end with the draft earlier this month. Master's graduate David Sheaffer, who transferred before his final collegiate season to pursue an international MBA program, signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Mariners on June 10.
TMU Alum Signs with Seattle Mariners
There are spots still available on the Saugus Spartans Football program for kids between the ages of 6-8 years old.
Spots Still Open on Saugus Spartans Football Program
An already extremely tight inventory bumped into rising interest rates to further complicate home sales during May in the Santa Clarita Valley, which saw drops in home and condominium closed escrows compared to a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
SCV Home, Condo Sales Drop Amid Tight Inventory, Rising Interest Rates
Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station are looking for a male suspect who stole a tip jar from a local coffee shop. Details below are from the Facebook page of the SCV Sheriff's Station:
Detectives Seek Public’s Help in Nabbing Tip Jar Thief
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.
July 28: Children’s Bureau Foster Care, Adoption Information Meeting
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting a specialized Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation on Friday, June 22, in the city of Santa Clarita in an effort to lower deaths and injuries.
LASD to Conduct Specialized Motorcycle Safety Operation
LOS ANGELES – According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, air quality will be unhealthy for all individuals in Santa Clarita Valley and for sensitive individuals in East San Gabriel Valley area tomorrow, Friday, June 22.
Air Quality Advisory Issued for SCV
1941 - Ernie Hickson buys out Trem Carr's interest in their Monogram movie ranch, renames it "Placeritos" (later called Melody). [story]
CalArts alumna and faculty member Brigette Barrager (BFA Film/Video 07) was awarded the Christopher Award for Distinguished Achievement for her illustration of "Pocket Full of Colors."
CalArts Faculty Brigette Barrager Wins Christopher Award
"Window Lace," the first exhibit by CalArts students to be presented at the Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall, is now open on the mall's first floor across from H&M and will be on display through the end of summer 2018.
CalArts Opens its First Art Exhibit at Westfield Valencia Mall
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that Jennifer Todd has won the runoff election for the open Producers Branch seat on the 2018–19 Board of Governors.
Producer Jennifer Todd Voted to Academy Board of Governors
California's median home price reached a new high in May, while home sales retreated both on a monthly and annual basis, wiping out most of the gains posted for the year, the California Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
California Median Home Price Hits Record High, Sales Drop in May
In an effort to transform California’s relationship to energy markets in the western region of the country, lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a bill that would merge California into a regional energy market.
California’s Controversial Energy-Grid Bill Advances