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What’s Happening with the Delta Tunnels Project?

May 11, 2017
1) By Doc Searls (Flickr: 2009_03_06_sfo-bos_066) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The proposed Delta Tunnels Project is a topic of concern for communities, organizations and residents across Northern California. The construction of two massive tunnels to divert water under the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, diverting water south, has yet to be fully approved. There is much still to be done before this project will go forth, or be stopped before its begun.

Currently a financial audit is underway, as requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, in August 2016. According to an in-depth overview of the project published in Wikipedia, the audit request was submitted to the California State Auditor after concerns over the ability of some water districts to be able to pay their portion of the funding.

The State of California is seeking to fund the Delta Tunnels Project through water district bonds. This approach currently means voter approval is not required. If participating water districts are not able to provide the funding required, this could impact the feasibility of the project at the ground level.

There are still hurdles to jump before the Delta Tunnels Project can get a green light. One key component is receiving approval and permits for the plan from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Thus far, this federal agency has said no to previous salmon-1107404_640applications submitted. Their main cause for denial is the concern for negative impact on critical or endangered species of fish within the river system, namely, delta smelt, salmon and sturgeon.

After this denial, the State re-worked the Delta Tunnels Project into two separate proposals, the California WaterFix and Eco Restore. Recently, the Delta Stewardship Council conducted an independent analysis of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Biological Opinion report which was used in drafting the California WaterFix proposal.

The DSC conducted the review to provide a third-party analysis of the biological opinion report to USFWS, NMFS and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, as part of the proposal review process. has a great review of the findings; in short, there is greater cause for concern on how the Delta Tunnels will adversely affect not only the fish here, but also the entire ecosystem of the Delta.

We won’t know the final outcome of the Delta Tunnels Project for some time. Whatever the results, there will be a significant impact to our region. It’s important to understand major initiatives such as this as they affect everyone. When you are ready to sell your home, my team and I are ready to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make your experience both easy and pleasurable. Contact us today at (925) 634-7820, or by email at

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