Congressman John Garamendi called Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two tunnels through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as nothing more than “bad plumbing”
“That’s not a water plan, that’s a plumbing system — and a very, very bad one,” said Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, before about 300 people at the ninth-annual California Water Symposium at UC Davis.
“Don’t ever build something that has the potential for destroying something so special, so valuable as the largest estuary on the west coast, which is the Delta. We need to move beyond just a plumbing system. We need to think about what California really needs.”
“I told Gov. Brown, ‘If you are successful, it will be two decades before you get a gallon of water through your tunnels,’ ” Garamendi said after his keynote address. “First of all, you’ve got 10 years of lawsuits — guaranteed. Then you’ve got 10 years of construction. So what are you going to do in the meantime?”
Added Garamendi during his speech, referring to voters rejection of the Peripheral Canal Act, “We beat Jerry Brown in ’82, and we’ll beat him this time if necessary.”
Garamendi said he planned to introduce in two to three months legislation that would put federal agencies on the same page when it comes to the state’s water.
His envisions a comprehensive water plan, similar to one put forth by the environmental nonprofit the National Resources Defense Council, for the state that includes recycling, conservation, increased water storage, Delta levee repair and river management guided by the latest science.