Report Calls for a Smart and Sustainable Water Portfolio in California

  • Posted on 25 June 2019
  • By Water Committee

SACRAMENTO–Sierra Club California released a report today that outlines smart tactics for establishing a resilient water system in California without reliance on Delta tunnels.

The paper, researched and written by a team of volunteer leaders in Sierra Club who have expertise in water policy, identifies a combination of increased agricultural and urban conservation, groundwater storage and management, water reuse, and stormwater capture as keys to developing greater regional resilience.

Sierra Club California has long opposed diverting water away from the San Francisco Bay Delta. Recently, Governor Gavin Newsom rejected a plan to build two giant tunnels to divert river water from north of the Delta to send to water customers south of the Delta. Newsom has called for a more balanced portfolio of water policies and projects to encourage regional resilience.

He has also indicated support for a single tunnel as part of a new system portfolio.

The San Francisco Bay Delta is the largest estuary on North America’s West Coast. It has been the subject of decades of debate about how to manage and protect it while also providing adequate drinking water and irrigation water to Californians.

Statement by Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California:

“There are a lot of options for improving our water system without resorting to any tunnels. This paper outlines those options.

“Any tunnels – whether one or two – will do substantial harm to the Delta ecosystem by preventing the regular flow of clean water into the Delta to prevent stagnation and reduce saltwater intrusion.

“Our water experts have outlined just how to get to a smarter water system without building damaging tunnels. This report updates an earlier report and comes at a good time.

“We now have a governor who is willing to consider better water system options for Californians and our environment. We’re laying some of those options out in this report.”

To download the full report,

Add new comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.