firstname.lastname@example.org Published Thursday, Jun. 21, 2012
A plan for two massive tunnels diverting water from the Delta has been scaled back 40 percent in size. The project would divert only 10 percent less water, however, and it remains to be seen if this proves less harmful to fish and their habitat.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is an unprecedented effort by state and federal water agencies to replumb the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a source of water for 25 million Californians and more than 3 million acres of farmland. The goal is to improve the reliability of Delta water exports while also restoring salmon, smelt and other imperiled fish.
For two years, the plan's centerpiece has been a pair of 33-foot diameter tunnels, estimated to cost $14 billion, to divert water from five intakes on the Sacramento River. The assumption was that these screened intakes would prove less harmful to fish than the current diversions in the south Delta near Tracy.
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