SoCal Water Agency Commits $10.8B to Construction of Massive Water Tunnels That Would Bring Water From NorCal

A motorboat drives down Whiskey Slough in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, just outside of Stockton. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

A motorboat drives down Whiskey Slough in the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta, just outside of Stockton. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California’s biggest water agency voted Tuesday to shoulder most of the cost of replumbing the troubled center of the state’s vast waterworks, committing nearly $11 billion to the construction of two massive water tunnels.

The approval pushes ahead a controversial infrastructure project that has dominated discussions of how to halt the steep ecological decline of the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta — a decline that has threatened water deliveries to the state’s most populous region.

A top priority of Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, the tunnels project has been in the planning stages for more than a decade.

The MWD vote does not assure that it will be built. The project has yet to obtain key permits and faces years of legal challenges by opponents who consider it a costly diversion from more-sustainable water development projects such as recycling and storm water capture.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.