Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Twin tunnels backers make pitch to water board

Groups supporting Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build two bypass tunnels around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta say they're making a big push during the State Water Resources Control Board's round of hearings on the project.

From the Californians for Water Security:
This week, groups representing hundreds of thousands of businesses, labor unions, water agencies, engineers and farmers from across the state will offer statements to the State Water Resources Control Board in support of the California WaterFix, the plan to update the state’s aging water infrastructure. [...]

Below are highlights of the supportive statements that will be offered.

Kris Rosa, Silicon Valley Leadership Group:

“The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, representing more than 400 of the Silicon Valley’s most respected employers, supports the California WaterFix because the water provided to our region and the state through this system is vital to our economy. Santa Clara County receives much of our clean drinking water from this source, and we must work to ensure the safety of this vital water supply.”

Orville Thomas, CA Alliance for Jobs:

“We represent more than 2,000 heavy construction companies and 80,000 union construction workers from Kern County to the Oregon border and strongly support the California WaterFix. This project will protect and create nearly one million jobs across California.”

Julian Canete, CalAsian Pacific Chamber of Commerce:

“CalAsian Chamber members total more than 600,000 API-owned businesses, which generate over $181 billion in annual revenue and employ more than 900,000 Californians. Our organization supports the California WaterFix because with a modern pipeline and by moving the system underground, this project will mitigate the effects of climate change and natural disasters. It will also protect our clean water supplies from salt water contamination and improve the Delta ecosystem by bringing back more natural flows to protect fish and wildlife.”

David Grau, Ventura County Taxpayers Association:

“We believe the CA WaterFix best serves taxpayers’ interests by securing reliable water supplies at an affordable rate. Currently, 75% of Ventura County’s population relies heavily on our state’s antiquated water distribution system, and this percentage could actually increase to virtually 100% as adjacent communities struggling with extreme drought conditions, including the cities of Ventura and Ojai, may take their state water allocations for the first time in history. The 25 million California residents reliant on this unfinished, mid-20th century system deserve better and as a state we can and must do better to stabilize this critical water supply!”

John Cooper, Associated General Contractors of California:

“The Associated General Contractors of California is more than 1,000 members strong who are contractors, specialty, and associate member companies and represent the full spectrum of the construction industry. We support the California WaterFix because it will offer the state flexibility to capture and store more water during times of heavy rainfall. With WaterFix, we will be able to keep supplies steady as the state and economy grow. It will also create nearly 119,000 new construction jobs and $7 billion in employee compensation.”

Joseph Cruz, California State Council of Laborers:

“Representing 65,000 union members working in the heavy construction industry across the state, the California State Council of Laborers is proud to support the California WaterFix and its goal of helping meet California's long-term water supply needs. By moving our water underground and using gravity instead of depending on dirt levees, WaterFix will be a more reliable system that can protect water supplies from major earthquakes, floods and climate change.”

Bryan Starr, Orange County Business Council:

“The Orange County Business Council, representing 300 of the state's largest employers, and more than 250,000 employees across Southern California supports the California WaterFix because it is vital to our economy to protect this essential water source. Water reliability is absolutely paramount to the sustainability of California’s economy. Any period of time, if ever brief, of water delivery system failure will have catastrophic impacts on California’s economy. The CA WaterFix is absolutely necessary to prevent system failure!”

Charley Wilson, Southern California Water Committee:

“The Southern California Water Committee, representing 200 member organizations throughout Southern California including businesses, local government, water agencies and farmers support the California WaterFix because without it, we’ll be faced with even deeper water supply cuts. This plan will let us capture and store more water during large storms – if WaterFix had been in place earlier this year, we would have captured enough water to supply nearly 3 million people with water for an entire year.”

Tracy Hernandez, Los Angeles County Business Federation:

“The Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) is made up of more than 155 business organizations representing 275,000 employers with over 3 million employees throughout LA County. We support the CA WaterFix because our outdated system does not allow us to move and store water efficiently when we have abundant rain and snow. As much as 75% of water supplies for the city of Los Angeles come from this source, and we cannot afford to neglect such an important infrastructure to our region and the state.”

About Californians for Water Security (CWS):

CWS is a growing coalition of more than 12,000 California citizens and more than 175 organizations representing business leaders, labor, family farmers, local governments, water experts, environmentalists, public safety officials, infrastructure groups, taxpayer associations, and others who support the plan to fix California’s broken water distribution system. The Governor’s plan was drafted after nearly a decade of scientific review and analysis by leading water experts and conservationists and has received input from leading scientists and engineers. The coalition is waging an active advertising, grassroots lobbying, social media and public advocacy campaign to support this important project to fix our aging water distribution infrastructure and improve water reliability and security throughout the state.

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