Governor Jerry Brown has defended his plan that dramatically call for scaling back funds for habitat restoration.
One of the main objectives of the plan is to have twin tunnels built around California’s freshwater delta to e water to farms and millions of people. The Governor believes that the new approach accelerates the pace of the critical wildlife habitat restoration that will be done and fixes the state’s aging water infrastructure.
The revision calls for restoring 30,000 acres for wetland and wildlife habitat. Originally the plan included 100,000 acres, however, Brown has federal support for the plan.
California has been experiencing a drought for 4 years. There is little to no surface water for irrigation from government water projects.
The original plan was expected to cost $8 billion, and officials said the new plan will cost about $300 million.
According to another report, the plan has received much criticism from environmental and conservation groups.
The plan has been in develop for eight years. The twin tunnels are projected to send water from the Sacramento River to cities and farms all that to San Diego.
The plan is designed to stabilize water supplies for cities and farms, but the opposition believes otherwise. Many think that the tunnels will allow saltwater from the San Francisco Bay to degrade the delta’s water quality and damage habitat for endangered salmon and tiny delta smelt.
Estimates say about five percent of California’s wetlands remain. The project will hopefully return some of the freshwater marshes and willow thickets.
Funds for the restoration project will come form numerous sources. $75 million from a water bond voters that was approved in November. Between $20 and $30 million will come from capt-and-trade funds, and the remaining amount will come through state budget allocations.