Fountain Valley, CA (October 10, 2017) - In a historic vote, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan) Board of Directors voted to pay 26 percent of the financing for the California WaterFix. The twin tunnels project will modernize the State Water Project ensuring reliable water supply for generations to come. The Board also approved the project governance structure and to join the Joint Powers Authority to oversee the project.
"This is the right decision and I thank our representatives at Metropolitan and their colleagues who voted for the WaterFix for their leadership", said Wayne Osborne, Board President of the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC). "We cannot afford to wait any longer to finish the State Water Project and ensure reliable imported water deliveries."
The vote passed by a margin of 68.97%, with all of Orange County's Metropolitan Directors voting 'YES' on the $17 billion mega project.
"We must plan for abundance", said MWDOC senior Metropolitan Delegate, Larry Dick. "It is better to have and not need, than need and not have. No single project means as much to our continued water reliability."
Construction of the State Water Project began in 1960 but was never completed, missing the vital water conveyance facilities bypassing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta). Decades of moving water through the Delta has caused undue stress to the environment, leading to an unreliable water system.
"If we fail to support the completion of the State Water Project, all of our previous investments will be wasted," said Director Brett R. Barbre. "This is not a vote for us. This is a vote for future generations for the growth and prosperity of our entire state."
Currently, environmental restrictions periodically halt pumping, even when water is abundant, interrupting deliveries to Southern California. The WaterFix, as the name implies, 'fixes' the issue by diverting some water underneath the Delta, alleviating stress on the system, while restoring the habitat for native fish and provides other environmental enhancements to the Delta.
MWDOC's 2016 Water Reliability Study found the California WaterFix to be the single most cost-effective project to ensure long term water reliability for Southern California.