Ag Today April 10, 2018

Vote on Southern California’s investment in delta tunnel project could be a nail-biter

By BETTINA BOXALL
APR 09, 2018 | 6:25 PM

The Los Angeles Times

With the city of Los Angeles and Orange County on opposite sides, Southern California’s role in financing a massive water delivery project is likely to hinge on a few smaller agencies.

In what will be a crucial decision, the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve nearly $11 billion in financing to help build two giant water tunnels in the center of the state’s waterworks or $5.2 billion to construct a single tunnel.

Lobbying on the long-planned project continued Monday as Gov. Jerry Brown asked MWD directors to move ahead with both tunnels.

“Tomorrow you have a historic decision to make about the future of California and the basic security of our water supply,” wrote Brown, who has made the project a priority of his administration. “I urge the board to support the full project — without delay.”

Hours earlier the five MWD board members from Los Angeles signaled they might vote against both options because too many uncertainties hung over the much-debated proposal to revamp the way water supplies are routed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta.

Los Angeles has the biggest vote under MWD’s system, which weighs the votes of member agencies according to assessed property values in their service areas.

Second to L.A. is the San Diego County Water Authority, which is also expected to oppose the project, along with Santa Monica.

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