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LS SAVE DELTA 2.JPGSoon after Gov. Jerry Brown this week unveiled more details of his draft plan to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, members of Congress from Northern California reacted no differently than they had earlier this month when the first part of it became public - they threw cold water on it.

The lawmakers called Brown's $23 billion Bay Delta Conservation Plan "flawed," "rushed," "reckless" and "expensive."

They questioned the science behind the proposal, as well as its environmental impact. But the lawmakers' core concern appeared to be that the plan diverts too much water from the Delta through twin 35-mile tunnels to supply Central and Southern California.

"To solve California's water situation, we must find an approach that doesn't take the problems of one half of the state and lay them at the feet of the other half," said. Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

"This is simply an expensive plumbing system that doesn't add a single drop to the state's water supply," said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove.

"Moving forward could cause permanent harm to wildlife and devastate farmers, fishers and small business owners who depend on the Delta for their livelihoods," said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa.

"Continuing with this plan, without getting input from all stakeholders, without considering other alternatives, and without specifying how the project will be paid for is a bad idea," said Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.

In contrast, the Southern California Water Committee, which represents businesses, agricultural interests and water districts from roughly Bakersfield south, have praised the plan.

"Businesses, farmers, local elected leaders and public water agencies are all stepping up to support the Bay Delta Conservation Plan," said Charles Wilson, the committee's chairman, earlier this month.

PHOTO CREDIT: Shannon Lewis of Clarksburg, sits on the west steps of the State Capitol during a July 2012 rally to oppose the governor's proposal to build water conveyance tunnels through the delta. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling


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