City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

July 16, 2013
Sacramento mayor, city manager oppose Delta water tunnels

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Mayor Kevin Johnson and City Manager John Shirey both expressed their opposition today to Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build giant tunnels that would divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farms and cities in Central and Southern California.

Speaking at a groundbreaking event for a new water treatment plant north of downtown, the mayor said he expressed his opposition directly to Brown during a recent meeting with the governor and mayors of the state's big cities. Johnson expressed concerns over the tunnels' impact on the region's water supply and habitat.

"For us, we want to be good stewards," the mayor said. "I'm going to speak out any chance I get."

Shirey said the plan is moving "without any collaboration with the city of Sacramento."

"I just think it's way out in front of where Northern California's interests are," Shirey said.

Shirey was one of the driving forces behind the city's progress on updating its water intake and treatment system.

Crews have begin construction of a $170 million rehabilitation project at the Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant north of the downtown railyard. The project is part of a broader $290 million investment in the city's water infrastructure that is being funded by increases in water and sewer rates approved by the City Council.

The water treatment plant being upgraded was built in 1923.

"This facility has withstood the process of time," said Councilman Darrell Fong.

Above: Councilman Darrell Fong, Councilman Stve Cohn, Mayor Kevin Johnson, Councilwoman Angelique Ashby and City Manager John Shirey break ground on an upgraded water treatment plant north of downtown. Bee photo by Ryan Lillis

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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