After decades of deadlock, local water officials are hopeful that a new plan to secure a water supply from the Sierra Nevada snowpack will overcome political hurdles and send water flowing steadily to Southern California.
On July 25, Gov. Jerry Brown announced a $23-billion plan to dig two tunnels underneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and divert flows of fresh water to the State Water Project, which serves cities and farms from the San Francisco Bay to Southern California.
Water officials from Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge hailed the plan.
“It's a major step forward,” said Phyllis Currie, general manager of Pasadena Water and Power. “We've been talking about a fix for the delta for quite a long time.”
The transfer of water from north to south has been one of the enduring controversies in California politics, with Northern California voters and environmental groups opposing such efforts while Southern California farmers and cities advocate for them. In 1982, voters rejected so the so-called peripheral canal that would have diverted water around the delta, and no plan has come close to fruition in the 30 years since.