Construction of California WaterFix Project Approved

"For decades, we have sought a solution to the problems of the Bay Delta, problems that put Southern California's water supply at risk," said Randy Record, chairman of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board of directors. "We finally have that solution, California WaterFix. We simply could not jeopardize the opportunity to move this long-sought and much-needed project forward."

The board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California voted April 10 to provide $10.8 billion in additional funding needed to ensure construction of the full California WaterFix project, a key priority for the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown that is expected to modernize the state's aging water delivery system and deliver drinking water to Southern California.

The district is now the primary investor in the project, having more than doubled its initially planned investment in it. The $17 billion project includes three new water intakes and two tunnels.

"For decades, we have sought a solution to the problems of the Bay Delta, problems that put Southern California's water supply at risk," said Randy Record, chairman of the board of directors. "We finally have that solution, California WaterFix. We simply could not jeopardize the opportunity to move this long-sought and much-needed project forward."

The district said WaterFix will be paid for by the people and businesses that use the water it delivers. The district's financing of the full project is expected to cost households on average up to $4.80 a month, although that will be reduced somewhat as the district recoups some of the investment from the agricultural sector.

The state Department of Water Resources' director, Karla Nemeth, released a statement calling the vote "a clear demonstration that they see the public benefit and value in pursuing WaterFix. This smart investment will protect billions of dollars in ratepayer investment, provide generations of Californians with clean drinking water, and address the [Sacramento-San Joaquin] Delta's worsening health. While Los Angeles and Southern California are wisely working to become more self-sufficient through local projects such as groundwater recharge and recycling, this imported supply is still critical to the region's success, especially under climate change. DWR looks forward to our continued partnership in their local efforts. The state is eager to move forward with WaterFix to protect the Delta ecosystem and ensure a reliable water supply for the future. I am pleased that the directors of MWD, who have a long history of forward-thinking leadership in water management, are making progress to build on their local sustainability efforts by shoring up the reliability of this critical water supply."

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