"The controversial tunnels would be an underground
version of Gov. Edmund Brown Jr.’s ill-fated peripheral canal, rejected by
Californians in 1982. But unlike his effort then, the twin tunnel project will
not face a vote by Californians. If built, the project, estimated by one economist to cost $60
billion, including interest on borrowed money, would result in permanent
impacts to approximately 775 acres and temporary impact to approximately 1,930
acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Impacts to navigation include the construction of three
intake structures on the Sacramento River, construction of tunnels beneath
navigable waterways, operations of the three new intakes at up to 3,000 cubic
feet per second, re-operations of the intake gate to Clifton Court Forebay, and
construction of a permanent barrier at the head of Old River.
Eleven disposal sites are proposed for tunnel muck excavated
from both the north tunnels and the dual main tunnels. The main tunnels would
each be 40 feet in diameter, with a capacity well above the 3,000 cubic feet
per second mentioned in the application.
The proposed project is designed to deliver up to 9,000 cubic
feet per second of water from the Sacramento River to the south Delta export
pumping plants. The tunnels would be gravity-fed and deliver the water to the
State Water Project and the federal Central Valley Project to then be sold to
San Joaquin Valley farmers and urban users in the Los Angeles area."