Tunnel Business Magazine

JUN 2018

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TUNNELINGONLINE.COM B U S I N E S S B R I E F S TBM: TUNNEL BUSINESS MAGAZINE // JUNE 2018 MWD of Southern California Votes to Approve WaterFix Funding The board of dire opolitan Water District of Southern California voted April 10 to provide the additional fi- nancing necessary to allow for the construction of the full Cali- fornia WaterFix project. The board authorized $10.8 billion for the project to modernize the state's aging water delivery system, opolitan the primary investor in the project and more than doubling the agency's initially planned investment to ensure the project is completed as originally proposed. WaterFix will be paid for by the people and businesses that use the water it helps deliver via the retail water agencies and cities that serve thos opolitan's financing of the full project is expected to cost households on average up to $4.80 a month, though that average cost would be reduce o- politan recoups some of its investments from the agricultural sector opolitan will be selling or leasing capacity in the tun- nels to allow water deliveries or exchanges for other parties. About 30 percent of the water that flows out of taps in South- ern California comes fr alifornia via the Sacra- mento-San Joaquin Delta. But the Delta's delivery system is bad- ly outdated, its ecosystem is in decline and its 1,100-mile levee system is increasingly vulnerable to earthquakes, flooding, salt- water intrusion, sea level rise and environmental degradation. Attempts to help the Delta have led to regulatory restrictions that have reduced water exports from the region. California WaterFix would modernize the state's water delivery system by building three new water intakes in the northern Delta and two tunnels to carry the water under the Delta to the existing aqueduct systems in the southern Delta that deliver water to cities and farms. In Octob opolitan's board initially voted to par- ticipate in WaterFix and contribute up to 26 percent of its $17 billion cost, or about $4.3 billion. But the majority of federal agri- cultural contractors who also import supplies via the Delta have yet to commit to investing in the project, leaving part of the proj- ect's costs unfunded. In February, the state proposed building the project in stages instead – starting with two intakes and one tunnel, with a capac- ity of 6,000 cubic feet per second. An additional intake and tun- nel would be added when funding allowed. In its rec opolitan's board chose between supporting this staged construction of the project or helping finance the full 9,000 cfs project all at once, with the hope of recouping the investment from agricultural interests once the project is completed.

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