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Delta Legacy Communities objects to DWR’s $15 million loan for Delta tunnel engineering design

From Delta Legacy Communities, Inc:

Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. has sent a formal objection to the Department of Water Resources providing a $15 million loan to the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority for Delta tunnel engineering design.

Since May of 2019, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) has loaned $33.8 million to the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority (DCA) for Delta tunnel engineering design, through amendments to the Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement. DWR is proposing to provide another $15 million  to the DCA, for a total of $48.8 million in loans.

Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. objects that DWR does not have legally available revenues in the State Water Resources Development System accounts to pay for the $15 million loan.  For each statute governing a State Water Resources Development System fund (Burns-Porter Act, Central Valley Project Act, Davis-Dolwig Act) the letter has an explanation of how the statute restricts DWR’s use of the funds. 

Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. Chair, Dan Whaley said, “DWR cannot take money dedicated to maintenance and repair of the existing State Water Project facilities and use it to pay for the Delta tunnel engineering efforts.”

The Department of Water Resources has asked taxpayers to pay for repair of subsidence on the California Aqueduct, although the repairs are a legal obligation of the State Water Project Contractors. Dan Whaley said, “this is a back-door subsidy for the Delta tunnel project, and it is against the law.”

In the letter, Delta Legacy Communities also calls for the Department of Finance and DWR to comply with mandated reporting requirements for the State Water Resources Development System, before DWR issues the $15 million loan for Delta tunnel engineering. Dan Whaley said, “The Department of Finance and DWR need to explain to taxpayers where the State Water Project revenues are being spent. It’s the law.”

ABOUT DELTA LEGACY COMMUNITIES, INC.

Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. supports and advocates for the eleven Delta legacy communities from Freeport to Knightsen, recognized in the Delta Reform Act of 2009.  The Delta Legacy Communities, Inc. Board includes a member from each Delta legacy community.

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