STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Democratic Congressman is introducing an alternative to California Gov. Jerry Brown’s controversial $17 billion Waterfix plan.
The governor’s proposal involves building two massive tunnels to carry water from the Sacramento River that would eventually end up in the Central Valley and Southern California.
In downtown Stockton, in front of several supporters, Rep. Jerry McNerney introduced a new plan for what he calls a sustainable water future.
“What we want to do is provide the means for regions to become self-sufficient. So, they don’t have to rely on Northern California for their water,” said McNerney.
Congressman McNerney says the new way calls for recycling and reuse of water supplies.
“Finally there is a voice of reason to counteract our irrational governor and his destructive plans,” said Michael Brodsky, Save the California Delta Alliance.
McNerney’s plan is an alternative to the California Waterfix tunnels proposal which involves building two tunnels—each four stories tall and 30 miles long—to carry water from the Sacramento River to intake stations and then to the Central Valley.
“If that should happen and they are granted these permits then I will have to move, my neighbors will have to move; we won’t be able to breathe the air and we won’t be able to stand the noise,” said Barbara Daly who supports the new plan.
Kathleen Gapusan of Stockton lives on the delta and says both plans will go nowhere.
“I’m not sure it’s going to work. Up to now, we haven’t had much effectiveness,” she said.
Gapusan has been fighting for change along the delta for years. She says if the state doesn’t address current problems like the blue and green algae in the water and the aging infrastructure than the new bill won’t matter.
“It’s going to be an election piece; it’s going to be more rhetoric; it’s going to be more of the same thing. We have just as many powerful people up here than we do in southern California and we’re stuck in the middle,” she said.
Congressman McNerney will head back to Washington, D.C., where he will officially introduce the bill. The plan now is getting sponsors for this new legislation.