Deirdre Des Jardins, Director of California Water Research, provided these comments today to the Metropolitan Water District Board on their vote for funding for the next two years of Delta tunnel planning.
Southern California needs real solutions for climate change, not hype. Unfortunately the only information provided for the MWD Board vote today is hype.
The preliminary benefits analysis provided to the MWD Board for this vote uses a value of 55 inches for “extreme” sea level rise. This is the same obsolete value for extreme sea level rise used in the failed WaterFix project. Current estimates of extreme sea level rise are 2 meters to 10 feet by 2100.
The MWD Board needs to ensure that Best Available Science is used for all project approvals, including this one. The Board should request that the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority analyze the performance of the proposed North Delta Intake locations with 2 meters to 10 feet of sea level rise, so that the Board can assess the risks of future salinity intrusion at the North Delta intakes.
Until this information is provided, there is no support for the assertion that this is a climate adaptation project.
For more information, see our written comments.