December 5, 2020
Chairwoman Gloria Gray
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Dear Chairwoman Gray,
I am writing to you as the Chairman of the Environment Committee of Inland Action to support Metropolitan funding of the State’s environmental review and planning process for the single-tunnel Delta conveyance project. Inland Action is a non-profit, non-partisan corporation created in 1962. The membership consists of corporations, businesses, and organizations whose leaders work for the economic well-being and betterment of the Inland Empire and the Southern California region.
The Inland Empire is a diverse community of over 4.2MM residents, and as more and more people are working remotely, the region’s growth will continue to accelerate. The need for safe, reliable water sources to support this growth has never been greater. Our region leads in recycled water sources as well as groundwater enhancement projects. We are great stewards of the water we have. As the climate continues to become more arid and water supplies become inconsistent, the need to modernize the aging conveyance system is critical to the health of the region.
The ecosystem of the Delta is enhanced, not degraded, by moving the source of the State Water Project farther north, where flows are much less disrupted, and the system can take advantage of short-term high-water flows. Southern California relies on nearly a third of its water supply from the Sierra Nevada. The health, economy and environment of the Inland Empire is dependent on a reliable system, both locally and from the Delta. This is not an either/or situation; it is a both/and situation. Southern California is working diligently to reduce its reliance on the Delta.
The Delta conveyance project is one of many steps we must take to ensure the region’s water resiliency. Southern California is doing its part – actively diversifying its portfolio by developing local projects and investing in water efficiency. Still, the success of these local projects, including recycling projects, depends on a reliable supply of high-quality water from Northern California.
For years Inland Action has advocated for a consistent, reliable water source, and have not advocated for greater volumes – only for consistency. The Governor’s Water Resilience Portfolio includes the one-tunnel Delta conveyance, and we strongly support this position. We urge the Metropolitan’s Board of Directors to help fund the environmental review and planning process for the project.
On behalf of Inland Action, I thank you for your consideration of this critical issue.
Ken Coate, Chairman
Inland Action Environment Committee