CalChamber, Coalition in Support of Plan to Fix Aging Water Delivery Infrastructure

A broad coalition that includes the California Chamber of Commerce, and labor, business, environmental, community and water leaders announced the formation of Californians for Water Security (CWS) yesterday. The coalition supports Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to fix California’s aging primary water distribution infrastructure by building a single tunnel through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“The system that delivers water to millions of residents, farms and businesses is at serious risk,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber president and CEO. “Investments in our water infrastructure now will pay dividends in the future as we can secure our water supplies and protect hundreds of thousands of regional jobs that depend on the stability of this water source.”

Deteriorating Infrastructure

California’s aging water delivery system is outdated and at risk of collapse in the event of a major earthquake or flood. Moreover, the system needs to be modernized to better prepare for climate change and the resulting extreme droughts, severe floods, and increasing water salinity in the Delta resulting from rising sea levels.

The Newsom Administration is expected to initiate the environmental review process on the new project in December. CWS will work over the coming months and years to support the project through the regulatory process, at local water districts, and in the Legislature through public education, grassroots activism, social and earned media.  A key priority for the coalition will be to ensure the project is designed to carry sufficient capacity to protect the state’s water supply reliability and that the project is financially viable.

CWS supports the new tunnel project because it would:

  • Protect water security for two-thirds of the state. Without action, water supplies through main distribution infrastructure will continue to decrease.
  • Improve the reliability and security of California’s water system by fixing aging infrastructure using the most innovative technologies and engineering practices.
  • Protect water supplies from earthquakes, floods and natural disasters by delivering them through a modern water pipeline, rather than solely through today’s deteriorating levee system.
  • Prepare for the impacts of climate change by improving the state’s ability to move and store water to account for extreme swings in drought and flood and to protect against salinity caused by sea-level rise.
  • Restore habitats and more natural water flows above ground in rivers and streams in order to reduce impacts on endangered fish and other wildlife.
  • Serve as a critical component of a comprehensive water portfolio.

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Staff Contact: Valerie Nera


Valerie Nera
Valerie Nera specializes in advocacy on agriculture, water, resources, crime, and banking and finance issues for the CalChamber. She joined the CalChamber staff in 1978 as a legislative assistant on agricultural issues. She also has lobbied air, environmental and privacy issues for the CalChamber. She earned a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. See full bio.