DWR Withdraws Approvals and Permit Applications for WaterFix, Confirms Plans for Single Delta Tunnel – Update from Somach, Simmons & Dunn

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) formally withdrew its approval for the twin tunnel water project known as California WaterFix, its certification of the environmental impact report for the project, and its Petition for Change in Points of Diversion (Change Petition) pending with the State Water Resources Control Board associated with the project on May 2, 2019.  At the same time, DWR announced its plans to proceed with a single tunnel and a new more transparent permitting process that would be part of a larger “portfolio based” water action plan announced two days earlier.  The twin tunnel withdrawal comes almost two years after DWR approved the project and authorized issuance of up to $11 billion in bonds to pay for it.  The approvals triggered the filing of 22 separate lawsuits in state and federal court challenging the project.  The Change Petition proceedings have been pending since 2015…. Read More Written by Richard S. Deitchman