SACRAMENTO -- A group of nearly two dozen Democrats is challenging Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to build a massive water project in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
On Thursday, 22 lawmakers from districts throughout the state released a letter urging the Brown administration to consider an alternative to the most ambitious water supply project proposed in California in decades.
Brown's still-evolving proposal calls for the construction of two massive tunnels beneath the delta to transport water south, in addition to the restoration of tens of thousands of acres of delta habitat. Opponents, including farmers and a number of conservation groups, argue that the plan could sully irrigation water, endanger fish and rob the ecosystem of needed flows.
In their letter, lawmakers advocated an alternative plan that calls for a smaller, less expensive water facility -- one tunnel -- and half the amount of habitat restoration. Under the plan, the cost savings would help pay for other actions, including reinforcing delta levees and increasing water recycling and conservation.