Our Roadmap to a Better California Water System

Let’s do the Math: One tunnel for the Delta is 100 percent better than Zero.

And here’s the context: While the Silicon Valley Leadership Group supported former Governor Jerry Brown’s belief that two Delta tunnels to convey water that so many people depend upon was the best policy choice, we also concur with Governor Gavin Newsom’s position that securing one tunnel is abundantly better than no tunnel at all. Why is a solution so vitally important to Silicon Valley?

• Nearly 50 percent of the water serving Silicon Valley residents comes from the Delta.
• This water supports two million Silicon Valley residents, and another 200,000 people commuting into our region.
• This accounts for 40 percent of our drinking water.

Our support for the two tunnel proposal was, and still is, grounded in data. The operational redundancy of two tunnels is ideal for outage scenarios, the impact of potential earthquakes, and more sustainable patterns of pumping and recharge. It also improves drinking water quality and the ability of our local water districts to meet public health standards.

However, we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Governor Newsom knows we all have too much at stake to stay in silos – in our traditional positions of inaction. We share the Governor’s point of view that we must all come together to protect our quality of life, strengthen our economy and ensure public safety through the benefits of securing the Delta tunnel. It means the passionate interests of our farmers, environmentalists, employers and water agencies must avoid pointing fingers and start joining hands. The cost of inaction could be devastating, and the benefits of action are vital.

We stand ready to compromise for the common good. We encourage all sides to join Governor Newsom for a sound, sensible plan that will serve millions of Californians with a safe, healthy, drinkable water supply.

For more than a decade, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group has worked to thoughtfully engage in this effort through the leadership of our Senior Vice President for Energy and the Environment, Mike Mielke. His work on climate change, Bay restoration and flood protection is respected throughout our region. You can reach Mike directly at mmielke@svlg.org.

– Carl Guardino, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group | March 11, 2019