Metropolitan Water District’s Delta Islands purchase challenged by lawsuit

“People need to understand that MWD is not acting in the best interest of Southern Californians – it is only furthering their position as a water broker to import water to cities and utilities,” said Adam Scow, the California Director of Food and Water Watch, at the noon rally. “In fact, the Cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica both voted against the deal.”

On the lawn of Cesar Chavez Park in downtown Stockton on April 14, representatives of environmental groups, two Delta counties and Delta farmers gathered to announce the filing of a lawsuit challenging the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California’s purchase of four Delta islands to facilitate the construction of Governor Jerry Brown’s Delta Tunnels.

Food & Water Watch, the Planning and Conservation League, San Joaquin County, Contra Costa County, the Contra Costa Water Agency and the Central Delta Water Agency filed suit in San Joaquin Superior Court Thursday afternoon, alleging that MWD’s claim of complete exemption from environmental review for the proposed purchase of 20,000 acres of Delta islands and farmland is “illegal and unjustified.”

The lawsuit asks the Judge to enjoin the powerful Southern California water agency from purchasing the property unless and until it completes the environmental review required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), one of the state’s landmark environmental laws.

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