On 13 September 2017, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Water Impact Network, AquAlliance and the California Indian Water Commission challenged the legality of proposed bonds that will be used to pay for the construction of the Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) WaterFix project. The project would construct twin 35 mile-long tunnels under the Delta to divert millions of acre-feet of Sacramento River water to cities and farms in southern California. It would seriously degrade Delta water quality and threaten the survival of numerous fish species in the Central Valley.
CSPA’s answer and response to DWR’s Complaint for Validation contends that the project cannot secure all if its approvals, a precondition of issuing more than $11 billion in bonds, and that DWR is seeking to illegally shift a substantial share of the project’s costs to state taxpayers, rather than ensuring that the recipients of the water be responsible for all costs, as the law requires. A Validation Complaint is a legal maneuver that entails filing an action against virtually everyone in the state that, if successful, would eliminate all future legal challenges to the financing of the project.
The answer and response seeks a court order declaring the bonds invalid, which would prevent DWR from securing required funding for the project to go forward. A number of other public interest organizations, water agencies, municipalities and counties also joined in responding to the Validation Complaint.