Brown calls for delta canal in Calif. water plan

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California Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Jerry Brown gestures during a news conference August 31, 2010 in Oakland, California.

SACRAMENTO — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown hasn't changed his mind about the peripheral canal, which voters defeated when he was governor in 1982.

A water plan he released Wednesday calls for building a canal or tunnel around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as a way to more efficiently funnel water to Southern California and Central Valley farmers.

If elected governor, Brown says he would take action to restore the delta's ecosystem while meeting California's water needs.

A federal-state task force is drafting a conservation plan for the delta that calls for diverting Sacramento River water around the estuary. Environmentalists and many Northern California communities oppose such a canal, saying it will take too much fresh water from the delta.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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