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Metropolitan Water District weighs participation in statewide water tunnels project

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Photo by Pete Morris via Flickr Creative Commons

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We may have the monopoly on sunshine here in Southern California, but up north, they've got most of the water. Now, a plan to construct underground tunnels to bring some of that water down south has hit yet another roadblock.

A central valley water agency has pulled out of the project leaving the SoCal Metropolitan Water District to decide if it can stay the course. MWD's board is scheduled to vote on the decision on October 10. 

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with Deven Upadhyay, Water Resources Manager with the MWD, about what's at stake and how the MWD is navigating the decision-making process. 

"What we're looking at right now is our share of the project being about... 26% of the cost and then getting out in the future, about 26% of the water supply," Upadhyay said. "That's really what our board is going to be considering over the next couple weeks."

Upadhayay stressed that the success of the tunnels requires agencies across the state to participate. If the project falls apart, he says SoCal's supply would become less reliable. "We would have to look elsewhere and frankly, those other alternatives, at least right now from what we see, are significantly more expensive."

To hear the segment, click on the media player above.