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California Outlines Plan for Scaled Back Giant Water Tunnel

FILE -- Demonstrators rallied at the Capitol to protest a plan announced by Gov. Jerry Brown to build a giant twin tunnel system to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California, Wednesday July 25, 2012. Gov. Gain Newsom's administration has scaled the project back to a single tunnel, but the project still has many critics. The state Department of Water Resources released a report on July 27, 2022, outlining their preferred route for the giant water system, which will reroute water from the north to the south. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
FILE -- Demonstrators rallied at the Capitol to protest a plan announced by Gov. Jerry Brown to build a giant twin tunnel system to move water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to Southern California, Wednesday July 25, 2012. Gov. Gain Newsom's administration has scaled the project back to a single tunnel, but the project still has many critics. The state Department of Water Resources released a report on July 27, 2022, outlining their preferred route for the giant water system, which will reroute water from the north to the south. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
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Sacramento, Calif. (AP) -- A new plan to reroute how water moves from wetter Northern California to drier Southern California would ferry some of it through a single, 45-mile (72-kilometer) underground tunnel, wrapping around the state’s existing water delivery system and dumping it into the main aqueduct that flows south to vast swaths of farmland and millions of people.

The proposal released Wednesday would build one tunnel to take water from the Sacramento River, the state's largest, to the California Aqueduct for delivery further south. It's scaled back from the two-tunnel plan championed by former Gov. Jerry Brown and the latest iteration of a project that has been talked about and planned in some form, but never constructed, for about half a century.