With the latest Delta tunnel proposal relying on the Sacramento River nearing the end of another review phase, now seems like a good time to restate The Modesto Bee’s longstanding opposition to it.

The tunnel project was a very bad idea when earlier versions were floated over the past six decades. It remains a bad idea today, particularly in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, for reasons related to social justice and economic survival.

It’s not hard to see why most California governors since Pat Brown, who was elected in 1959, have schemed to send tons of Northern California river water to Silicon Valley and Southern California. Those areas need more water, and they possess financial and political power.

But should the wealthy and powerful get everything they want?

Not so far.

None of the earlier iterations of this proposal — the peripheral canal in the 1980s, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan through 2014 or California WaterFix from 2015 to 2019 — succeeded. Under Gov. Gavin Newsom, it’s now known as the Delta Conveyance project, and its prospects are hardly better.

The basic idea is to send a good portion of the Sacramento River through a 40-foot-tall, 45-mile-long tunnel under the eastern fringe of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to a point near Mountain House, where the water would be picked up by the California Aqueduct. That huge canal would deliver it south, mainly to 25 million urban customers in Santa Clara County and Southern California, as well as farms around Kern County.

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