By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

water dropCalifornia’s Santa Clara Valley Water District agreed this week to contribute $650 million to the state’s plan for massive tunnels that will deliver water from the north of the state to the south.

The $16.7 billion California WaterFix plan has been struggling for years, with Gov. Jerry Brown moving it along in phases. Local water agencies south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are scheduled to pay for the project.

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in Los Angeles agreed to pay $10.8 million toward the project, and in turn, would be repaid by agricultural groups in the state’s Central Valley.

But the project has been plagued by financial struggles since its inception and sceptics say that Santa Clara’s contribution is not enough to alieve that. Nonetheless, state regulators remain optimistic.

“In the coming days,” Karla Nemeth, director of the state Department of Water Resources, wrote in a statement, “the state and the public water agencies funding WaterFix will enter into an agreement to implement final design and construction.”

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