California plans taking farms for massive water tunnels

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/AP) — A showdown is shaping up between the state and hundreds of California farmers.

A new report suggests California is planning to take up to 300 farms to acquire land for a project to build massive water tunnels. That’s despite the fact that Gov. Jerry Brown’s water tunnel plan has yet to win approval.

A 160-page report prepared by state contractors lays out plans to move rapidly to eminent domain to acquire land for two, 30-mile long tunnels.

The tunnels would help ferry water from Northern and Central California to Southern California.

Brown’s administration says the huge tunnels are essential in drought-plagued California. Northern California farmers say the tunnels would destroy a vital water system.

The project is still officially in a public-comment phase.

Opponents of the tunnels say they acquired the state’s plan through the open records act.

Farmer Richard Elliot says the plan shows Brown intends to force through the controversial project.

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