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Brown Scales Back, Proposes One-Tunnel Water Plan

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown is paring down his troubled proposal for redoing California’s north-south water system in hopes of launching the mega-project before he leaves office this year.

The new plan calls for just one giant tunnel to ship Northern California water south instead of two. It would put Southern and central California water agencies directly in charge of designing and building the project instead of the state.

The state posted the new proposal for state contracts on its website late Friday.

Brown had been pushing to launch construction of two giant $16 billion water tunnels to supply farms and cities to the south, but the project has failed to gain enough support from water agencies that would pay for it.

Environmental groups also oppose it.