Judge: California Delta Land Deal Can Move Forward

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FRESNO (AP) — A judge says Southern California’s largest water supplier can move ahead with plans to buy sprawling farmland that could be used to help build twin tunnels under the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

A superior court judge sided Thursday with Metropolitan Water District. It’s buying 20,000 acres in the delta islands east of San Francisco for $175 million.

San Joaquin and Contra Costa counties argued that Metropolitan didn’t adequately study how the deal may harm the fragile delta before striking the deal.

The counties ultimately want to block Gov. Jerry Brown’s tunnels that would send delta water south.

San Joaquin County Counsel Mark Myles says they are considering their next step.

Metropolitan’s Bob Muir says the water supplier hasn’t officially decided how it will use the land, making the lawsuit premature.