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The Metropolitan Water District, currently serving 19 million customers in southern California, is in negotiations to buy five islands in the San Joaquin Delta.

“There are many reasons why we are interested. Future projects and emergency preparation are two of them,” Bay Delta Initiatives Manager Steve Arakawa said.

The parent-company of the current landowners is a Swiss-based conglomerate.

Estimates put the land purchase at around $200 million.

Opponents of the Delta Tunnels Project are skeptical of the potential buy.

Already against using underground tunnels to supply water to the southern part of the state using the Delta, they also do not believe the water company would be stewards of the environment.

“I do not have confidence in the Metropolitan water District on their incentives are financial and water-based,” Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, the executive director of Restore The Delta, told FOX40.

Arakawa says the company had a good track record on environmental issues.

The total sum of land is 20,000 square-acres sitting in San Joaquin and Contra Costa Counties.