LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council moved Wednesday to officially oppose staged construction of a proposed multibillion-dollar water-delivery tunnel project if it would result in greater costs or a greater portion of the financial burden for Los Angeles ratepayers.

State water officials announced last month they will pursue staged construction of the California Waterfix project, leaving water agencies in the Southland and elsewhere to decide if they want to continue supporting the effort.

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The project would divert water from the Sacramento River as it enters the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and carry it to existing federal and state pumping stations in the southern part of the delta through two 35-mile tunnels.

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In the face of funding shortfalls for the nearly $17 billion project, state Department of Water Resources announced in February that the agency plans to pursue a staged construction approach, building only one tunnel initially at a cost of about $10.7 billion.

The City Council’s 13-0 vote directs the city’s chief legislative analyst, if necessary, to draft a resolution opposing the MWD’s involvement in the project if the proposal for adoption by its board of directors results in a larger financial burden or greater portion of the financial burden for Los Angeles ratepayers.

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