SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The main agency promoting Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $16 billion water tunnels has given its expected approval to the project.

Friday’s action by the Department of Water Resources endorses the giant tunnels as a sound step environmentally.

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The Democratic governor wants to remake the state’s water system by tapping two 35-mile tunnels into Northern California’s Sacramento River.

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Conservationists and many Northern California water agencies oppose the tunnels. Supporters say the tunnels would create a more reliable water supply for the San Francisco Bay and Central and Southern California.

Federal wildlife and fish agencies already have given their approval. The project still has state and federal hurdles to clear. The water districts that would have to foot the bill still haven’t said whether they are signing on to the project.

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