Decision on Bay-Delta Plan Update Postponed After Brown, Newsom Letter Urges Continuance

  • by Will Holbert
  • Nov 7, 2018
  • Water News

The State Water Resources Control Board today decided to postpone until Dec. 11 a vote on proposed amendments to the Bay-Delta Plan update for the Lower San Joaquin River and Southern Delta following a request in writing late Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Elect Gavin Newsom.

Brown and Elect Newsom urged State Water Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus to grant a short extension to allow progress on negotiations toward voluntary agreements.

“During this time, we pledge to actively and meaningfully engage to bring this vital matter to a successful closure,” the letter stated. “We agree that the need to improve our aquatic ecosystems is urgent. A lasting and well-thought-out solution will benefit all Californians and our environment.”

ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn applauded the letter and the decision to continue the vote.

“By requesting a postponement of the State Water Board’s decision, Gov. Brown and Gov. Elect Newsom recognize the hard work underway to arrive at a voluntary agreement on Bay-Delta flows,” Quinn said. “I wholeheartedly agree that voluntary agreements are far preferable to the alternative and ACWA strongly supports all parties agreeing to a path forward through collaboration. ACWA and other water suppliers throughout California have consistently urged the State to embrace comprehensive, integrated strategies for fishery management that we believe would be better for fisheries and water supply. Everyone involved wants an outcome that supports a healthy environment and a fully restored fishery.”

Also backing the letter’s call for a postponement, Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth and California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton Bonham testified before the State Water Board Wednesday morning. State Water Board Felicia Marcus expressed reluctance to postpone the decision, but said she wanted to give Brown and Newsom a chance to engage in the process through a short delay.

The revised version of the State Water Board’s draft released in July proposed 40 percent of unimpaired flows for February through June, with an allowed adaptive range between 30 to 50 percent for the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced Rivers through to the San Joaquin River. The proposed flow objectives are intended to increase the required flows left in rivers for the protection of fish and wildlife but would significantly reduce water available to water users in the Lower San Joaquin River Watershed.

In written comments to the State Water Board, ACWA suggested updating the plan to provide for specific timing and function of river flows to achieve scientifically-determined outcomes in consideration of multiple variables. Such variables include predation, food, and habitat availability, and to incorporate non-flow solutions that reconnect land and water to restore habitat and address the full life cycle of species needs. These “functional flows” and “non-flow measures” would contribute real benefits to ecosystem recovery while maintaining water supply reliability.

Voluntary agreements arrived at through collaboration between all stakeholders offer the best opportunity to successfully utilize an approach that uses all the tools available to water suppliers to achieve the coequal goals of ecosystem health and a reliable water supply. California’s agricultural and urban water managers are united in their vision for a future that includes a healthy economy as well as healthy ecosystems and fish populations.

Suggested Resources

15 RESOURCES prev next
ACWA 2019 Spring Conference Presentations

Presentations from ACWA’s 2019 Spring Conference & Exhibition held May 7-10 in Monterey are available below. Please note that this […]

Priority Issues Bulletin

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter on the Proposed Framework for Performance Standards for Water Loss

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Proposed Framework for Performance Standards for Water Loss Letter excerpt:  Dear Mr. Gomberg: Thank […]

Federal Legislative Matrix

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Overview Presentations: Water Conservation/Water Use Efficiency Laws of 2018 (AB 1668/SB 606) and Implementation Challenges

State Overview by Peter Brostrom, Department of Water Resources (May 2019) Implementations Challenges by David Bolland, ACWA (May 2019) A […]

May 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

COMMENT LETTER: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Proposed Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States”

Agency: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Subject: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. […]

California H2O: Flowing for the Future

ACWA and J Comm, Inc. have collaborated to create a 10-part video series to educate Californians about critical water issues. […]

Energy and Water Resources Policy Principles

In January 2019, ACWA released policy principles on “Energy and Water Resources” in California. The updated principles will help guide […]

ACWA’s 2019 Spring Legal Briefing and CLE Workshop Materials

The following presentations and materials for ACWA’s 2019 Legal Briefing and CLE Workshop on May. 7 from 9 a.m. to […]

ACWA Suggested Guidelines for 2019 Triennial Reporting of Public Health Goal Exceedance in Drinking Water

Agency: Public Water Systems and State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water Subject: Suggested Guidelines for Preparation of Required […]

Executive Director Dave Eggerton Congressional Testimony on Western Water Infrastructure

Agency: House Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife Subject: State of Western Water Infrastructure in Innovation Testimony excerpt:  It is critical […]

Coalition Letter Supporting NPDES Permit Legislation

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

March 2019 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Comment Letter: Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program Third Preliminary Draft Regulations

Sorry, but only ACWA members have permission to view this content. Member login is required.

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
LEGISLATURE APPROVES UNPRECEDENTED FUNDING FOR ATMOSPHERIC RIVERS RESEARCH

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) will receive $9.25 million toward funding for research into atmospheric […]

State Agencies Seek Input on Creating Climate-Resilient Water System

SACRAMENTO — State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future water needs and ensuring environmental […]

PWD GM LaMoreaux Running for State Special Districts Association Board

Palmdale Water District (PWD) General Manager Dennis D. LaMoreaux is a candidate for the Southern Network Board of Directors for […]

James Peifer Named Executive Director of RWA and Sacramento Groundwater Authority

CITRUS HEIGHTS – Lauded water industry professional James Peifer has been selected as the next Executive Director of the Regional […]

ACWA Members Testify Before U.S. House of Representatives

On Thursday, the U.S. House Natural Resources Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee met to discuss legislation moving through the 116th […]

Sec. Crowfoot Testifies at U.S. Senate Wildfire Hearing

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee convened to discuss the outlook for various wildfire management programs […]

ACWA Seeks Nominations for Leaders for 2020-’21 Elected Term

The ACWA Nominating Committee is seeking nominations for qualified candidates to serve as ACWA president and vice president for the […]

Moulton Niguel Continues to Deliver Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water

In its water quality report covering calendar year 2018, Moulton Niguel Water District reports that the drinking water provided to […]

Check Soil Moisture Before Turning on Sprinklers, Water Providers Urge

Sacramento-area water providers are encouraging residents to check soil moisture before turning on sprinklers and are offering free moisture meters […]

IRWD Wins National Silver Anvil Award for Water Efficiency Campaign

Irvine Ranch Water District has received the nation’s most prestigious honor for public relations and outreach: a Public Relations Society […]

Governor and Legislative Leaders Collaborate on Safe Drinking Water Solution

On Sunday, the 2019 Conference Committee on the Budget voted for a safe drinking water funding solution for disadvantaged communities […]

VISTA IRRIGATION DISTRICT ANNOUNCES WATERSMART LANDSCAPE CONTEST WINNER

The Vista Irrigation District board of directors recognized one of its customers for her entry in the district’s WaterSmart Landscape […]

Helping build a brighter future for Yuba County

In the 1950s, our county leaders had the incredible vision and fortitude to conceive and construct a series of dams […]

Central Basin Achieves Recognition for Excellence in Financial Reporting

COMMERCE – The Central Basin Municipal Water District has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) with the […]

State Water Board Plans Workshop on CV Salt and Nitrate Program

A July 2 public workshop in Sacramento will invite input on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s plans […]