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
Comments on 2018 Electronic Annual Reporting

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: 2018 Electronic Annual Reporting Letter excerpt:  We appreciate your efforts in convening the Division of […]

2018 Summary of Appellate Cases

ACWA’s  2018 Summary of Appellate Cases details court decisions in 2017-’18 that may be of interest to ACWA member agencies […]

November 2018 Federal Regulatory Issues Chart

ACWA’s November 2018 Federal Regulatory Chart, is now available. This chart details the status of federal regulatory issues being tracked by […]

2018 SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY WATER FORUM (REGIONS 6 & 7)

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

Bay-Delta Plan Update Toolkit

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

ACWA 2018 Regulatory Summit Presentations

ACWA’s 2018 Regulatory Summit was held on Oct. 16, 2018 at the Hilton Arden-West in Sacramento. The theme of this […]

Comments on Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program Implementation

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Implementation of Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program Letter excerpt:  The Association of California Water Agencies […]

Joint Comments On Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life: Primer

Agency: Department of Water Resources Subject: Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life: Primer of 2018 Legislation on Water […]

August 2018 Federal Regulatory Chart

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

Toolkit Available for Supporting, Educating About Proposition 3

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

WATER PROFESSIONALS APPRECIATION WEEK TOOLKIT

California’s second annual Water Professionals Appreciation Week will kick off Oct. 6, highlighting the important role of water industry professionals […]

Comments on 2018 Draft Basin Prioritization Under SGMA

Agency: California Department of Water Resources Subject: 2018 Draft Basin Prioritization under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Letter excerpt:  The Association of […]

Bay-Delta Plan Resources

The following resources related to the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan and related documents are available to ACWA members. State […]

ACWA Dues Automation Process Webinar

ACWA has a recording available of the webinar on the new Dues Automation Process. The purpose of this recording is to assist […]

Joint Comments on Bay-Delta Plan Amendments for Flow Objectives on Lower San Joaquin River

Agency: State Water Resources Control Board Subject: Bay-Delta Plan Amendments for Flow Objectives on Lower San Joaquin River Letter excerpt: The […]

Suggested News

15 Articles prev next
Member Spotlight – November 2018

Oroville Dam Recovery Nearly Complete The Department of Water Resources has completely reconstructed the main spillway at Oroville Dam as […]

Faces of Water Q&A – November 2018

1. Describe your job. Azusa Light & Water (ALW) serves more than 110,000 customers in the San Gabriel Valley of […]

‘Beyond the Brink’ Available on DVD

Filmmaker and Producer Jim Thebaut’s exploration of a future where water, food, and natural resources teeter on the edge of […]

The Opportunity at Hand on Putting a Bay-Delta Solution in Place

The dialogue underway on voluntary settlement agreements over Bay-Delta water flow requirements offers the greatest potential yet on achieving the […]

State Agencies Release Final Version of Long-Term Water Conservation Primer

On Nov. 13, DWR and the State Water Board released a final version of their summary document on the two […]

EMWD Celebrates Completion of French Valley Recycled Water Pipeline

PERRIS —Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD) and its partner agencies on Thursday, November 8, celebrated the completion of the French […]

MMWD Selects Ben Horenstein as General Manager

Following an extensive nationwide search, the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) has selected Ben Horenstein for the position of General […]

NWRA honors Timothy Quinn with Water Buffalo Award

The National Water Resources Association (NWRA) presented ACWA Executive Director Timothy Quinn with its prestigious Water Buffalo Award on Nov. […]

Bond to Help Fund $4.6 Million Project to Reduce Wildfire Risk, Improve Watershed

The Forest Resilience Bond (FRB), developed by Blue Forest Conservation (BFC) in partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI), raises private […]

OCWD RENAMES WORLD-CLASS LABORATORY TO HONOR FORMER DIRECTOR PHILIP L. ANTHONY

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – Today, prior to its board of directors’ meeting, Orange County Water District (OCWD, the District) directors and staff gathered […]

Central Basin Director Leticia Vasquez-Wilson elected to serve as MWD Board Secretary

COMMERCE – Established in 1928 the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Board of Directors made history by electing […]

RCWD Board President Passes Away

TEMECULA – It is with heavy hearts that Rancho California Water District (RCWD/District) mourns the loss of our friend and […]

Dr. Anthony Fellow Declared Winner of Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD Election

MONROVIA –Anthony R. Fellow, Ph.D., who currently serves as the Director of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper […]

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

The State Water Resources Control Board today decided to postpone until Dec. 11 a vote on proposed amendments to the […]

Proposition 3 Fails Passage at 2018 General Election

Despite widespread support from water agencies and a coalition of other organizations throughout California, Proposition 3, the statewide water bond […]