Policy Statement on Bay-Delta Flow Requirements

  • Mar 29, 2017
  • Policy Documents

In March 2017, ACWA releases its “Policy Statement on Bay-Delta Flow Requirements,” urging the State Water Resources Control Board to set aside its problematic “unimpaired flow” approach to setting new water quality objectives in the Bay-Delta watershed.

The statement, adopted in a special meeting by conference call on March 10, calls on the State Water Board to heed Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for negotiated agreements, which have proven successful in achieving positive ecological outcomes while maintaining water supply reliability. ACWA believes the state’s policy on flows should embrace a collaborative, comprehensive approach that protects and promotes both water supply reliability and ecosystem health.

The State Water Board staff proposal to base new water quality objectives on a “percentage of unimpaired flow” could lead to widespread fallowing of agricultural land and negatively affect water reliability for much of the state’s population. The singular focus on unimpaired flow is incompatible with the state’s policy of coequal goals and other broader policy commitments in the Brown Administration’s California Water Action Plan.