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California Closes in on Final Delta Plan with Release of Environmental Report

Thursday, 09 July 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 9, 2015
 
California Closes in on Final Delta Plan with Release of Environmental Report
Revised Proposal Reflects Years of Research, Public Input

Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Water Resources and the United States Bureau of Reclamation today released the Partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for California WaterFix, the proposed project to secure the state’s primary water supply and improve environmental conditions in the Delta. The draft plan reflects years of research and revisions, hundreds of public meetings and input received during the 6-month public comment period. For more information on California WaterFix and the materials released today, please visit www.californiawaterfix.com

“This project has evolved substantially over the past eight years, and we’re at a critical juncture now as the state gets closer to a final plan. The antiquated water system we use today isn’t working. Regulations prevent us from capturing and storing water that would help us through droughts, earthquakes pose a constant threat to freshwater supplies and the environment still deteriorates. After cutting water deliveries for years and brutal drought, we are acutely aware of the need to invest in a more reliable water system that can better serve millions of people, businesses and farms. Our agencies will carefully consider the changes proposed, recognizing that we need a secure water supply and modernizing the Delta water system is essential to making that happen."

Stefanie Morris
Acting General Manager
State Water Contractors
 

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Public Water Agencies Seek Action to Protect Stored State Water Project Supplies from Unlawful Diversions

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 16, 2015

 

Public Water Agencies Seek Action to Protect Stored State Water Project Supplies from Unlawful Diversions
Diversions in the Delta Reduce Water for Environment, Water Quality

Sacramento, CA – The State Water Contractors (SWC) filed a complaint today requesting the State Water Resources Control Board take action to protect State Water Project releases from unlawful diversions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). Every day this summer, public water agencies will release billions of gallons of freshwater from storage to maintain environmental and water quality standards in the Delta. Substantial, unlawful diversions by water diverters south of the San Joaquin River threaten to increase the burden on limited stored water supplies, affecting both the environment and other water users. 

“These landowners in the Delta have long-standing water rights that entitle them to water when nature provides it—but those rights do not entitle them to stored water paid for by others and intended for the environment. If nature ran its course, the Delta would not be suitable for drinking or farming this summer,” said Stefanie Morris, acting general manager of the State Water Contractors.

Historical measurements of salinity indicate that the Delta does not naturally stay fresh during droughts. Today, however, state and federal water projects are responsible for maintaining freshwater conditions in the Delta year-round expressly for environmental purposes. 

Landowners that continue to divert water from within the Delta are taking the stored state and federal water project supplies needed to meet water quality requirements. On any given day, landowners in the Delta are diverting three to four times as much water as the state and federal water projects combined. Estimates show that landowners last year diverted as much as 300,000 acre-feet of water in excess of their water rights. This water was paid for by other water users and released into the Delta to improve water quality. In the same year, the State Water Project received just 200,000 acre-feet for all 26 million customers and 750,000 acres of farmland. 

“We’re depending on stored water to meet environmental needs, but without action from the state, keeping the Delta water fresh this summer will be like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in the bottom. We’ll be depleting reservoirs to make up for what diverters south of the San Joaquin River are taking out,” added Morris.

Historical data and extensive modeling show that the Delta would be much saltier without the state’s major reservoirs. The map below, based on modeling conducted by the State Water Contractors, is one example of what water quality in the Delta would have been last summer without the state and federal water projects:

Aug-09-2014

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Governor Brown Introduces “California WaterFix” Revised Solution for Broken Water System

Thursday, 30 April 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 30, 2015

 

Governor Brown Introduces “California WaterFix” Revised Solution for Broken Water System
Water Agencies Committed to Water Supply Reliability & Habitat Restoration

 

Sacramento, CAGovernor Jerry Brown, U.S. Interior Deputy Secretary Michael Connor and others introduced today California WaterFix, a revised approach to securing water supply reliability and restoring habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). Our antiquated water system isn’t working – regulations prevent us from capturing needed rainfall during drought, earthquakes pose a constant threat to freshwater and the environment still deteriorates. 

For several years, federal and state agencies have been developing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan – a 50-year project aiming to restore Delta habitat while concurrently providing water users with improved water reliability. California WaterFix, and the newly-launched parallel California EcoRestore program, seek to accomplish the same two objectives using a different approach that reflects the realities of today. Based on years of scientific research and as a direct response to extensive public input, the Governor’s newly proposed approach no longer seeks a 50-year permit, but aims to modernize Delta conveyance and restore habitat through separate permitting tracks.  

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Storms Provide Small Increase in Water Supplies for Public Water Agencies

Monday, 02 March 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 2, 2015

Storms Provide Small Increase in Water Supplies for Public Water Agencies
State Forecasts Agencies Will Receive 20% of State Water Project Supplies in 2015

Sacramento, CA – Public water agencies are now projected to receive 20 percent of contracted water supplies from the State Water Project (SWP) in 2015, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today. Winter storms allowed DWR to increase the previous 15 percent allocation.

“We welcome this much-needed, modest increase in water supplies. The severe multi-year drought has created a water supply deficit that will not be easy to close, and we need to capture what we can before winter is over,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “As devastating impacts continue sweeping across our drought-stricken state, we need every drop we can get.”

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Water Agencies Brace for Minimal State Water Project Deliveries in 2015

Monday, 01 December 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2014

Water Agencies Brace for Minimal State Water Project Deliveries in 2015
State Forecasts a 10% Initial SWP Allocation

Sacramento, CA – Public water agencies may only receive 10 percent of allotted water supplies in 2015 from the State Water Project (SWP), the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today. At the end of each calendar year, DWR provides an initial estimate of how much water may be delivered in the upcoming year to public water agencies that get water from the SWP. Forecasted precipitation allowed DWR to set the initial allocation at 10 percent, but 95 percent of the state is still in severe drought as we move into the winter months.

Improved rainfall conditions could increase allocations, but there is no guarantee, and DWR cautioned that allocations could decrease if dry conditions return. The 2014 water year ended the same as it started, with a historic low final allocation, and water agencies received just 5 percent of their contractual water amounts. This week’s precipitation did boost water levels in several of the state’s key reservoirs, including Lake Oroville, the primary reservoir for the SWP. However, recent storms still leave Northern California below the average amount of precipitation for this time of year.

“We are grateful for the rain, but we will need more storms to recoup from months of drought—we are still rolling from one brutally dry year to the next,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “We closed out 2014 with record-low water deliveries, and the forecast for 2015 is not much better.”

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Water Level in Key Reservoir Near Historic Low

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2014
Water Level in Key Reservoir Near Historic Low
Lake Oroville at 26 Percent of Capacity as Drought Persists


Sacramento, CA – The water level in Lake Oroville, the second largest reservoir in California and the primary reservoir for the State Water Project, is near the 1977 historic low despite recent rainfall. Earlier this month, water in Oroville fell below 1991 levels, which were the second lowest on record until this year. Lake Oroville serves millions of people, businesses and farms and can hold up to 3.5 million acre-feet of water, but today the reservoir has only 904,000 acre-feet and continues to hover near the record low of 890,000 acre-feet. At just 26 percent of capacity, the water level is far below historical averages for late November. 

California reservoirs are typically replenished during the winter and spring months, but a dry winter left Oroville at only half of capacity going into summer this year. Oroville received some runoff from last weekend’s showers and may receive additional supplies from precipitation forecasted for the coming weekend, but this light rain will not be enough to make much of an impact to the reservoir’s near historic low storage levels.   

“The drought has been unforgiving and near record lows at Oroville show just how grim the situation is,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “Stored water sustains California through dry years, but that water only lasts so long—we need storms this winter to refill our reservoirs.”

California has been relying heavily on storage since the beginning of this three-year drought, and reservoirs across the state are painfully low. California’s 12 largest reservoirs are well below the historical averages for this time of year, and 95 percent of the state is still experiencing severe drought conditions. 

Water agencies, farms, businesses and residents are doing everything they can to stretch water supplies and ease impacts of the drought. Voluntary and mandatory water use restrictions are in place across the state and people have responded to the call for conservation. Water agencies have invested in storage projects, water recycling, stormwater capture and local water supply projects to increase efficiency. Farms throughout California are more water-efficient than ever, employing new technologies and best practices to make the most out of irrigation water. 

Conservation and local water supply projects are critical, but California still needs to change the way it manages water supplies from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, a primary source of water for nearly all of California.

The few times storms came through in recent years, we missed the opportunity to capture and store water. Regulatory restrictions required excess water to flow through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and out to the San Francisco Bay, rather than into storage facilities. For example, in late 2012 and early 2013, storms came through that would have replenished South of Delta reservoirs, but because of environmental restrictions, the state was unable to capture 800,000 acre-feet of water. That amount of water would have served roughly 1.5 million households for one year.

The fact that water managers cannot capture water when it’s abundant underscores the need to update the state’s water delivery system. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is being developed to modernize the state’s water delivery system using today’s technology to create a system with the flexibility to capture excess water during wet times and ensure water supply reliability year round. 

“We can only go so long without new water—we need a better system that allows us to capture and store water when storms come through,” added Erlewine. 

For more information on reservoir levels, please visit http://cdec.water.ca.gov/reservoir.html

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Leading Business Organizations Submit BDCP Comment Letters Stating the Project is a Necessary Investment in the Future of California’s Economy

Friday, 25 July 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2014


Leading Business Organizations Submit BDCP Comment Letters Stating the Project is a Necessary Investment in the Future of California’s Economy 
BDCP Public Comment Period Concludes Next Week 

 

Sacramento, CA – The State Water Contractors, along with California’s business leaders, are reminding all Californians that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) public comment period will come to a close on July 29, 2014, and the time to comment is now. California’s business leaders and organizations – including California Building Industry Association, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley Industry and Commerce Association, Los Angeles County Business Federation, Los Angeles Business Council, and Orange County Business Council, among others – have joined in support of the BDCP. Many have already submitted comment letters stressing that the plan is a necessary investment in protecting our economy because a secure water supply is vital to the state’s economic well-being.

“Securing water supply reliability is one of California’s most challenging public policy issues, and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan will lead statewide policy in the direction of resolving that issue,” said Bryan Starr, senior vice president of the Orange County Business Council. “Moving forward with a plan that will secure long-term water supply reliability will show businesses that operate in the state and those who desire to relocate here that California invests in the infrastructure necessary to allow business growth and job creation.”

The water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) – which supplies 26 million Californians, the majority of the state’s businesses and millions of acres of farmland – is currently ushered through 100-year old dirt levees that could collapse in the event of a major earthquake. If an earthquake causes the current levees to fail, it would allow saltwater to contaminate this vital water source, cutting off the water supply that fuels two-thirds of the state for up to one year. To prevent this crisis, the BDCP will modernize the water delivery system in the Delta and offer long-term protection from earthquakes and other natural disasters by building two tunnels that will safely route water underneath, instead of through, the fragile Delta.

“Water is a primary ingredient in a building’s foundation just as it is for the foundation of our economy. Losing two-thirds of the state’s water supply would bring our industry to a standstill and is simply too great a risk to ignore,” said Dave Cogdill, president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association. “On behalf of the California Building Industry Association and the hundreds of thousands of business leaders and employees that we represent, we cannot afford to wait for crisis to strike. California needs the Bay Delta Conservation Plan.”

A secure water supply is an indispensable component of a healthy economy, yet it is a component that California currently lacks. Losing two-thirds of the state’s water supply would be bad for business and bad for the entire economy in California and beyond. The state’s business leaders believe that the BDCP is a necessary investment in protecting the future of California and creating a more business-friendly environment in the state. Additionally, studies show that the BDCP will create and protect more than 1 million jobs (BDCP Job Creation & Protection infographic). 

“Many of California’s core economic sectors, such as entertainment, tourism, manufacturing, technology, farming and hospitality, are dependent on a reliable and affordable water supply,” said Gary Toebben, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. “Water helps fuel California’s $2 trillion economy, and achieving improved water reliability, as outlined in the BDCP, is critical to the future of the state.”

The State Water Contractors and California’s business leaders are encouraging their local elected officials and community members to review and comment on the Draft BDCP and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement before the public comment period concludes on July 29, 2014. 

For more information about the BDCP, please visit http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Home.aspx.

For more information on how to submit a comment letter on the BDCP, please visit http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/PublicReview/HowtoComment.aspx.

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State Water Board Approves Regulations to Address Drought, Supports Conservation Efforts

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 15, 2014


State Water Board Approves Regulations to Address Drought, Supports Conservation Efforts

Sacramento, CA – The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) today approved emergency water conservation regulations to address the ongoing drought. Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency drought declaration earlier this year and as the year progressed the drought has continued. As it currently stands, nearly 80 percent of California is facing “extreme drought” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The emergency regulations approved by the State Water Board call for implementation of a number of conservation measures to aid all Californians in saving water. 

Below is a statement on the regulations from State Water Contractors General Manager Terry Erlewine:   

“During this ongoing drought, conservation is vitally important and we support efforts that will help Californians save water. Water agencies throughout the state have already made significant strides in conservation over the past two decades, investing heavily in water use efficiency projects such as rebate programs, landscape irrigation technologies and much more that have helped move the dial on water savings statewide. However, Californians should take the state regulations as an urgent call to save water and water agencies will be working with their customers to be as efficient with water as possible.” 

More information related to the State Water Board’s emergency regulations will be available within the coming days.

To learn more about conservation programs and ideas, please visit www.saveourh2o.org. 

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Letters from Labor Groups Express Support for Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Monday, 14 July 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 14, 2014

Letters from Labor Groups Express Support for Bay Delta Conservation Plan 
Leaders Say Project is Vital to State Economy and Employment 

 

Sacramento, CA – Across the state, many of California’s local government, business, and agricultural organizations have joined the ongoing discussion about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). Several leading labor organizations – including the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, the Southern California District Council of Laborers and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 12 – have also weighed in and sent letters to their elected officials expressing support for the project.  

“We are writing today to express our support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and its goal of protecting the water supply that serves 26 million Californians, businesses and 3 million acres of farmland in California,” said Armando Esparza on behalf of the Southern California District Council of Laborers in a recent letter to the Los Angeles City Council. “This water supply is essential to Los Angeles and the entire state, fueling jobs and our economy.”

Losing this primary supply could have devastating impacts on our economy. A secure water source is vital to protecting the economic vitality of our state, and studies show that the BDCP will create and protect more than 1 million jobs (BDCP Job Creation & Protection infographic). 

The water from the Delta is currently ushered through 100-year-old dirt levees that could collapse in the event of a major earthquake. To address this crisis, a team of water experts, scientists and engineers developed the BDCP, which will modernize the water delivery system in the Delta and offer long-term protection from earthquakes and other natural disasters by building two tunnels that will safely route water underneath, instead of through, the fragile Delta. 

If an earthquake causes the current levees to fail, it would allow saltwater to contaminate this vital water source. Once this occurs, the water supply that fuels two-thirds of the state could be cut off for up to one year. California’s labor leaders fear that without the BDCP, the state’s economy could be vulnerable to the same fate as our water supply.

“This dramatic loss of water would bring our livelihoods to a standstill, since every construction permit requires a reliable source of water,” wrote Ron Miller on behalf of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. “In addition, the effects on health and quality of life would be devastating.”

Labor organizations are encouraging their local elected officials and community members to review and comment on the Draft BDCP and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement. The public comment period concludes on July 29, 2014. 

For more information about the BDCP, please visit http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/Home.aspx.

For more information on how to submit a comment letter on the BDCP, please visit http://baydeltaconservationplan.com/PublicReview/HowtoComment.aspx.

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Release of Draft Implementing Agreement Major Milestone in BDCP Process

Friday, 30 May 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2014 

 

Release of Draft Implementing Agreement Major Milestone in BDCP Process 

Sacramento, CAThe California Natural Resources Agency today publicly released the draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) Implementing Agreement (IA). The draft IA lays out the responsibilities and commitments between the public water agencies and the relevant state and federal agencies in support of the BDCP’s coequal goals of creating a reliable water supply for the state and restoring the ecosystem of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta). The BDCP has been designed by state and federal agencies, in concert with experts and stakeholders, to meet these coequal goals and protect the water supplies for two-thirds of California. BDCP will construct two tunnels that will move some public water supplies underneath, instead of through, the fragile Delta. Currently, 100-year-old dirt levees in the Delta are ushering these critical water supplies through and they are vulnerable to collapse in the event of a major earthquake. The draft IA released today moves the BDCP process along, but as it is a draft, it is scheduled for a 60-day public review period.

Below is a statement on the release of the draft IA from State Water Contractors General Manager Terry Erlewine:   

“Public water agencies have worked diligently with state and federal agencies to ensure that there is a clear path for how the Bay Delta Conservation Plan would be executed. Implementing such a significant project requires thoughtful consideration and challenging decisions on a host of issues. The agreement announced today represents considerable work and a major milestone in this process. The commitments made here will enable us to move forward, working in the best interests of the millions of people, businesses and farms that would benefit from the reliable water supplies this project would provide.”

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State Water Project Allocation Raised to Five Percent

Friday, 18 April 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 18, 2014

 

State Water Project Allocation Raised to Five Percent
Increase Will Provide Limited Supplies to Water Agencies

 

Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today that the allocation for State Water Project (SWP) supplies will be increased from zero to five percent, though water agencies will not be able to access these supplies until after September. The previous zero percent allocation was the first time in the history of the SWP that such an allocation was announced. While a five percent allocation remains historically low and a slim fraction of the water deliveries that SWP contactors pay for in full, the increase is welcomed. Twenty-five million people and 750,000 acres of farmland depend on the SWP for a significant portion of their water supplies. The additional water allocations announced today will provide increased flexibility for SWP contractors and improve local water management efforts. 

Below is a statement on the increased allocation from State Water Contractors General Manager Terry Erlewine:   

“As water agencies continue to struggle with managing historically low water supplies, today’s increased allocation will help temper some of the most severe impacts of the drought. This additional water only amounts to the bare minimum of what is needed to ensure the most at-risk districts don’t run out of water and gives all agencies some increased flexibility for water management. While good news in the short term, the water supply outlook remains bleak and water agencies will continue to take steps to mitigate against the ongoing impacts of the drought.”  

For more information on the SWP water allocation and the drought, please visit www.water.ca.gov.

To learn more about conservation programs and ideas, please visit www.saveourh2o.org.

For more information about the BDCP, please visit www.baydeltaconservationplan.com. 

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Snow Survey Leaves California’s Water Supply Lacking

Tuesday, 01 April 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 1, 2014

 

Snow Survey Leaves California’s Water Supply Lacking 
Recent Storms Won’t Fend off Ongoing Drought, Water Agencies Don’t Anticipate Increased Allocation   

 

Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) conducted one of the last snow surveys of the year today and, despite recent storms, the state’s water supply outlook remains dire. The survey determined that water content in the state’s snowpack is just 32 percent of average for this time of year. 

Throughout the winter months, the state measures how much water content is in Sierra Nevada snowpack, giving water managers a predictor of how much water they can anticipate flowing into the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, and then to homes, businesses and farms. This winter, snow was barely present, leading to an unprecedented allocation of zero percent for State Water Project (SWP) contractors. This means the 26 million people and 750,000 acres of farmland that depend on the SWP for a significant portion of their water supplies will likely go without it in 2014. Further straining the situation, public water agencies must continue to pay for a full allocation of water—amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars—even though they may not receive any actual deliveries.

“Even a March miracle would not have lifted California out of this drought. Water agencies across the state will be faced with finishing out this year, including the upcoming summer, without much needed State Water Project supplies,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “Conservation efforts have been significant, but won’t be enough to protect water agencies and their customers from the impacts of losing such a major portion of their water supplies.” 

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Split Appeals Court Decision a Step Backwards for California Water Users

Thursday, 13 March 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    
March 13, 2014

 

Split Appeals Court Decision a Step Backwards for California Water Users
Requirements Allowing Arbitrary Regulations on Water Operations to Stand  

Sacramento, CA – The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today, in a split decision, reversed a 2011 ruling that overturned unnecessary regulations and protected California water users. In 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled in favor of public water agencies and in support of sound science, overturning what the court deemed to be arbitrary and harmful federal regulations on State Water Project operations. The set of regulations, known as a biological opinion, was put in place in an effort to revive Delta smelt populations, but to date has not done so. The restrictions have however triggered major water supply cuts over the years. The decision today by the Ninth Circuit will bring back these tight restrictions on water supplies and further exacerbate California’s ongoing water supply crisis.  

One aspect of the District Court decision was upheld, one which requires the United States Bureau of Reclamation to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and complete an Environmental Impact Statement, including analysis of impacts on people and the economy before agreeing to implement the biological opinion. This is of particular importance to all areas of California that rely upon water from the State Water Project and have been hit hard by significant cutbacks in water supplies.  

As even the majority opinion issued by the Ninth Circuit recognizes, the Delta smelt biological opinion is a “jumble of disjointed facts and analyses,” and “a ponderous, chaotic document, overwhelming in size, and without the kinds of signposts and roadmaps that even trained, intelligent readers need in order to follow the agency’s reasoning.” The State Water Contractors agree with this assessment and believe the hundreds of thousands of acres of farms and 26 million people who receive water from the State Water Project deserve better. SWC also believes this underscores the need to work collaboratively using the best available science to address species and ecosystems as a whole, rather than to regulate our critically important infrastructure on a species-by-species basis. This is the goal of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. 

“Today’s decision will make it more difficult for water agencies to recover from the present drought by preventing us from capturing and storing excess water when it is available in wet years. Without the flexibility to capture and store water during those years, we are left with less water and fewer options when we face unprecedented drought conditions like those we’re experiencing today. The ruling today, and the regulations it brings back, underscore the need for a comprehensive solution in the Delta. Addressing each species on a case-by-case basis like this has no benefit to the fish and only results in the development of arbitrary regulations and less water for families, businesses and farms,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors.   

Notably, in a dissenting opinion, Judge Morris Arnold concurred with the District Court’s previous conclusions that the biological opinion was arbitrary and capricious and failed to rely upon the best available science.  In so finding, Judge Arnold would have upheld the admission of limited expert testimony that was excluded by the majority opinion. 
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State Leaders Announce Drought Relief Aid

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    
February 19, 2014

 

State Leaders Announce Drought Relief Aid
Hundreds of Millions of Dollars to be spent to Alleviate Drought Impacts

Sacramento, CA Governor Jerry Brown, alongside Senate President pro Tem Darrel Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Perez, announced legislation that will funnel $687.4 million to efforts to alleviate the impacts of the current drought and ongoing record-breaking dry conditions. This announcement comes on the heels of a visit from President Barack Obama, who was recently in Fresno to discuss the drought and highlight federal assistance for the state during the drought emergency. The legislation announced today includes funding for drought preparedness and response efforts, securing emergency drinking water supplies, creating water efficiency projects, emergency food and shelter for people who are unable to work due to fallowed farmland, among numerous other critical efforts that will help to ensure Californians continue to have safe and reliable water available. The funding for these projects comes from various sources, including money from Proposition 84. Many of these efforts are being expedited to ensure that the funding can reach the hardest hit communities as soon as possible. Below is a statement on the emergency drought legislation from State Water Contractors General Manager Terry Erlewine:   

“We applaud the Governor and state leadership on the efforts announced today to help mitigate impacts the drought is causing statewide. Public water agencies are working hard to carefully manage water supplies and encourage conservation, but we all can and must do more. This additional funding for local supply projects will be crucial in efforts to continue providing safe and reliable water to communities across California during this unprecedented drought. Looking forward, these local efforts must be coupled with increased reliability of our statewide water supply – in preparing for the future it is crucial that we secure all water supplies, both local and imported.”  

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State Water Project Projected Allocation is Zero Percent for First Time in California History

Friday, 31 January 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 31, 2014

 

State Water Project Projected Allocation is Zero Percent for First Time in California History

Water Agencies Facing “Worst-Ever Water Supply Outlook”  

Sacramento, CA – The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today that for the first time in the history of the State Water Project (SWP), water agencies should expect a zero percent allocation of SWP water supplies due to record dry conditions and low storage levels. While the forecast may change, water agencies throughout the state are preparing for the possibility of getting no water from a critical source and what DWR has called the “worst-ever water supply outlook.” Twenty-five million people and 750,000 acres of farmland depend on the SWP for a significant portion of their water supplies.

“For the first time in history, we are facing the real possibility of getting no water from the State Water Project—it’s a very serious situation,” said Terry Erlewine, general manager of the State Water Contractors. “Each of our water agencies will handle the drought differently depending on their circumstances, but across the board water districts are ramping up conservation and efficiency efforts to go beyond the conservation achievements already made.”

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Featured Member

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Kern County Water Agency

The Kern County Water Agency (Agency) was created in 1961 by a special act of the State Legislature and serves as the local contracting entity for the State Water Project. The Agency, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011, participates in a wide scope of management activities, including water quality, flood control and groundwater...

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Featured Issue

Protecting California Water Supplies

The water that moves through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) supplies fresh water for 26 million Californians, the majority of the state’s businesses, three million acres of farmland, and many diverse ecosystems. The state’s antiquated water delivery system tasked with protecting and moving Delta water supplies is no longer fit...

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