Governor Brown and Obama Administration Outline Path Forward for Bay Delta Conservation Plan
Sacramento - July 25 – Speaking at a joint press conference in Sacramento, Governor Jerry Brown, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab said California’s water system is unsustainable from an environmental and economic perspective and called the BDCP a key part of a comprehensive solution to achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy California Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the state’s economy.
The proposal outlined several shared objectives, including:
- Protecting Upstream Water Users: State and U.S. governments will make sure implementation of BDCP will not result in adverse effects on the water rights of those in the watershed of the Delta, nor will it impose any obligations on water users upstream of the Delta to supplement flows in and through the Delta.
- Finance: State and U.S. governments are committed to the “user pay” principle, and the state and federal water contractors agree that the costs of the new water conveyance facility and associated mitigation of that facility will be paid through charges to the water users who would benefit from its development and operation. Habitat and other conservation measures in the BDCP would be financed in part by the contractors, but would mostly be paid by the state over a period of 40 years, with likely additional investment by the federal government through existing programs.
Opponents argue that the governor’s proposal threatens the Delta’s health, which could result in possible great harm to fish and wildlife and vowed to fight it. ”Northern California is at risk with this facility. Have no doubt about that,” said U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Fairfield. “To the secretary and the governor: You’ve launched your war; we’ll fight the battle.” This is about the U.S. government, the state of California and agricultural interests “once again making a water grab from Northern California water,” Garamendi said. Click Here for Mercury News Article