Kern County Water Agency gives the Bay Delta Conservation Plan 90 more days

After hearing Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar’s announcement regarding the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan in July, the Kern County Water Agency’s Board of Directors voted at its next meeting to continue participating in the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan for 90 more days, pending the release of the final draft of the Plan and its EIR/EIS, expected this fall.

Kern County Water Agency holds the second largest contract for State Water Project water, providing irrigation and domestic supplies for Kern County, ranked third in statewide agricultural production.

While the announcement bolstered the confidence of the Agency that the issues facing the BDCP can be resolved, Kern County Water Agency has said that their continued participation in the project is contingent upon their Member Units continuing to provide funding.  In a letter to John Laird and Secretary Salazar outlining the Board’s decision, Terry Rogers, president of the Board, writes: “ [T]he Agency is interested in defining the various components of the financing plan for the BDCP and the decision-tree concept in a manner that allows potential participants to evaluate the cost-benefit (or feasibility) of participating in the project. Developing appropriate financing mechanisms and a scientifically defensible decision-tree to operate a new conveyance facility are critical elements necessary to identify a project that provides sufficient benefits to be affordable (and therefore financeable) for agriculture.”

The letter also cites permittee status for water agencies and an acceptable biological reconsultation process for the CVP and SWP as other areas of concern.

Although the Board will revisit the decision after the release of the documents, Rogers does express some optimism: “As the Governor stated in his remarks, completing this project is ….. another test of whether we can govern ourselves.” We stand with the Governor in our belief that we can.”

  • Read the full text of the letter from Kern County Water Agency to Secretary Salazar and Secretary Laird by clicking here.
  • Read the media statement from Kern County Water Agency issued after Governor Brown’s announcement in July by clicking here.
  • Find out more about the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan by clicking here.
  • Find out more about the Kern County Water Agency by clicking here.

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