Here are the reactions I’ve received so far regarding the release of the Implementation Agreement and extension of the public comment period. They are listed below in alphabetical order. Additional reactions will be added to this post as/if they are received.
From Metropolitan Water District:
“Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement in response to the release of a draft implementing agreement to advance the ongoing Bay Delta Conservation Plan process.
“This agreement represents a significant milestone in advancing the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and providing improved water reliability for California. The agreement puts us closer to bringing this important project that will modernize the state’s water delivery system to fruition. Metropolitan commends the efforts of the Brown and Obama administrations to move BDCP and this draft agreement forward.”
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build Peripheral Tunnels to drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today criticized the “incomplete” Implementing Agreement (IA) that lacks commitments from water exporters to make their financial payments, and contains no plan for operating the huge project. The plan contains no federal or state financing commitment to mitigate the damage of the project and provide for the required habitat restoration.
“There is no financial plan or agreement. There is no operations plan. The Brown Administration has rushed ahead to plan construction for the water-takers, but has no clear plan for paying for the required Delta restoration. The Implementing Agreement has only been released to the public after the public comment period on the BDCP and its EIR/EIS is nearly complete. They plan to use taxpayer-funded state bond monies to mitigate the damage, but we assure you that we will campaign to defeat any state bond measure that aids construction of these tunnels that will sound the death knell of the SF Bay-San Joaquin Delta and estuary. These tunnels mainly benefit a few hundred industrial mega-growers growing permanent crops for export on unsuitable land with subsidized water,” said Barbara Barrigan- Parrilla, executive director of RTD. “How can the BDCP claim to be creating a project to the highest possible recovery standard when its documents reveal that fish species will decline with operation of the tunnels? And how can the BDCP claim to be a broad conservation plan when various science councils and panels have critiqued the documents for their lack of sound science?”
RTD noted that the Federal CVP Contractors are already falling behind in payments, and that is just during the planning phase. The BDCP’s own charts show funds will be exhausted by July 2014. The Westlands Water District is not keeping up with its payments. “Without clear financing commitments, the taxpayers and water bill payers of California will get stuck with most of the bill, while getting no new water,” said Barrigan-Parrilla.
“The 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.”
The draft Implementing Agreement can be found here.
The State Water Contractors is a statewide, non-profit association of 27 public agencies from Northern, Central and Southern California that purchase water under contract from the California State Water Project. Collectively the State Water Contractors deliver water to more than 26 million residents throughout the state and more than 750,000 acres of agricultural lands. For more information on the State Water Contractors, please visit www.swc.org.