This just in … State Water Project contract negotiations set to begin over proposed BDCP amendments

From the Department of Water Resources:

NEW_DWR_LOGO_14inchThe Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced today it will begin negotiations with State Water Project (SWP) Contractors in December on proposed amendments that would modify SWP water supply contracts. DWR Director Mark Cowin said the public will be invited to observe the negotiations in person and to listen on the phone using a call-in number.

Cowin said the objective of the negotiations is to develop terms and conditions for proposed amendments to DWR’s water supply contracts with the 29 public agencies that purchase SWP water for distribution to their customers. The proposed amendments would define the rights and obligations of DWR and the contractors who would benefit from the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) should the BDCP be implemented.

Cowin stressed that the negotiations are not a forum for making decisions about approving the BDCP. “These negotiations are entirely separate from other BDCP planning activities and the ongoing BDCP evaluation process,” he said.

DWR will open the negotiations to the public to observe and provide comments to DWR at the end of each negotiating session.  Members of the public also may submit written comments within seven calendar days following the negotiating sessions.

The first session will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 10, 2014 in Room 1131 of the California Natural Resources Building, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA. Seating is limited, but the public can listen to the negotiations by calling 1-719-359-9722, passcode 138000#. Public parking will be available in the parking garage at 10th and O streets.

Cowin said the first session will focus primarily on ground rules and other negotiation-related processes and will not address substantive amendment issues. As such, it may adjourn early if the agenda items have been addressed or by mutual agreement of DWR and the SWP Contractors.

Due to the frequency of negotiation sessions and the requirement for quick turnaround of meeting materials and announcements, DWR requests that interested individuals sign up for placement on the e-mail distribution list. Individuals can e-mail swpcontractamendmentforbdcp@water.ca.gov. They also may visit the SWP Contract Amendment for the Proposed BDCP Web site – http://www.water.ca.gov/swpao/swpcontractamendmentforbdcp. The Web site will provide information about the project and advance notice of each negotiation session.

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