From the Cal Water Fix Hearing Team at the State Water Board:
This ruling addresses the Department of Water Resources (DWR) and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s (collectively petitioners) March 1, 2019 request to place in abeyance petitioners’ joint water right change petition (petition) for the California WaterFix Project (WaterFix) and stay the hearing on the petition for 60 days.
Petitioners request a temporary stay in light of Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement during his February 12, 2019 State of the State address that he supports a single tunnel configuration that builds on the permit and planning work that has already been completed. Petitioners state that the stay will allow DWR enough time to assess how this change will affect existing and any new permit and planning work, including the WaterFix petition process. Petitioners state that they will update the State Water Resources Control Board and service list regarding the status of WaterFix at the end of the 60 days, or earlier if information becomes available sooner.
In a March 4, 2019 letter, County of San Joaquin, et al., and Local Agencies of the North Delta (LAND), state that they do not oppose the requested stay or abeyance, provided the prohibition against ex parte communications remains in place.
Petitioners’ request for a 60-day stay from the date of this ruling is hereby granted. If petitioners subsequently request a longer stay, or propose to move forward with the current petition instead of withdrawing it and filing a new petition at a future date, the parties will be allowed to brief the merits of such request or proposal.
County of San Joaquin, et al. and LAND are correct that the rules governing ex parte communications remain in effect. If you have any non-controversial, procedural questions about this ruling or other matters related to the California WaterFix Hearing, please contact the hearing team at CWFhearing@waterboards.ca.gov or (916) 319-0960.