2010 Legislative Water Policy Priorities
Issue: Californians deserve a water supply that provides reliable, good quality water to its residents, sustains its economy and its environment.
Background: All of these goals have suffered with the water stalemate of the past decades. In November 2009, California took an important step forward with the passage of a comprehensive water package that addressed many of its water supply challenges. California now needs to implement these policies in a timely, cost-effective manner and avoid taking steps backward toward the gridlock of the past.
The 2009 legislative water package recognized Delta ecosystem restoration and water supply as co-equal goals. It provided for reforms in Delta governance, enhanced resource monitoring and new water conservation goals and included a proposed bond measure to advance these goals.
The need to implement change has never been more urgent. A persistent statewide drought has put a squeeze on water supplies and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service biological opinions have placed severe restrictions on water project operations to protect a threatened fish. Further, constraints are likely until the underlying physical problems in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta are resolved.
The Bay Delta Conservation Plan and the Delta Habitat Conservation and Conveyance Program address these issues by establishing a comprehensive multi-species protection program that seeks to protect the Delta habitat for all species and providing for a water conveyance facility that will improve the water supply reliability for Californians.
California needs to invest in its water infrastructure. The 2009 legislative package included a proposed eleven billion dollar bond package to finance improvements to the Delta environment, provide for new water storage and invest in water conservation and recycling efforts. While not perfect, the bond measure is a much needed step forward for California.
Unfortunately, attempts are being made to place road blocks to restoring water supply reliability for the 25 million Californian’s dependent on the Delta.
Requested Action: Oppose efforts to place additional hurdles to restoring water supply reliability and the Delta ecosystem.