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2013: Milestone Year for California Water

Posted: January 24, 2013 11:00 a.m.
Updated: January 24, 2013 11:00 a.m.
 

By: Richard Atwater, Executive Director

January 24, 2013

We’ve been talking about it for years, but this truly is the year for water in California. It’s the year that will determine what we build, and how we build it. We in the water world know this—and the Brown administration knows it, too. In this morning’s State of the State address, Governor Brown said that he will do whatever he can to prevent a natural disaster near the Delta from triggering massive economic losses and destroying water supply. His plan to build new conveyance tunnels and restore Delta habitat will address these risks. SCWC and its members have long been committed to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and we fully support the Governor in his effort to get this project done right and done before it’s too late.

As the Governor said today, the BDCP is a big project but so is the problem- the health of the Sacramento San-Joaquin Delta ecosystem and the water supply for 25 million residents, businesses and millions of acres of farmland depend on this project. This is a historic time to invest in the future, similar to his father’s decision as Governor in 1960 to begin building the State Water Project. There are many stakeholders at the table and even after six years of research and planning, there are still questions to be answered and difficult decisions to be made. So we thank Governor Brown for his leadership in moving forward on the critical water infrastructure investments needed in the Delta, his commitment to this plan is vital to its success, especially as we reach key milestones in 2013.

In the coming months, we will see the release of the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS). This will be a huge milestone in this project’s process. The information that we will learn through the Draft EIR/EIS will guide the state in designing and building the project.

One important aspect of the Draft EIR/EIS is the review and study of numerous alternatives—that includes various options for sizing, location and capacity of a new delivery system. Exploring various options for securing California’s water supply and the health of the Delta ecosystem is important to all parties involved. Ultimately though, the selected project must be designed and operated to achieve the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and environmental restoration of the Delta. SCWC has long been a supporter of the BDCP because it is being developed with these co-equal goals in mind.

We look forward to the BDCP process continuing under Governor Brown’s leadership and are encouraged by the progress made thus far. Governor Brown’s prioritization of the BDCP in today’s State of the State illustrates just how important this plan is for California, in 2013 and decades into the future.

Note: The Signal delivers press releases from reliable sources to provide up-to-the-minute information to our website readers. Information directly from news sources has not been vetted by The Signal news room. It may appear subsequently in news stories after it has been vetted.

 

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