CSPA, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, and other fishing and river groups have released an analysis critical of the outline of Voluntary Agreements submitted to the State Water Board as a proposed alternative to the Board’s regulatory update of the Bay-Delta Plan. The analysis describes foundational problems with the agreements as proposed by the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and others on December 12, 2018 and March 1, 2019.
Entitled “Smoke and Mirrors,” the analysis criticizes the as yet incomplete Voluntary Agreements as outlined to date because they:
- Double-count habitat restoration projects that are already required or planned using existing funds, and that would occur without such an agreement;
- Fail to provide sufficient flow increases to protect and restore the Bay-Delta estuary, its native fish and wildlife, and the thousands of jobs that depend on it;
- Fail to include any restrictions on Delta pumping and other operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP); such restrictions are necessary to prevent the water projects from diverting any additional flow provided from upstream farms and cities and to prevent the Trump Administration from gutting Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for the Bay-Delta;
- Fail to include carryover storage requirements in upstream reservoirs to ensure water supplies for future droughts and adequate water temperatures for salmon;
- Fail to use the transparent approach of flow standards based on a percentage of unimpaired flows, and instead use the failed approach of State Water Board Decision 1641;
- Fail to ensure that Bay-Delta standards will be enforced and will respond to new scientific information; and
- Fail to include investments in water supply reliability and economic development projects that will help cities and farms adapt to a future with less water diverted from the Bay-Delta.
The analysis of the Voluntary Agreements is available here.
The webpage for the March 1 CNRA submittal to the State Water Board is here.