We’ve Waited Long Enough – It’s Time to Restart the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan

CSPA, as part of a coalition of environmental, fishing, tribal and environmental justice groups and businesses, sent a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board on January 17, 2020 urging the Board to move forward on the update of the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan.  The letter urges the Board “to implement San Joaquin River objectives and adopt and implement Sacramento River and Delta objectives as soon as possible.”

The Board approved new San Joaquin flow objectives in December 2018, but has made little progress on implementation in order to allow possible modification by a “Voluntary Agreement” (VA).  The Board has also delayed action on the Sacramento watershed and the Delta in anticipation of a potential comprehensive Voluntary Agreement.

The January 17 letter recounts the history of delays over more than a decade in updating the Bay-Delta Plan.  The letter states that near-term completion of a Voluntary Agreement is very unlikely.  It also states: “[S]ince December of 2018, the most significant development regarding the inadequate flow assets in the VA package is a disastrous set of federal biological opinions that – if implemented – would reduce ecosystem flows in the Bay-Delta system.  The amount of water and habitat in the current VA proposals is dramatically inadequate.”

The letter concludes: “It is time for the Board to move forward with its own process, as required by law.”

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