Statement from ACWA on final court ruling regarding Delta Pumps

April 20, 2007
ACWA released the following statement today from Executive Director Steve Hall regarding Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch's final ruling ordering the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to shut down its Delta export pumps within 60 days unless it obtains a formal determination that its operations are in compliance with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The pumps divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta into the California Aqueduct...

SACRAMENTO, CA, April 19, 2007 -- ACWA released the following statement today from Executive Director Steve Hall regarding Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch's final ruling ordering the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to shut down its Delta export pumps within 60 days unless it obtains a formal determination that its operations are in compliance with the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The pumps divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta into the California Aqueduct, which supplies water to 25 million people in Northern, Central and Southern California as well as 775,000 acres of prime agricultural land.

"Judge Frank Roesch, in his initial March 22 order, sent a loud and clear message to the state Department of Water Resources. By all accounts, the department heard that message and immediately acted upon it by requesting a determination from the Department of Fish and Game that its existing plans and agreements for species protection are consistent with the requirements of CESA. The Department of Water Resources already is pursing long-term species protection through the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan now under development.

"ACWA is disappointed that the court in its final decision did not recognize the state's action and allow more time to get the needed determination. Instead, the court has effectively ordered a shutdown of the pumps by June 18, a move that would have dire consequences for many regions of the state, unless there is quick resolution to an incredibly complex regulatory process.

"This decision demonstrates once again that the courts - with their very narrow responsibilities to interpret the law - should not and cannot be in charge of controlling our state's water supply system. There is simply too much at stake for California to risk the impacts a shutdown of the pumps would have on public health, our state's economy and our quality of life.

"If the clock runs out before the necessary authorizations are obtained, we urge the Governor to consider invoking emergency powers to provide the time needed for DWR and DFG to act in a responsible manner."

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is a statewide association of public agencies whose 440 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California.

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Also see:
-- "ACWA recognizes water agencies for environmental efforts"

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