Web site offers database of California water transactions

A new web site now contains a database of historic water transactions that will enable users to find available water transfer information, software to guide proponents of water transfers through the approval process, and related tools.

Jan. 3, 2001—A new web site now contains a database of historic water transactions that will enable users to find available water transfer information, software to guide proponents of water transfers through the approval process, and related tools.

The "On Tap" web site, located at http://ontap.ca.gov, has staff from three agencies; the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the state Department of Water Resources and the state Water Resources Control Board. It is being developed as part of the CALFED Bay-Delta program.

The site is an information source for California water market transactions. On Tap was included in CALFED's June 9, 2000, "California's Water Future: A Framework for Action."

The web site itself provides general information on water transactions and the water transactions process. Also on the site, the transaction guide helps the user through the steps involved in formulating a transactions application. The database provides a searchable, comprehensive history of historical water transactions.

CALFED established the site because of its philosophy that an effective water market is one of several water management tools needed to improve the reliability of the State's water supply.

CALFED also recognized that a functioning water market already exists. The existing market has raised concerns regarding adverse impacts to other users, rural economies, and the environment.

Past water transactions have highlighted inconsistent interpretations of State water law, the need for reliable conveyance access for cross-Delta transfers, and a need to simplify the complex approval process. CALFED believes that increasing information sharing, through tools such as On Tap, is one way to help solve these problems.

Information in the transaction database is updated as transactions occur. At some point in the future, site collaborators will add a pending transaction section, more detailed responses to questions and inquiries, a public forum and forecasts of conveyance availability from the Department of Water Resources and the Water Resources Control Board.

CALFED was established in 1995 to develop a balanced, comprehensive plan to restore ecological health and improve water supply reliability in the Bay and Delta ecosystem and is the largest and most comprehensive water management plan in the nation. More information about CALFED can be found at its own web site at http://calfed.ca.gov.

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