Water agencies welcome new vision for Delta

ACWA to remain engaged as strategic plan moves to cabinet-level committee Association of California Water Agencies Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued the following statement on the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force's strategic plan. The task force is meeting for the last time to finalize the plan, which will provide the basis for a cabinet-level committee to issue recommendations to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature to improve the sustainability of the Delta...

SACRAMENTO, CA, Oct. 16, 2008 -- Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Executive Director Timothy Quinn issued the following statement today on the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force's strategic plan. The task force is meeting for the last time today and tomorrow to finalize the plan, which will provide the basis for a cabinet-level committee to issue recommendations to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature to improve the sustainability of the Delta.

"As the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force completes its work, we appreciate the sincere effort this group has sustained over the past two years to move toward a new vision for the Delta. Task force members have taken an unflinching look at the Delta and its complexities, and we commend them for their commitment.

"In 2005, ACWA asked the governor to establish a process that would break the decades-old stalemate over the Delta and lead to a powerful new vision. The task force has moved substantially in that direction, and we applaud the out-of-the-box thinking shown to date. We strongly agree with the co-equal goals of ecosystem health and water system reliability that the task force has established as the cornerstone of its plan.

"ACWA members are encouraged by the physical solutions recommended by the task force. We agree with the call for improved Delta conveyance, linked to expanded surface and groundwater storage, to be operated for the co-equal goals. We also support the substantial investments recommended in water use efficiency and local resource development. These are in fact the very elements of the comprehensive water package we have worked hard to advance in recent years.

"We remain concerned, however, about the details of the governance recommendations, as well as potential proposals to take water away from water rights holders without compensation. ACWA will remain engaged as this process moves toward final recommendations to the governor and Legislature by year's end."

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 450 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California.

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