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Nov 08, 2018

State Water Board Delays Final Decision on San Joaquin River Bay Delta

From the State Water Resources Control Board:

After considering a request received yesterday from Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the State Water Resources Control Board today voted to postpone further consideration of d flow requirements for the Lower San Joaquin River until Dec. 11 in order to allow voluntary agreement talks to yield results.

The short continuance follows testimony today by the Department of Water Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and water districts about progress made on settlement discussions. In their Nov. 6 letter, Governor Brown and Lieutenant Governor Newsom pledged to “actively and meaningfully engage to bring this vital matter to a successful closure.”

The Board has repeatedly emphasized that voluntary agreements can provide a faster, more durable solution to reasonably protect beneficial uses in the Lower San Joaquin River and its tributaries, while also recognizing the necessity of taking timely action.

The State Water Board’s primary role and authority under state law is to balance competing beneficial uses of water including agriculture, municipal use, recreation, fish and wildlife and more.

 
State board again delays vote on contentious river plan
 
Under pressure from Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, state regulators once again postponed a vote on a contentious plan to force San Francisco and several big San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts to give up some of their water supplies for environmental protection.
On the eve of Wednesday’s scheduled vote, Brown and the man who will succeed him next year, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, asked for a month’s delay and promised to get involved in ongoing settlement negotiations.
If adopted, the State Water Resources Control Board proposal to boost flows on three salmon-bearing rivers would amount to an unprecedented step to hold districts with historic water rights accountable for the environmental toll of their massive diversions.
 
 
Gov.-elect Newsom joins Brown in wading into state water war  California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom joined Gov. Jerry Brown, just moments after the polls closed Tuesday, in asking the State Water Board to postpone a major river restoration plan that would mean less water for farms and cities, including those in much of the Bay Area. Kurtis Alexander in the San Francisco Chronicle
 

Board agrees to Newsom-Brown request to delay decision on water plan:  “The State Water Resources Control Board honored a request by Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom for 34 days to work out voluntary settlements with irrigation districts in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, which are under pressure to divert less water so salmon populations can rebound in rivers.  Wednesday, the state board voted 3-0 to postpone approval of a water quality control for the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta that’s fiercely opposed by water districts, agricultural interests and communities that rely on water from the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and Merced rivers. … ”  Read more from the Modesto Bee here:  Board agrees to Newsom-Brown request to delay decision on water plan

Brown, Newsom wade in to delay plan to withhold water from cities, farms: From the San Francisco Chronicle:  “A river restoration plan that would restrict the water supplies of California cities and farms, including San Francisco, was put on hold Wednesday after Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom joined Gov. Jerry Brown in requesting more time for negotiations over the controversial initiative.  The State Water Resources Control Board was scheduled to vote Wednesday on a years-long proposal to boost flows in the San Joaquin River and its tributaries, part of an effort to restore California’s declining salmon population and revive the languishing Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. … “  Read more here: Brown, Newsom wade in to delay plan to withhold water from cities, farms

Brown, Newsom win brief truce in brewing California water war:  “Yielding to the governor’s office, California regulators on Wednesday agreed to postpone a restoration proposal that would reduce water for cities and farmers during droughts in hopes of spurring last-minute negotiations among the plan’s critics.  The State Water Resources Control Board spent more than three hours of discussion before agreeing to Gov. Jerry Brown and incoming Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “historic” request for an emergency 30-day bargaining period. The Democratic duo say the extension could allow the state, water districts, farmers and environmentalists to finally reach a new agreement on minimum flow standards for the San Joaquin River and its main tributaries after nearly a decade of debate. … ”  Read more from Courthouse News Service here:  Brown, Newsom win brief truce in brewing California water war

Decision on Bay-Delta Plan Postponed After Brown, Newsom Letter Urges Continuance: “The State Water Resources Control Board today decided to postpone until Dec. 11 a vote on proposed amendments to the Bay-Delta Plan for the Lower San Joaquin River and Southern Delta following a request in writing late Tuesday by Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov. Elect Gavin Newsom.  Brown and Elect Newsom urged State Water Board Chairwoman Felicia Marcus to grant a short extension to allow progress on negotiations toward voluntary agreements. … ”  Read more from ACWA’s Water News here:  Decision on Bay-Delta Plan Postponed After Brown, Newsom Letter Urges Continuance

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