State of the state’s water

Some early reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address today, in which he pledged support for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan and said he hopes to have the “basic elements” of the project by this summer.

Terry Erlewine,  general manager of the State Water Contractors: “It’s clear that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is a priority for both Governor Brown and Secretary (Ken) Salazar, and we’re pleased to see this commitment from both the state and federal administrations. As the Governor mentioned, this project will certainly take time and political will, but public water agencies and countless others stand ready to help make the Bay Delta Conservation Plan a reality.”

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis: “I accept the governor’s invitation to engage constructively to find a solution to restore the Delta and improve water supply reliability for the state. However, I don’t think it will require what the Governor described as “an enormous project,” a giant canal, and taking 100,000 acres of Delta farmland out of production. But it will require supporting everyone’s effort to reduce reliance on the Delta as their primary source of water and relying more on sustainable regional water supplies.”

Richard Atwater, executive director of the Southern California Water Committee:
“Solving the delta crisis is a key policy and outreach priority for the Southern California Water Committee and our members. We were pleased to see Governor Brown weighing in strongly today and working with the Obama adminsitation to promote the advancement of the BDCP. We all understand that this will take time and constructive involvement from all stakeholders. The state and federal agencies’ commitment to the BDCP demonstrates just how critical this project is to California.”

Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres: “Californians need to understand what’s at stake when we talk about altering the Delta. It is Northern California’s Yosemite. When we start tampering with something of that magnitude, we need to be clear of the consequences. It is the economic engine for an entire region and ecosystem for a wintering waterfowl population as well as the West Coast’s largest estuary.”

Jeff Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California: “Metropolitan strongly supports Gov. Brown’s call for constructive and collaborative engagement at this critical juncture in the Delta planning process. The Delta faces an ongoing water system/ecosystem crisis that requires the comprehensive approach embodied in this landmark planning process. Both state and federal administrations are demonstrating the leadership necessary to draft conveyance and restoration proposals by this summer and to identify a final plan early next year. This is a historic moment for decisive action to achieve the goals of regaining a reliable water system for California and restoring the Delta.”

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