In 2016, California’s State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) began the process of updating the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. The public comment period officially closed at noon on March 17. (Read CFWC’s comment letter here.)
During that time, loud and sustained objections to the proposed policy have been raised.
Flow-based approaches in the past have failed
By focusing solely on the amount of water flowing through the river, the SWRCB staff proposal is relying on outdated science that has been proven ineffective at halting the decline of endangered fish populations. Incredibly, if adopted in its present form, the policy will also have a devastating impact on drinking water, sanitation needs, food production, groundwater, the economy and jobs for people stretching from the Northern San Joaquin Valley throughout the Bay Area.
That’s why this proposed regulation is opposed by schools, health departments, farmers, cities, economic development officials, and water agencies throughout the state including the Central Valley, Bay Area, Central Coast, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire.
Opposition to SWRCB plan is growing
Opposition to this wrong-headed policy has continued to grow and now includes statewide groups like the California Chamber of Commerce and the Association of California Water Agencies, regional organizations such as the Orange County Business Council as well as hundreds of individual Californians. Not even a drought-busting water year like this one could diminish the impacts of this unequivocally bad policy.
What we need instead is a comprehensive, outcomes-driven, science-based, collaborative approach that includes “functional” flows as well as non-flow solutions that contribute real benefits to ecosystem recovery.
As the Board goes behind closed doors to deliberate the draft proposal we would urge them one more time to listen to the voices representing millions of Californians opposed to the plan and open the door to collaborating on a real solution.