Keep your eye on the ball

Of more immediate interest to people in the Delta is the new Watermaster, Craig Wilson, who was introduced at this week’s Water Board hearing. The Watermaster position was created by the Delta Reform Act of 2009.

According to the Water Board’s press release, “The Delta Watermaster will act with a high degree of independence within the Delta to implement and enforce existing water rights laws and State Water Resources Control Board permits, licenses, and decisions and authority to issue a notice of proposed cease and desist order or administrative civil liability complaint.”

Carolee Krieger, executive director of the California Water Impact Network, has said that the legislation creating the Watermaster position was developed under pressure of west side San Joaquin Valley agribusiness interests to “harass” Delta farmers. RTD hopes that he shows equal concern about the amount of water exported from the Delta.

Wilson is an attorney specializing in water rights and regulatory issues and recently served as chief counsel for the SWRCB. He announced at the meeting that he will be hiring staff and developing an agreement to specify what tasks are delegated to the Watermaster.

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