FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla
Phone: (209) 479-2053
Restore the Delta
10100 Trinity Pkwy, Suite 120
Stockton, CA 95219
Department of Water Resources Hires State Water Contractor Rep to Help Oversee Delta Planning
Laura King Moon, Assistant General Manager of the State Water Contractors, has been tapped by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) to assist in the completion of the controversial Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), the plan initiated by state and federal water contractors to allow them to build a peripheral canal or tunnel in the Delta.
“This is a glaring conflict of interest,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. “DWR is a state agency with responsibility for managing water wisely for all the people of California. Employing someone on loan from a special interest group to advance a planning effort that will benefit that interest group is wildly inappropriate. It sets the fox to guard the henhouse.”
In a letter last week, Natural Resources Secretary John Laird assured Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife chair Jared Huffman that Moon “is responsible to and represents DWR solely.” He said that “Ms. Moon’s history with the project, as well as her experience working with the many stakeholders concerned with the BDCP, will be a significant asset to DWR in achieving timely completion of this critical effort.”
“From the beginning of this habitat conservation planning effort, ‘stakeholders’ has been synonymous with ‘water contractors,’” notes Restore the Delta policy analyst Jane Wagner-Tyack. “The concerns of people in the Delta, recreational and commercial fishing interests, and cities and counties in the Delta region have been systematically ignored or over-ruled. With Moon assisting with communication at DWR, we can expect that to continue.”
News of Moon’s appointment follows announcement this week that five U.S. congressional representatives have urged the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to pull out of an agreement to continue their involvement in the BDCP.
Reps. Jerry McNerney, George Miller, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui and John Garamendi strongly objected to the new agreement, which “offers the signatories unprecedented influence over the process” and “raises expectations of favorable outcomes.”