Fishing and river groups weigh in on the Voluntary Agreements

March 7, 2019 Maven

Their analysis concludes that the voluntary agreements as proposed could worsen conditions in the Delta

Last week, the Department of Water Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife submitted a proposal to the State Water Board as an alternative to the update of the Bay Delta Plan.  The submittal for the agreement was signed by 44 individuals, representing mainly water agencies and irrigation districts, but also included American Rivers, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Trout Unlimited, and other conservation groups.

This morning, the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, the Golden Gate Salmon Association, Restore the Delta, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and other fishing and river groups have released an analysis that is critical of those Voluntary Agreements as submitted to the State Water Board.

Their analysis of the agreements concludes that the proposed agreement does not sufficiently increase flows, does not include any restrictions on exports by the state and federal water projects, and does not include flow standards based on a percentage of unimpaired flows.

Their analysis also notes that habitat restorations already required or planned are double counted, no carryover storage requirements in upstream reservoirs are included, and that the agreement lacks the teeth to ensure that Bay-Delta standards and funding commitments will be enforced.  Lastly, their analysis says the agreements lack investments in water supply reliability and economic development projects that will help cities and farms adapt to a future with less water diverted from the Bay-Delta.

Read the 10-page analysis here:  Smoke and Mirrors:  Voluntary Agreements Purport to Add Water and Habitat, But Might Actually Worsen Conditions for the Bay-Delta Estuary,Rivers, and Native Fish and Wildlife

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