ICYMI: CA Water is a Mess – Views from Experts 5/3/20

Messy Voluntary Agreements
Grand compromise on California water wars in disarray. Newsom faces multiple lawsuits this week – Dale Kasler, Sacramento Bee 4/29/20
“Now, Newsom’s own operations plan for the Delta is drawing fire from environmentalists and water users alike. And the voluntary settlement agreement – a far-reaching water-sharing effort brokered by former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration – appears to be falling apart.
Jennifer Pierre of the State Water Contractors said Newsom’s plan for the Delta “effectively ends the historic Voluntary Agreement process that brought together water agencies, regulators and conservation groups to tackle decades-old water resource problems.”

Delta stakeholder group provides history of Delta water quality planning and expresses their concerns over the voluntary agreements – Mavens 4/30/20

The wonderful Maven’s Notebook (go donate) did a lovely long-read summarizing a recent webinar by our Restore the Delta, policy analyst, Tim Stroshane on the problems with the Voluntary Agreements.

Messy Conflicts

Alf W. Brandt, General Counsel, CA State Assembly Speaker Rendon – LinkedIn 4/28/20
“Resolving water conflicts requires a strong back. Governor Newsom and Attorney General Becerra deserve our thanks for standing up to the US Department of the Interior with last week’s filing of a motion for preliminary injunction against the federal Delta biological opinions. The conflict started with this President, and capitulation, as some in Congress suggest, would not resolve the conflict. The Delta and salmon would suffer, and the ultimate conflict over the Delta’s death would only be postponed. Voluntary agreements have failed to emerge or show any path forward.”
LINK: Trump opens floodgates, and acrimony swamps Calif.

Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E News Greenwire: Monday, April 27, 2020

How to Clean Up This Mess
Newsom administration can pivot to water environmentalism. – On the Public Record 4/29/20

“With the Voluntary Agreements no longer at stake and the entire ascientific worldview discredited, this is the perfect time for the Newsom administration to pivot to a strongly environmental water policy. It will fit more harmoniously with a progressive administration. Next year is likely to bring willing federal partners. The Newsom administration could be remembered for restoring rivers, for giving people access to clean cold rushing water, for reorienting to climate mitigation and adaptation.”

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