State didn’t shut door to water deal
Re “The State Can’t Be Trusted on Water” (Dec. 13): The State Water Board acted on the Lower San Joaquin update of the Bay Delta Plan on Dec. 12 after acknowledging the promising collaborative work on alternative settlements. The door to a locally produced approach that balances all the necessary needs remains open and is what we have wanted all along. While some water agencies have suggested actions on the tributaries in their comments to us, formal negotiations have been underway under the auspices of the Resources Agency under non-disclosure agreements that the board is not included in – by request of the parties.
On the morning of our hearing we were presented with a status update and framework by some parties on the Sacramento tributaries and the Tuolumne and a request to give the parties until March to further develop the framework into an alternative to consider along with our proposals for the Sacramento River and Delta update next year. We said yes. We aren’t negotiators on these deals – we review things in public and could not be expected to act on a proposal that we heard for the first time that morning.
Our openness to evaluating agreements that are robust, transparent, and verifiable has not changed, and adoption of the lower San Joaquin update does not close the door on any future proposals from the parties to the framework or any other parties. We continue to encourage participants to come to the board with more details and greater collaboration so that plans can be publicly reviewed.
Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board, Sacramento