News Events

Member Agency

Metropolitan at Work

Press Releases

Board Meeting Materials

Contact Metropolitan

Who is Metropolitan?

Doing Business with Metropolitan

Be a bewaterwise
fan on Facebook

Be a Metropolitan
fan on Facebook

Water Supply Alert
Water Alert

August 2009

Legislature Pursues Historic Delta Package

The Metropolitan Water District is actively engaged in discussions before the California Legislature on a package of bills that addresses the ailing Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta as well as statewide water management. The Metropolitan Board’s Communications and Legislation Committee reviewed the extensive proposals at its August 18 meeting. That afternoon in Sacramento, Metropolitan Assistant General Manager Roger Patterson testified on behalf of the district at a joint hearing of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.

Metropolitan’s goal is to seek various refinements to the bills so that the Legislature can approve a final package before it adjourns for fall recess on September 11.

The Delta package was announced on August 4 by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. The legislation was released in “pre-print” form, drafts that are expected to be revised before deliberations would begin on formal proposals. Three bills pertain to the Delta. Senator Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, has proposed the creation of a Delta Stewardship Council to create a broad Delta plan and have certain oversight and review powers. Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has proposed steps to create the Delta Plan and to give the new Council a say over emerging water system and ecosystem proposals in the estuary. Senator Lois Wolk, D-Davis, has proposed the creation of a new Delta Conservancy that would assist in habitat restoration and economic development activities in the region.

On statewide water management matters, Assemblyman Mike Feuer, D-West Hollywood, has proposed a plan to reduce per-capita water use statewide by 20 percent by the year 2020. Metropolitan is a sponsor of similar legislation that the Assemblyman introduced earlier this year. And State Senator Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, has proposed an expansion of groundwater management efforts throughout the state as well as broader water reporting requirements and enforcement powers for the State Water Resources Control Board.

Metropolitan’s analysis
of the bills did not include formal positions on each element of the package, reflecting the draft, pre-print form of the package. However, the analysis pointed to several needs to refine the legislation, including stronger support for water supply reliability and for the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan, a state-federal effort to improve the water conveyance system in the Delta along with thousands of acres of habitat restoration.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on August 18 wrote to Bass and Steinberg urging them to amend and expand the package to include a statewide water bond.

Additional informational hearings are tentatively scheduled before the Legislature on August 25 and 27. The Legislature is expected to deliberate a formal package of bills through a conference committee process. Final bills that advance from the conference committee would be subject to an up-or-down (no amendments) vote on the floors of the Assembly and Senate.

“Metropolitan fully supports a comprehensive solution to the Delta and looks forward to working with you and your staff to create a historic package of legislation this session,” said Timothy F. Brick, Chairman of the Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, in a letter to Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee Assemblyman Jared Huffman, Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, on August 13.

This newsletter is produced by the:
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
700 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012