Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the State Water Board’s release of its draft staff report and Substitute Environmental Document for the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan, which includes proposed Agreements to Support Healthy Rivers and Landscapes, also known as the Voluntary Agreements. The agreements will be considered by the State Water Board in its update of the Bay-Delta Plan.
“We are pleased to see the State Water Board is considering a range of alternatives, including the Voluntary Agreements, in its process to update its Water Quality Control Plan. The proposed Voluntary Agreements released today would transform the way we manage water in California. For too long, we have been singularly focused on flows as a means to protect the Bay Delta’s fragile environment. These agreements would take a new approach. They recognize that building a sustainable Bay-Delta requires improving habitats for fish and wildlife, additional water flows for species, dedicated funding sources, clear metrics and monitoring to analyze progress toward our goals and change course if necessary.
“We look forward to working with the State Water Board throughout this process and support their consideration of the Voluntary Agreements over the next year. We encourage everyone who cares about the Delta’s health and California’s water supply to share their thoughts during the public comment period. It is important that all voices are heard.”