Adel Hagekhalil, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the California Department of Water Resources’ release today of the final Environmental Impact Report for the Delta Conveyance Project.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our state’s effort to address the impacts that climate change is exacting on California’s water supply. The recent drought was a powerful indicator of just how vulnerable the State Water Project is – deliveries were so low last year that some Southern California communities could only get a fraction of the water they normally rely on. Preventing this from happening again will take bold action and a clear recognition of the challenges we face.
“The Delta Conveyance Project can be part of a balanced, holistic solution that includes capturing, conveying and storing water available during high flows, for use when it is dry. We look forward to reviewing the findings in the environmental documents released today, along with additional information that will be provided in the future including a cost-benefit analysis. All of this will inform Metropolitan’s Board of Directors in determining how best to invest our resources in response to the changing climate. Metropolitan will further assess the DCP through its Climate Adaptation Master Plan for Water, which will guide all of our investments in infrastructure, conservation and new supplies in the years to come.
“Metropolitan is taking steps to reduce its reliance on the Delta, through increased conservation, water recycling and storage. Still, the water imported through the State Water Project will always be an essential component of Southern California’s supply. Ensuring its future reliability must be consistent with the state’s coequal goal of ecosystem restoration for the Delta. The finalization of the DCP EIR, along with a comprehensive mitigation plan, will help make sure the actions we take to protect our water supply are done in an environmentally responsible way.”