Water agencies are calling for support from state officials in moving forward with voluntary agreements. The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) recently submitted a document to Governor Gavin Newsom highlighting the need to reprioritize voluntary agreements. The Roadmap to Achieving the Voluntary Agreements document is a call to action for stakeholders to re-engage on the agreements. The document was accompanied by a letter from ACWA Executive Director Dave Eggerton on behalf of more than 450 ACWA member agencies.
“We ask that the State does not lose sight of the need for a comprehensive solution for the Sacramento-San Joaquin (Delta) watershed, consistent with your vision outlined in the recently released Water Resilience Portfolio,” Eggerton stated. “Now is the time to complete the Voluntary Agreements and put California on a path of success that restores the Bay-Delta ecosystem and improves water reliability for the 35 million people and nearly 8 million acres of farmland dependent on its water supply.
The Roadmap details three specific actions to help allow voluntary agreements to progress forward. ACWA is asking state officials to assist water agencies with early implementation projects with funding support and streamlined permitting processes. The Roadmap also calls for the resolution of the litigation surrounding the Incidental Take Permit and the Biological Opinion. ACWA also encourages all parties to convene to complete the agreements and related efforts to further the implementation of the Water Quality Control Plan.
ACWA points out that appropriate management of the Delta watershed as a whole is going to require cooperation among agencies. A comprehensive, Delta watershed-wide approach to water management will hinge on collaboration and integrated solutions. “The Voluntary Agreements are the superior approach to implementing the coequal goals of the Delta and have the potential to achieve meaningful solutions that comprehensively manage the Delta watershed as a whole,” said Eggerton.