Proposal for Voluntary Agreements Submitted to State Water Board

Thursday, Feb 28th, 2019


Parties Submit Proposal to Advance a Comprehensive Restoration Strategy
for the Bay-Delta Watershed as part of Voluntary Agreements to Improve Fish and Wildlife
March 1, 2019

The Northern California Water Association (NCWA) and Sacramento River Basin water resource managers today joined California’s Natural Resources Agency, the California Environmental Protection Agency, conservation organizations and water suppliers from every part of the state in a letter to the State Water Board advancing voluntary agreements to more effectively implement water quality objectives in the State Water Board’s Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta (Bay-Delta Plan).

Today’s formal submittal to the State Water Board includes a collaborative and detailed plan with specific actions to improve fish and wildlife habitat conditions in the Bay-Delta Watershed, including fisheries enhancement measures on the American, Feather, Sacramento and Yuba Rivers.

Voluntary agreements provide a more collaborative, effective and efficient alternative to the traditional confrontational State Water Board hearing process. The Sacramento River Basin proposal provides a comprehensive and holistic approach to ensure increased flows are integrated with habitat restoration actions, funding for a robust science program, and collaboration among local, state and federal agencies and conservation groups. This includes a portfolio of instream flows as well as habitat restoration measures that will benefit multiple fish and wildlife values for each river, including unprecedented efforts to reactivate our historical floodplains.

NCWA and the leadership in the Sacramento River Basin support Governor Newson’s clear direction in his State of the State address for the parties to collectively “cross the finish line on real agreements to save the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta. We must get this done for the resilience of our mighty rivers, for the stability of our agricultural sector, and for the millions and millions of people that depend on this water every day.” NCWA believes the voluntary agreement process will further Governor Newsom’s call to “get past the old binaries—like farmers versus environmentalists, and north versus south.”

NCWA and leaders in Northern California believe that voluntary agreements represent the best opportunity California has to improve conditions for fish and wildlife in the Bay-Delta watershed and we look forward to working with our partners to implement the voluntary agreements as a way to begin to “fix” the Bay-Delta watershed rather than continue the “fight” for the next several decades. We look forward to continuing to work with the State Water Board to advance this alternative approach to implementing the Water Quality Control Plan.


For more information on these proposals and the Sacramento River Basin, please contact:

American River: Andy Fecko (Placer County Water Agency) 530.308.4507 or James Peifer (City of Sacramento) 916.847.7589.

Feather River: Ted Trimble (Western Canal Water District) 530.520.2507, Sean Earley (Richvale Irrigation District) 530.701.8181, or Eugene Massa (Biggs-West Gridley Water District) 530.330.6049.

Sacramento River: Thad Bettner (Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District) 530.588.3450 or Lewis Bair (Reclamation District 108) 530.979.1536.

Yuba River: Curt Aikens (Yuba Water Agency) 530.701.6800.

Northern California Water Association: David Guy, 209.275.7867.



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