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January 5, 2017

Asm. Gray Tells State Water Board to ‘Start Over’ on Proposed Unimpaired Water Flow Rule

The final State Water Resources Control Board (Board) regional workshop on proposed rule changes to the Water Quality Control Plan and unimpaired flow proposals for the Delta was held yesterday in Sacramento. The proposal, which would increase unimpaired flows from the San Joaquin River by a minimum of 40 percent to aid salmon populations, is strongly opposed by Western Growers and the agriculture community, water managers, elected officials and local governments.

Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) stated strong opposition in testimony and in a detailed letter he submitted to the Board. In the letter, Gray alluded to Chairwoman Felicia Marcus’ frustration that there was a “’disconnect’ between those who wrote the proposal and those who are impacted by it.”

Gray added, “The update (issued by the State Water Resources Control Board) is full of misinformation, is not realistic, does not reflect current circumstances, and, in the words of your own staff, is significantly flawed. As we advised, it has created enormous ill will and distrust in the adversely affected communities.”

Gray continued, “There is strong and justified belief that you and your staff have not acted in good faith up to this point…Given the litany of new information provided to you during the recent public hearings, my recommendation is that you send this report back to your staff and your consultants with a directive to start over.”

Please note, the deadline for written comments has been extended until noon on Friday, March 17.  Western Growers will continue to advocate for comprehensive, common-sense solutions for issues affecting the Delta.

For more information, contact WG’s Gail Delihant at (916) 446-1435.