February 18, 2015

State Water Board Asked by WG to Reconsider Staff Denial of Temporary Pumping Modifications

Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif sent a letter to the State Water Resources Control Board (Board) on February 12, 2015, strongly objecting to a recent staff decision to deny limited increases in export pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta under certain conditions and asked the Board to rapidly reconsider its decision on the Temporary Urgency Change Petition (TUCP). The modified pumping levels were supported by three federal regulatory agencies and two state agencies.  Three of the five agencies are tasked with protecting fish, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

In his letter, Nassif said, “Throughout the last year, state and federal officials have praised their collaboration in managing the drought and have pointed to their increased reliance on real-time monitoring and data to manage our infrastructure more flexibly and ensure that all water users, including farms and cities south of the Delta, are not harmed by unnecessarily restrictive decisions to limit water deliveries. The Executive Officer of the State Water Resources Control Board has acted unilaterally to undermine the projected benefits of this collaborative, flexible approach.”

Last week a bipartisan group of California’s Congressional delegation also sent a letter to the Board asking it to reverse the staff decision.

Tomorrow, February 18, 2015, the Board is holding a workshop in Sacramento to receive input on a drought contingency plan for the State Water Project (SWP) and the Central Valley Project and on the TUCP.