Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today issued the following statement on Judge Wanger’s ruling today on the Delta Smelt Biological Opinion:
“With this decision, the federal court has placed itself in the daily operations of California’s major water delivery systems. While Judge Wanger’s decision will likely provide additional balance to the operation of the state and federal water projects in the Delta, these are just the latest indications that our water crisis is growing. Rather than a piecemeal approach driven by lawsuits and federal courts, we need a comprehensive strategy that upgrades California’s water infrastructure to ensure a clean and reliable water supply for our growing state and our environment.”
The Governor is committed to updating our state’s aging water structure with a strong focus on conservation, Delta restoration, environmental protection and increased storage:
* Last July, the Governor and Senator Dianne Feinstein proposed a compromise plan to the legislature to update California’s water system that would put the state on the path toward restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, expanding water supplies and promoting conservation efforts that will ensure a clean, reliable water supply for California.
* Last February, the Governor sent a letter to the state Senate outlining a comprehensive action plan to fix the fragile Delta. The plan included a call to achieve a 20 percent reduction in per capita water use statewide by 2020, policy guidance on Delta land use and levee protection standards, improved multi-agency Delta disaster planning, expediting interim Delta actions, water quality and groundwater projects, and directed the Resources Agency to expedite the completion of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).
* Last year, the Governor directed the State Water Resources Control Board to develop and implement a comprehensive program in the Delta to protect water quality.
* In July 2007, the Governor directed the Department of Water Resources to take immediate action to improve conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to help restore its natural habitat and protect the Delta smelt and other species. The Governor issued immediate directives to protect the Delta using existing resources and also called for additional actions to be included as part of a comprehensive water package. As part of that effort, the Governor directed DWR to coordinate with BDCP efforts to recover at- risk species and incorporate the issues of water supply reliability, seismic and flood durability, ecosystem health and resilience, water quality and projected schedule costs and funding in their options review.
* In 2006, the Governor signed Executive Order S-17-06, establishing an independent Blue Ribbon Task Force to develop a durable vision for sustainable management of the Delta.