For more than a decade, California’s governors have pushed for “voluntary agreements” to establish rules for water diversions by major urban and agricultural water districts, and to redress their environmental impacts. Our organizations joined those discussions to craft a scientifically sound plan that would restore San Francisco Bay’s fisheries and water quality – and with the understanding that any agreement would satisfy all applicable laws, including the federal and state Clean Water Acts, as part of an update of the State Water Board’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan.
First things first: you’d be wise to forget everything you’ve read or heard recently about “voluntary agreements,” which according to the usual suspects, will bring a just and peaceful end the seemingly never-ending battle over California water.
Not true. Not even close.
To be crystal clear: “voluntary agreements”, no matter who crafts and agrees to them, would result in more money and even more scarce surface water leaving the Valley.