Senator Dianne Feinstein has joined three valley representatives in urging state and federal administrations to delay implementing a new joint operating plan for water projects. The plan was proposed as part of a litigation settlement with environmental groups.
“There has been limited analysis and disclosure of the plan’s impacts and a lack of consultation with affected interests,” reads a letter from the lawmakers.
They call for a more thorough analysis and alternative options that have been “carefully vetted” with the parties involved. They expect the added consultation could be done before the winter pumping season begins in January.
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“There is simply too much at stake to rush this plan,” they argue.
California Farm Water Coalition Executive Director Mike Wade, meanwhile, called the plan “a potential disaster for thousands of California farmers.” He said it would set endangered species management back a decade to a calendar-based approach, rather than through adaptive management. Wade said this runs counter to the voluntary agreements currently under negotiation.