The 1.18 million acre-feet of water dedicated to environment in the CALFED Record of Decision has basically vanished. Its disappearance is one of the reasons that pelagic fish populations in the Delta have collapsed.
Newsom's veto of Senate Bill 1 shows just how little backstop there is for the Voluntary Agreements on Delta flows. This should not be surprising, given how the regulatory framework for the Water Board's determination of Delta flow objectives has been gutted.
Voluntary Agreements to restore the Sacramento Bay-Delta are part of the Newsom administration’s Water Resilience Portfolio. Water agencies have touted these agreements as a “new way forward.” But voluntary agreements in the Delta are not new – they just fail and are never discussed again.
The Australian model of flexibility and partnership with water diverters in management of ecosystem water has been catastrophic in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin.
True leadership in California water involves addressing major ongoing conflicts between beneficial uses and the hard choices that need to be made in an age of increasing demands and finite resources.
The last California governor to interfere with a Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan update was Governor Pete Wilson in 1993, with Decision 1630. The Wilson administration's interference began with a similar request for an extension of one month.