The following statement from San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Michael T. Hogan is in response to Gov. Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announcing today a preferred proposal for building a tunnel and conveyance system as part of a comprehensive effort to improve the Bay-Delta’s ecosystems and water supply reliability for California:
“I commend Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar for their leadership and attention to the vital issue of pursuing a comprehensive, long-term Bay-Delta ‘fix’ in accordance with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s co-equal goals of restoring ecosystems and water supply reliability. The Bay-Delta is an important water supply source for the San Diego region, providing between 15 and 30 percent of our annual water supply over the last decade.
“As the largest State Water Project Contractor, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has promised to pay 25 percent or more of the funding needed to build the Bay-Delta conveyance project. However, it remains a matter of deep concern to the San Diego County Water Authority that so far, Metropolitan has been unable to secure from any of its other 25 member agencies, contracts or other enforceable commitments to buy enough water to ‘back up’ Metropolitan’s promise.
“Successful implementation of a Bay-Delta conveyance project hinges on identifying the Metropolitan customers that are willing to pay for it. The Water Authority has stated in the past that it is willing to sign a take-or-pay contract to cover our share of this water supply cost. We renew our commitment and again call on the rest of the Metropolitan member agencies to join us in this most meaningful expression of support for a Bay-Delta solution.
“We look forward to working with all parties on this and other important, unresolved issues that must be evaluated carefully when the draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan is released for public review this fall.”