Metropolitan Statement on Release of New Federal Biological Opinions

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, issues the following statement on the release of new federal biological opinions to manage the operations of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project:

“It is beyond time to update these guidelines from those that were developed over a decade ago. These opinions advance the much-needed approach of managing the Delta based on real-time conditions and real-time monitoring of important fish species. Undoubtedly there are times when fish need greater protections, and pumping must be reduced, in order to protect the species in key migratory moments. There are also times when public water agencies can safely divert supplies when the populations are out of harm’s way. While this creates some uncertainty about our future supplies, it is without question a better approach.

“The state’s work to develop its own set of water management tools under a permitting process via the State Endangered Species Act must be completed as expeditiously as possible to avoid management confusion in the Delta. The state and federal projects must operate in a coordinated manner. We hope to work constructively with both the state and federal administrations to harmonize future Delta operations as much as possible.”

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that delivers water to 26 member agencies serving 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

Contacts

Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, mobile

Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, mobile

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