Voluntary Settlement Agreements
In March, 2019, California’s Department of Water Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Sacramento River Basin water agencies (to include Yuba Water Agency) provided the State Water Resources Control Board with proposed voluntary settlement agreements that are tailored to meet the needs of the different watersheds feeding into the Bay-Delta. The agreements represent a collaborative plan designed to contribute to the recovery of fish and wildlife species, and are an alternative to the state board’s proposed one-size-fits-all requirements to release massive amounts of flows in an attempt to improve Bay-Delta fisheries.
The state water board is in the process of updating the Water Quality Control Plan for the Bay-Delta. The purpose of the plan is to establish water quality control measures that provide reasonable protection of beneficial uses in the greater Bay-Delta watershed, which includes all of the Sacramento Valley on portions of the San Joaquin Valley.
Yuba Water Agency's proposal provides a more comprehensive environmental benefit than just higher water releases proposed by the state water board's staff, and ensures increased flows, habitat restoration, funding for a river science program, and collaboration among local, state and federal agencies, as well as conservation groups.