(June 20, 2012) Water is a critically important policy issue for California, and the time has come for decisions to be made on how to improve our infrastructure and preserve water supply and water quality for our state. Existing and new businesses need a stable supply of water, and need to be protected from the threats of shortages, rationing, and other consequences of inaction.
Since 2006, the formal Bay Delta Conservancy Plan (BDCP) process has been underway, at a cost of more than $150 million, to conduct comprehensive and detailed analysis on how best to plan for the future. Last week, CalChamber and a number of other organizations sent a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and California’s Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird urging action on the BDCP in order to reach the fundamental goals of water reliability, Delta restoration, job creation and growth in California’s economy. Without such action, California will not achieve the needed environmental improvements in the Delta, there will be continued risk of water disruptions for communities across the state, new construction and development projects could be derailed due to the lack of reliable water, and we could lose new industry investments in the state.
What has been outlined in the BDCP will facilitate habitat restoration and water reliability. It will be paid for by the users that will benefit most directly. And the construction will create more than 129,000 jobs in the areas that have been hit hardest by the recession.
CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg believes water is a critical component in California’s economic engine, “Without infrastructure improvements, all kinds of new development in our state will be at risk due to the possibility of disruptions. We could lose jobs due to a lack of a reliable, clean water supply.”
According to Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif, “California’s farmland is one of our state’s most precious resources and a large portion of it is in jeopardy of being lost unless federal and state leaders successfully complete the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. State and federal officials have provided the determined leadership needed to reach this critical point. We are counting on them now to make the tough decisions needed to achieve the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration.”
Danny Curtain, Director California Conference of Carpenters, added, “It is critically important for federal and state officials to quickly reach consensus and move forward with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. This plan must include the co-equal goals of water supply reliability and Delta restoration. Reliable water and a healthy environment will provide economic viability for all Californians.”
To see the recent letter submitted by the labor and business community to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Natural Resources Agency Secretary John Laird, click here.