Senate Bill 250 by Bakersfield Democrat Michael J. Rubio would require the state Department of Water Resources to finish planning for a Bay Delta Conservation Plan by February 2013, and complete all capital improvements by Dec. 31, 2025.
"We are very supportive of that bill," said Shane Chapman, general manager of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, which helps to manage ground water and builds water recycling projects affecting about 1 million residents.
The bill is supported by the Irwindale Chamber of Commerce, the El Monte/South El Monte Chamber, the La Verne Chamber and the Gateway Chambers Alliance. It also has the support of the Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality.
The water agencies are trying to drum up support for Rubio's legislation from the San Gabriel Valley legislators in Sacramento. So far, no one has signed on as a co-author, Chapman said.
Chapman said Rubio would like to have legislative support from Southern California assembly members and state senators. "So that it doesn't continue to be a North-South debate," he said.
The plan is also supported by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the largest water agency in the nation.
MWD has proposed a fix that could restore water flows from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to 2005 levels, when pumping was reduced by a federal judge because of the endangered Delta smelt. The Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which stakeholders hope will become part of a larger Delta Plan, includes construction of an $11.7 billion system of new levees and concrete channels to more efficiently move fresh water through the Delta. MWD and other large water agencies in Southern, Central and Northern California would pay for the project.
Some say it resembles a 1982 effort to fix the Delta called the peripheral canal. Voters turned that down.
Other local water agencies, including Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont, which is a wholesaler of water to retail agencies and districts in Walnut, La Verne, Claremont, Rowland Heights and Diamond Bar, say the new kind of water conveyance system is necessary to ensure water supplies from the northern Delta into Southern California.
"We need a Delta fix," said Rick Hansen, Three Valleys general manager.
But Hansen said all the local water agencies are continuing a multi-faceted plan to ensure an adequate water supply that includes conservation measures, recycling waste water, and even new attempts at capturing storm water.
"There isn't a single fix to anything. Things we are doing now are also needed, regardless of the Bay Delta fix," Hansen said.
626-962-8811 Ext. 2237