Voluntary agreements are unprecedented. Water authorities have pledged to contribute hundreds of thousands of hectares of water, hundreds of millions of dollars and a wide range of measures to restore habitat to restore and improve fish and wildlife habitat. These commitments will help connect streams to historic flood zones, including salmon, steelheads, ducks, geese, giant-necked snakes and many other species. This enhanced cooperation creates the necessary conditions for the extension of existing habitat restoration work. These projects include the restoration of wetlands in the Bay Delta and the Central Valley, which provides more habitat as a critical part of the Pacific Flyway. Meanwhile, members of the Association of California Water Agencies are leading salmon recovery efforts in tributaries of Delta Bay, such as the Yuba River in Northern California and Butte Creek. Nearby, a 19-stakeholder partnership plans to flood farmland and connect it to the Yolo bypass and the Sacramento River by waterways. The results of pilot projects to restore seasonal flood zones have already yielded exciting results. Governor Gavin Newsom has always expressed support for the success of voluntary agreements as a way forward in the Sacramento San Joaquin Bay Delta. The California Natural Resources Agency and the California Environmental Protection Agency recently called voluntary collaborative agreements a “Game Changer” for the environment. We are in complete agreement and we are ready to bring proactive decision makers to the table for water management in the delta and its tributaries. Voluntary agreements are the best in California. They are also our best way to restore the environment together and use our economy.

And that`s our best effort. We are on the cust of a historic achievement in California to resolve long-standing conflicts with comprehensive voluntary agreements that replace cooperation and creative solutions to perpetual litigation. For anyone who abandons these transformational efforts in favour of litigation, this would be a tragic mistake that could cost the state a rare opportunity to make a significant investment in multi-profit electronic facilities for the environment. Newsom`s administration and legislation recently provided $70 million for habitat restoration measures and other measures contained in voluntary agreements. This commitment reflects the support provided by administrative and state legislation to this cooperation initiative. By Dave Eggerton and Mark Biddlecomb Jan 22, 2020 Voices on Water “Gov. Newsom: California must get past differences on water. Voluntary agreements are the way forward” CalMatters, February 4, 2020 “Welcome to the Future of California Water Policy” California Farm Water Coalition “Why State Water Contractors sued California over restrictions on water deliveries” CalMatters, April 30, 2020 We applaud Gov. Newsom for its leadership in this area and remain optimistic that all parties involved will continue their progress towards creative, collaborative and adaptive approaches that protect our environment and build water security for communities and agriculture. Dave Eggerton is Executive Director of the Association of California Water Agencies and can be reached at davee@acwa.com. Mark Biddlecomb is the West Region Chief Operating Officer of Ducks Unlimited and can be reached in mbiddlecomb@ducks.org. “SWC Sues State of California Over Updated Permit Conditions for the Long-Term Operation of the State Water Project” State Water Contractors, April 29, 2020 “Framework for Agreements to Aid Health of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is a Startint Point with an Uncertain End” Water Education Foundation, April 17, 2020 “ACWA applauds Gov.

Newsom Comments in Support of Voluntary Agreements” Association of California Water Agencies, February 4, 2020 “Newsom`s water frame is imperfect, but necessary.

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