The following letter was sent to Governor Jerry Brown:
The undersigned members of Congress express our bi-partisan concerns with the State Water Resources Control Board's policies surrounding the Bay-Delta and rivers tributary to the Delta. Many of us have been providing our various perspectives on the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan and we will continue to engage with you as the draft BDCP and related environmental documents emerge in the next month.
However, for today, we are compelled to convey our serious concerns with the Board's efforts to adversely affect cities, towns, farms, wildlife refuges, fisheries and recreation in our regions. More specifically, the Board is currently engaged in a process on the San Joaquin River that will redirect water supplies away from San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties, without any recognizable benefit to California's environment and a clear, significant and unavoidable impact to the economy. A similar process for the Sacramento, Feather, American and Mokelumne Rivers will follow the San Joaquin River.
To be clear, we believe if the Board continues on its current path to shift responsibility for meeting Bay-Delta water quality to senior water right holders of the Bay-Delta, we suspect increased objections to the BDCP from water users. The reason is simple. When you came to Colusa in the Central Valley, you stated: "There are certain water rights that are historic and anything we do with the Delta facility has to incorporate those water rights as an iron-clad legal, statutory and maybe even constitutional guarantee to ensure that they gain and not lose." (2/6/13) We believed you and our constituents believed you. We will hold you to your word and believe any Delta solution must protect upstream senior water rights, and these senior water rights cannot be threatened in a separate process initiated by the Board.
The lack of a coherent and unified policy direction among your state agencies is alarming and evident. The BDCP, Delta Stewardship Council and Board basin plans are not integrated and are acting at odds with each other. This will adversely affect both the economy and the environment in our areas, as well as our ability to be regionally self-sufficient with respect to our water resources. The Board Phase I document call for "following 128,000 acres of prime farmland out of 320,000." We do not believe this is how regional self-sufficiency is to be defined nor implemented.
We strongly urge you to put into place a singular, efficient and logical process to achieve "A" Delta solution, which can be followed and engaged by all.
— Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) , Jim Costa (D-Fresno), Doug Lamalfa (R-Chico), John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove), Devin Nunes (R-Tulare), Tom McClintock (R-Elk Grove), David Valadao (R-Hanford)