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(SAN DIEGO) Mayor Jerry Sanders applauded yesterday morning’s vote by the state Legislature to approve a landmark water deal that will help ensure long-term water reliability while also protecting the ecosystem of the fragile Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta estuary.
Sanders feels San Diegans have several reasons to be happy about this deal, which will:
Make it easier to build a new aqueduct that will carry water from Northern to Southern California while bypassing the environmentally-sensitive Bay Delta estuary in Northern California. As it stands, pumping restrictions designed to protect the Delta fish population has helped create a water shortage in Southern California.
Set aside at least $227 million of an $11 billion bond measure for the San Diego region. This money can be used for a variety of water-related projects, including shoring up our reservoirs and protecting our watersheds.
Require that urban areas reduce their water use 20% by 2020. San Diego is already well on its way to meeting these benchmarks. If other major urban areas do the same, it means more water for the entire system.
Create a new Delta Conservancy that will oversee the ecological restoration of the Bay Delta, one of the nation’s biggest and most fragile estuaries.
Provide stiff penalties for those who illegally divert water from the Delta. As the region at the southernmost point of the water delivery system, San Diego has a strong interest in ensuring that every drop of water is delivered to its rightful owner.
“This package of bills will help safeguard one of this state’s most precious commodities for decades to come,” said Sanders, who along with local water officials and business leaders have been working hard to push this legislation through. “All San Diegans should be happy.”