Advice on Voluntary Settlements for California’s Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan Part 1: Addressing a Manageable Suite of Ecosystem Problems

California Water Blog –

Recommendation
The State Water Resources Control Board and the parties seeking to incorporate voluntary settlement agreements in the Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan should identify a specific, tractable set of problems that can be addressed over the next 15 years through this plan. We urge the participants to focus a near-term Delta plan on:

1) increasing food-web productivity in the Delta,

2) maximizing high-quality habitat that favors native plants and animals, and

3) improving water quality through nutrient management.

These efforts should recognize the inadequacies of actions focused on single species recovery, and instead focus on the simultaneous and integrated management of flows, tides, and landscapes to improve overall ecosystem function and condition.

Introduction
The State Water Resources Control Board is revising its Bay-Delta Water Quality Control Plan. The plan is critical for water management because it prescribes water quality and flow requirements in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River and Delta. The Board is considering incorporating Voluntary Settlement Agreements between affected parties to guide development of its water quality plan.

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