In 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger formed by executive order the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, which was tasked with producing goals, ideals and a strategic plan by which water resources ought to be viewed, and thus governed. This Task Force identified certain values/principles/priorities by which they believed any decisions on California’s water resources should be predicated on the future.

Among the priorities developed by the Task Force were such things as:

• Improving local self-sufficiency,

• Decreased reliance on the Delta,

• Integration of all water resources within a region and among regions,

• Sustainable practices,

• Conservation measures, and

• Water use/reuse/multiple-use strategies.

More recent considerations have added these priorities:

• Based on scientifically sound practices and data, and

• Operated under “adaptive management” approaches utilizing responsive and flexible structures, policies and strategies.

All these approaches necessitate gathering and analyzing massive amounts of real-time, circumstantial data for effective real-time decision making.

The Delta Vision Task Force went further and recommended the construction of a dual conveyance system; changes and additions/modifications to current conveyance systems and storage facilities; and development of a thorough analysis and plan concerning all stressors affecting supply.

At present, there are many policy-related efforts underway, seeking to address California’s water needs now and into the future. Inherent in all these efforts are upsides and downsides to all interests and constituencies. As projects/strategies are contemplated, the values of balance, beneficial-use determinations and efficiencies will play heavily in the outcome of deliberations. Costs continue to be a crucial factor, not to mention the question of who will pay for improvements.

Almond producers/handlers have a major stake in the outcome, particularly the potential impacts and the associated costs of any of these efforts addressing California’s water supply allocation and distribution.

 

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