Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement on the voluntary settlement agreement for the Tuolumne River:
“The California water board has before it a Tuolumne River voluntary settlement agreement. I urge the board to take the time necessary to fully evaluate this agreement’s potential advantages. The combination of additional flows with more habitat restoration is very attractive. If it’s a way to restore salmon on the Tuolumne River, then it needs to be carefully studied.
“Environmental flows alone cannot solve the problem. We’re still seeing nearly 100 percent mortality for salmon smolts migrating out of the San Joaquin River through the Delta. So it’s time to evaluate all approaches and pick the one that best serves all purposes.
“The voluntary settlement avoids severe cuts in Bay Area water—up to 50 percent—that could have triggered during a lengthy drought under the water board’s original proposal. It appears this agreement strikes the right balance between competing uses, and I look forward to its further evaluation.”