Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
Contact:Bob Walsh 702-591-0029
|For Immediate Release: December 11, 2003||
Bob Laidlaw, 202-262-3158
Norton Signs Agreement to
MOU Helps Implement San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement
(WASHINGTON) - Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton today signed an agreement with Southern California's largest water agency that will help to speed water efficiency and conservation projects aimed at solving some of the region's major water supply problems. The pact also will help implement the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act.
The Memorandum of Understanding
Norton signed with representatives of the Metropolitan Water District
of Southern California will enable Interior agencies and Metropolitan
to work more effectively and efficiently to carry out water supply projects
and solutions called for in California's plan to reduce its overuse
of Colorado River water to its authorized allocation of 4.4. million
"At the recent signing
of the Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement at Hoover Dam, I made
a commitment to remain engaged in the effort to help California meet
its longstanding promise to reduce its overuse of Colorado River water,"
Norton said. "This agreement is a first step in
moving this historic effort from negotiated agreement to on-the-ground
implementation. Metropolitan is a major stakeholder in the California
4.4. Plan and this agreement will speed our cooperative efforts."
Metropolitan Water District, a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 18 million people in six Southern California counties, imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California through its major complex of canals and reservoirs. The MOU will enable several Interior agencies and Metropolitan to work more effectively and efficiently to carry out water supply initiatives called for in California's 4.4 Plan and the Colorado River Water Delivery Agreement.
One of the first major conservation efforts agreed to under these pacts is lining sections of the All American Canal in Southern California and using about 16,000 acre-feet of the water conserved by that project to fulfill a water rights settlement agreement with the San Luis Rey Parties. (P.L. 100-675).
The Memorandum of Understanding establishes a framework that will provide more consistent, effective, and collaborative solutions for the delivery of Colorado River water to Southern California users. The relationship offers enhancements and cost-savings over a range of activities, including water supply operations and management, public land management, resource impact assessment, protection of cultural/historic resources, and informed decision making.
The signing ceremony followed
Norton's remarks to the annual meeting of the Colorado River Water Users
Association at Caesar's Palace Hotel in Las Vegas,
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