Radio Actuality

Secretary Salazar Speaks about Obama Adminstrations Actions to Deal with California Water Crisis


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar held a press teleconference Monday to announce that the federal government's commitment as a full partner in helping to deal with California's water crisis.  He announced that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) National Research Council Governing Board is expected to approve the request of the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce for an independent scientific review of key questions relating to the California Bay Delta, and how to both protect the ecosystem and provide a reliable water supply.

Topic / Summary / Transcript
Topic: Secretary Salazar expressed the federal government's commitment to being a full partner in meeting the twin goals of providing a sustainable water supply and restoring the Bay Delta. 
“In recent years the federal government has largely been missing in action when it came to California water issues.  Since January that has changed and the federal government is now a full partner with California and with other stakeholders in building a water future for California that meets the twin goals of providing a sustainable water supply for Californians and resolving the health of the California Bay Delta.”

Topic: The Obama Administration is investing $400 million in California's water infractructure through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.
“Through the President’s economic recovery plan, Interior is investing over $400 million in modernizing California’s water infrastructure of which over $40 million is going directly to drought relief.  Through the leadership of David Hayes and Mike Conner we’ve been coordinating with other federal agencies, the state and stakeholders to develop an action plan to address the water crisis.”

Topic:  The Department of the Interior and and Department of Commerce have requested independent reports from the National Academy of Sciences.  The first report is due by March 15, 2010
“The first NAS report will direct particular attention to the water delivery restrictions, the biological opinions and whether there are available alternative actions that would have lesser impacts on water deliveries while still providing equal or greater protection for the species and their designated critical habitat.  The NAS report will also look at the extent to which factors other than water pumping, know as ‘other stresses’, are contributing to the collapse of the Bay Delta eco-system.”