Department Of Interior

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Contact:Trudy Harlow
For Immediate Release: August 13, 2003

Statement of Interior Assistant Secretary Bennett Raley
on Status of Quantification Settlement Agreement

I am pleased to announce that after significant work with the State of California, the Department of the Interior believes that the outstanding federal issues that would lead to execution of a Quantification Settlement Agreement have been resolved.
We have been working to achieve quantification of California agricultural water use and provide for a reduction in California's use of Colorado River water. We think those goals have been achieved in the agreement that we worked with the State to negotiate with the California water agencies. However, significant work remains among the California parties to reach agreement on non-federal issues, and the ability of the QSA process to proceed will await resolution of those issues.
We have also worked actively with the Governors' representatives of the other six Basin States. While they have reservations about some of the details in the agreement, we believe those issues can be resolved pending resolution of the State issues between and among the California parties.
Both the State of California and the Department of the Interior are extremely concerned that the window of opportunity for resolution of the issues among the California agencies is rapidly closing.



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