Statement from FWA CEO on California Water Commission Decision on Temperance Flat Project

The following statement is from Jason Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of Friant Water Authority, on the California Water Commission's determination of public benefits for the Temperance Flat project application:

Yesterday, after three days of deliberations regarding the benefits of storage projects applications submitted for funding under Proposition 1, the California Water Commission decided that the Temperance Flat project application would only be eligible for a maximum of $171.3 million in public funding.

It’s disappointing to see that all the hard work and effort assembling the Temperance Flat project application did not result in a more favorable finding from the California Water Commission for the project’s public benefits. We understand that the constraints of Proposition 1 and associated regulations gave the commission and its staff an unenviable task: to evaluate storage projects not by direct water supply benefits, but by other values. Nevertheless, this outcome is not what we’d hoped for.

The annual water shortfall in the San Joaquin Valley is nothing short of a crisis and there is no time to waste in identifying solutions for the near and long term. We believe additional storage, such as at Temperance Flat, could still be part of a portfolio of actions to help the valley’s communities and business find long-term sustainability.

Friant Water Authority and other water agencies in the San Joaquin Valley will continue to evaluate the feasibility of the Temperance Flat project as a water supply project without Proposition 1 funding.

Contact: Alex Biering, abiering@friantwater.org, 916-628-0431

2018 Annual Meeting Highlights Valley Water Balance, November Water Bond

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At Friant Water Authority’s second Annual Meeting this past Tuesday, March 27, nearly 250 growers, water agency staff, and public officials convened at the DoubleTree Convention Center in Fresno to both celebrate a year of success and to confront critical challenges for the coming years.  Attendees mingled during the reception before enjoying a buffet dinner at tables. Many people brought spouses or other family members with them.

“Our focus for last year’s meeting was to highlight big changes in our organization during 2016 and early 2017. This year, in addition to highlighting accomplishments from 2017, we wanted to provide a forum to discuss what we feel are the major challenges and opportunities facing the Friant Division and the entire San Joaquin Valley in 2018 and beyond, especially related to addressing capacity problems on the Friant-Kern Canal that are severely restricting water deliveries. We also wanted to reach an even broader cross-section of the San Joaquin Valley community than we did last year. I think we accomplished those goals,” said Jason Phillips, FWA Chief Executive Officer.

  Panelists included (l-r) Dept. of the Interior's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Austin Ewell, California Director of Water Resources Karla Nemeth, and Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo.

Panelists included (l-r) Dept. of the Interior's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Austin Ewell, California Director of Water Resources Karla Nemeth, and Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo.

In addition to presentations by FWA staff, the program included a presentation by Dr. Jerry Meral on the benefits of the Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 (2018 Water Bond) for the Valley and a panel of state and federal water officials discussing their near-term priorities. FWA Board President Kent Stephens also presented an award to Lucille Demetriff, recently retired from the board, for her more than 20 years of service to FWA and Friant Water Users Authority.

  FWA Board Chairman Kent Stephens presents former Board Secretary/Treasurer Lucille Demetriff with an award for nearly a quarter century of service to FWA and Friant Water Users Authority.

FWA Board Chairman Kent Stephens presents former Board Secretary/Treasurer Lucille Demetriff with an award for nearly a quarter century of service to FWA and Friant Water Users Authority.

Download PDFs of the program and slideshow.

Did you attend the 2018 Annual Meeting? Help us get a jump start on next year’s event by providing feedback to us at execasst@friantwater.org.

Second Annual Meeting and Dinner to be Held March 27 in Fresno

  Jason Phillips addresses the Friant Divisionduring FWA's first Annual Meeting in 2017 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare.

Jason Phillips addresses the Friant Divisionduring FWA's first Annual Meeting in 2017 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare.

Last April, nearly 200 Friant Division growers, Friant Water Authority (FWA) staff, and members of the San Joaquin Valley agricultural community gathered for the first-ever FWA annual meeting. On March 27, FWA will hold its second annual meeting, this time in Fresno at the DoubleTree Convention Center. The event will begin at 6 PM and includes a reception, hosted dinner, and speeches and presentations by FWA staff and directors, federal officials, and others in the water community.

FWA launched this annual event to highlight recent changes in the organization's staff and Board of Directors, provide an outlook on challenges and opportunities facing the entire Friant Division, and also convene a broad cross-section of the Friant community. Last year, many attendees brought their families, and several remarked to FWA staff that they reconnected with friends and colleagues they hadn’t seen for a decade or more. This year's program will focus on accomplishments during 2017, challenges related to the water balance in the San Joaquin Valley, federal water priorities, and the 2018 Water Bond. 

RSVPs are requested but not required: centralvalleygroup.com/events. There is no charge to attend. Please call 559-281-9008 with any questions.