In 1997 the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued
a notice of the water rights hearings to allocate responsibility
for meeting the 1995 Delta Water Quality Control Plan (WQCP) objectives.
Because the issues were so complex, the SWRCB divided the water
rights proceedings into eight phases.
Phase 8 was to allocate responsibility for satisfying the flow-related
water quality objectives of the 1995 Delta WQCP among water right
holders in the watersheds of the Sacramento, Cosumnes, and Calaveras
To avoid the consequences of delay associated with resolving Phase
8 issues, over 40 water suppliers in the Sacramento Valley, the
Department of Water Resources (DWR), US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR),
and the Downstream Water Users developed a cooperative water management
partnership to better manage water and provide a mechanism for satisfying
Bay-Delta water quality and flow objectives.
This partnership led to the development of the Short-Term
Settlement Agreement which continues the commitment of USBR
and the DWR to meet the SWRCB D-1641 flow-related standards, and
provides for a collaborative process among the parties to develop
projects to meet water supply, water quality, and environmental
needs in the Sacramento Valley, Bay-Delta, and throughout California.
As a result of the parties' commitment, on January 31, 2003 the
SWRCB dismissed Phase 8 of the Bay-Delta Hearings.