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Phillip J. Pace, chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, released the following statement regarding the accord reached regarding the Quantification Settlement Agreement and the Imperial Irrigation District-San Diego County Water Authority water transfer.
"No one should underestimate the value and importance of having access to surplus water from the Colorado River for more than 17 million Southern Californians. We applaud California Assembly Speaker Emeritus Robert Hertzberg for his determination and tenacity over the past four days in bringing together the Imperial Irrigation District, San Diego County Water Authority, Coachella Valley Water District and Metropolitan Water District to forge a new water future for California.
"Metropolitan is moving forward with our plans for ensuring long-term water reliability for urban Southern California through the resourcefulness of our own people and mutually beneficial partnerships with our neighbors. We also continue to do all that we can to master our own destiny through greater investments in innovative supply, water conservation and recycling programs.
"Managing the region's water supplies is a challenge, especially when explaining the intricacies of water to Southern Californians and other people of the West. Why aren't cities rationing in our second year of drought? The answer is simple: planning.
"It would have been a far more difficult task, however, to explain the failure of an apparently simple task -- promoting agriculture-to-urban transfers that help lessen California's dependence on water that belongs to other states.
"Today, together with Mr. Hertzberg and officials from San Diego, Imperial Valley, Coachella and many Native American tribes, we instead welcome an opportunity to explain how we are moving forward. A complex answer is not needed when we can say together that everyone wins with the agreement between the Imperial Irrigation District and the San Diego County Water Authority, as well as our mutual consent to respect the water we are each entitled to."
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 17 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other water-management programs.