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Water Reforms

June 26, 1993

* Despite suggestions to the contrary in The Times ("State Blocking U.S. Water Reforms," May 27, and "A Plausible Pause: It's the Economy," editorial, May 28), Gov. Pete Wilson is committed to full cooperation with the federal government on implementation of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act.

This new and complex law governing the huge federal water project in California requires that the state provide 25% of the approximately $700 million necessary for environmental improvements to mitigate effects of the water diversions.

At present, however, the state is billions of dollars in the red--and this unfortunate reality clouds our ability to meet these obligations of the new federal law. Nonetheless, the governor acknowledges this responsibility and is exploring a number of options that may enable the state to provide the funding necessary to fully implement the law.

In the meantime, other cooperative work on the new law continues. The state departments of Fish and Game and Water Resources are actively collaborating with their federal counterparts on a cost-sharing agreement, the development of regulations required for implementation, and specific environmental projects in Northern California and the Central Valley that are provided for under the law.

DOUGLAS P. WHEELER

Secretary for Resources

Sacramento

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