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Member Spotlight - Fiorini Brings Wealth of Water Work to Council

December 2010

For Delta Stewardship Councilmember Randy Fiorini, service on the Council is about bringing nearly three decades of water experience to bear on removing the obstacles to restoring and strengthening the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

“When I was asked to serve, I agreed because I care about the problems facing California that relate to water reliability and a healthy ecosystem,” said Fiorini, who was appointed to the Council by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in March of this year. “I expect to make many positive contributions during my term of service.”

Fiorini’s seat on the Delta Stewardship Council does not mark his first foray into water policy. In addition to his longtime role as managing partner of Fiorini Ranch, he also served 16 years as director of the Turlock Irrigation District and 12 years as a Board member and President of the Association of California Water Agencies and as President and Board member of the California Farm Water Coalition.

“These experiences not only exposed me to the complexity of the issues facing California, but also provided me an opportunity to participate in meaningful ways to help solve some of those problems,” Fiorini said. “Most of all, my years of service have afforded me the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from many of California’s most knowledgeable and dedicated water policy leaders.”

The Delta Stewardship Council, created by the Legislature in November 2009, is a state agency that has been charged with developing a Delta Plan – a comprehensive set of policies and regulations to guide future activities in the Delta, or anywhere in the state that either affects or benefits from the Delta. The 738,000-acre estuary supplies drinking water to about 25 million Californians and is home to countless species, some of which are endangered or threatened. It is also a vital source of water to California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural industry.

The public process to determine what this set of policies and regulations should be began in April of 2010 and must be completed by January 1, 2012. Stakeholders and members of the public with an interest in the statutory coequal goals of water supply reliability for California, ecosystem health for the Delta or the Delta as an evolving place are encouraged to follow and contribute to the Council’s process.

“The complexity of California’s water supply system and the public policy challenges that have emerged in the past several decades are fascinating to me,” Fiorini said. “The challenges we now face demand comprehensive solutions. I would like to help.”

He noted that Council members have a “huge task” before them.

“We are off to a great start, and I have enjoyed every minute of it … so far,” Fiorini said.

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)