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University of California Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 

Carl Boronkay 

Timothy H. Quinn 


Interviews Conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1997 

Copyright 1999 by The Regents of the University of California 

Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading 
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of 
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of 
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a 
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well- 
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the 
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for 
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected 
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and 
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material, 
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete 
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in 
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, 
and irreplaceable. 


All uses of this manuscript are covered by legal agreements 
between The Regents of the University of California and both Carl 
Boronkay and Timothy H. Quinn dated, respectively, April 23, 1998 
and July 11, 1998. The manuscript is thereby made available for 
research purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, including 
the right to publish, are reserved to The Bancroft Library of the 
University of California, Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may 
be quoted for publication without the written permission of the 
Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of California, 

Requests for permission to quote for publication should be 
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, 
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include 
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated 
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal 
agreements with Carl Boronkay and Timothy H. Quinn require that they 
be notified of the request and allowed thirty days in which to 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: 

Carl Boronkay and Timothy H. Quinn, "The 
Passage of the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act, 1991-1992: The 
Metropolitan Water District Perspective," 
an oral history conducted in 1997 by Malca 
Chall, Regional Oral History Office, The 
Bancroft Library, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1999. 

Copy no. 

Carl Boronkay, "...The serious me (perhaps the visionary Tim 
describes)," 1992. 

Tim Quinn, 1996. 

Photo by Linda Okamura 

Cataloguing information 

Boronkay, Carl (b. 1929) General Manager, Metropolitan Water District 
Quinn, Timothy (b. 1951) Deputy General Manager 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The 
Metropolitan Water District Perspective. 1999, viii, 152pp. 

Joint interview discusses the background of the Los Angeles Metropolitan 
Water District s (MWD) interest in water marketing and transfers, and water 
banking; Imperial Irrigation District, Palo Irrigation District, Arvin- 
Edison Water Storage District, Areias Dairy Farm Transaction; the three-way 
process, formation of the California and Western Urban Water Coalition; 
assistance in drafting, lobbying for, passage of the Seymour, Miller- 
Bradley bills to ensure water marketing; changed relationships with 
agriculture and environmental communities; analysis of CVPIA implementation 
and CALFED; MWD board: size, committees, and support for water marketing 
before and during passage of the CVPIA. 

Interviewed 1997 by Malca Chall for the California Water Resources 
Oral History Series, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley. 


The Bancroft Library, on behalf of future researchers, 

wishes to thank 

The Metropolitan Water District 

whose contributions made possible this oral history 
of Carl Boronkay and Timothy H. Quinn. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS --Carl Boronkay and Timothy H. Quinn 





1984-1993 1 
Education and Career Path to the Metropolitan Water District 1 

Law School and Interest in Water Law 1 
State of California, Office of the Attorney General, 

1957-1976 3 
The Metropolitan Water District: Assistant General Counsel, 

General Counsel, 1976-1984 7 

General Manager, 1984-1993 11 

Attorney or Engineer? 12 

Major Staff Changes 14 

Tackling the Issues: The Need for Future Water Facilities 15 
The Imperial Irrigation District: MET s Plan to Increase 

its Water Supply 17 

Organizing the California Urban Water Agencies 22 

Contacts with Representatives of Agriculture 23 
Organizing the Three-Way Process: The Concerns of the 

Environmental Community 24 
Gearing up for Water Marketing: The Rationale and the 

Hurdles 27 

Convincing the MET Board 30 

The Bradley Bill Surfaces: MET Supports Transfers 33 

Helping to Draft the Seymour Bill: Support in Principle 35 

1993-PRESENT (1998) 39 
Education and Career Path to the Metropolitan Water District 39 

Major Field of Study: Economics, 1970-1983 40 

The President s Council of Economic Advisors, 1976-1977 41 

The Ph.D. Dissertation on Groundwater Law 42 

Metropolitan Water District: Economist, 1985 43 
Analyzing Carl Boronkay s Vision: The Need to Change 

Historic Water Alliances 45 

First Assignments with MET: Water Transfer Initiatives 49 

The Palo Verde Irrigation District 50 

The Arvin-Edison Water Storage District 53 

Water Marketing: An Accepted Concept Today 54 
John Wodraska: Current MET General Manager, 1993 to 

Present [1998] 56 

Assessing the Need for "Revolutionary" Changes Within 

the Urban, Agricultural, and Environmental Communities 58 

Drafting and Introducing the Seymour Bill, S. 2016 60 
Carl Boronkay s Single Interest in Water Marketing Confuses 

Seymour Bill Proponents 66 
Analyzing Senator John Seymour s Understanding of the Dynamics 

of the Debate 69 
Carl Boronkay Moves to Realign the Politics of Western Water 

Interests 72 
Senator Bennett Johnston s Mark Stirs the Water-Agriculture 

Communities 75 

Solving the Lobbying Dilemma 76 
How and Why the Seymour Bill Passed Out of the Senate Energy 

and Natural Resources Committee Onto the Senate Floor 79 
The Effect of the Johnston Mark on MET s Stance on the 

Competing Reform Bills: Setting Forth the Principles 83 

The MET Board and Its Committee Structure 88 
The Bradley Bill Changed the Agricultural, Urban, and 

Environmental Relationships 91 
Agriculture s Strength in Congress and the Need for Equity 

Among the Sectors 91 
Carl Boronkay Testifies at Hearing on H.R. 5099: Suggests 

Modifications to S. 2016 96 

The Interest of the Business Community in Water Marketing 99 

The Environmental Community and Water Marketing 101 

The Somach-Graff Negotiations 102 

The CVPIA: Interpretation and Implementation 108 
Reviewing the Bumpy Ride to Passage of the CVPIA from MET s 

Perspective 109 
MET Sees Need to Maintain Relationships with Agricultural and 

Environmental Interests: Accords May Vary 111 

"We Want to Get Better Together" 114 
The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same? 117 

Senate Bill 900 Becomes Proposition 204 118 

Building the Coalition for Proposition 204 120 

The Metropolitan Water District, the CVPIA, and Water Marketing 122 

The Failed Areias Dairy Farm Transaction 123 

The Successful Arvin-Edison Partnership Plan 125 

Continuing Analysis of the CVPIA: Problems with Implementation 126 

Dealing with the 800,000 Acre-Foot Promise /Premise 127 

More on Finalizing the Arvin-Edison Partnership: The Concerns 

of the Friant Water Users and the Environmental Community 132 

Trying to Set Policy in Partisan Legislative Settings 137 



A Carl Boronkay Curriculum Vitae 142 

B "MWD s general manager retires after nine years of 

innovation," Focus. No. 2, 1993 144 

C Proposition 204, "Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply 

Act," from ballot pamphlet, November 1996 146 

INDEX 150 


The Water Resources Center of the University of California, in 1965, 
established a History of California Water Resources Development Oral 
History Series, to be carried out by the oral history offices at the Los 
Angeles and Berkeley campuses. The basic purpose of the program was "to 
document historical developments in California s water resources by means 
of tape recorded interviews with men who have played a prominent role in 
this field." The concern of those who drafted the program was that while 
the published material on California water resources described 
engineering and economic aspects of specific water projects, little dealt 
with concepts, evolution of plans, and relationships between and among 
the various interested federal, state, and local agencies. 

To bridge this information gap, the Water Resources Center, during 
the past quarter century under the successive direction of Professors 
Arthur F. Pillsbury, J. Herbert Snyder, and Henry Vaux, Jr., has provided 
funding in full or in part for interviews with men who have been 
observers and participants in significant aspects of water resources 
development. Early advisors to the project on the Berkeley campus were 
Professors J. W. Johnson and David K. Todd. Gerald Giefer, librarian of 
the Water Resources Center Archives, Berkeley, has maintained an 
important advisory role in the project. 

Interviewees in the Berkeley series have been pioneers in western 
water irrigation, in the planning and development of the Central Valley 
and California State Water Projects, in the administration of the 
Department of Water Resources, and in the pioneering work of the field of 
sanitary engineering. Some have been active in the formation of the San 
Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; others have 
developed seminal theories on soil erosion and soil science. But in all 
cases, these men have been deeply concerned with water resources in 

Their oral histories provide unique background into the history of 
water resources development and are valuable assets to students 
interested in understanding the past and in developing theories for 
future use of this essential, controversial, and threatened commodity- - 

Henry J. Vaux, Jr., Director 
Water Resources Center 

January 1989 

University of California, Riverside 


January 1999 

The following Regional Oral History Office interviews of have been funded in 
whole or in part by The Water Resources Center, University of California. 

Banks, Harvey (b. 1910) 

California Water Project. 1955-1961. 1967 82 pp. 

Gianelli, William R. (b. 1919) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1967-1973. 
1985, 86 pp. 

Gillespie, Chester G. (1884-1971) 

Origins and Early Years of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering. 
1971, 39 pp. 

Harding, Sidney T. (1883-1969) 

A Life in Western Water Development. 1967, 524 pp. 

Jenny, Hans (1899-1992) 

Soil Scientist. Teacher, and Scholar. 1989, 364 pp. 

Langelier, Wilfred F. (1886-1981) 

Teaching. Research, and Consultation in Water Purification and Sewage 
Treatment. University of California at Berkeley. 1916-1955. 
1982, 81 pp. 

Leedom, Sam R. (1896-1971) 

California Water Development. 1930-1955. 1967, 83 pp. 

Leopold, Luna B. (b. 1915) 

Hydrology. Geomorphology. and Environmental Policy: U.S. Geological 
Survey. 1950-1072. and UC Berkeley. 1972-1987. 1993, 309 pp. 

Lowdermilk, Walter Clay (1888-1974) 

Soil. Forest, and Water Conservation and Reclamation in China. Israel, 
Africa, and The United States. 1969, 704 pp. (Two volumes) 

McGaughey, Percy H. (1904-1975) 

The Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory: Administration. Research, 
and Consultation. 1950-1972. 1974, 259 pp. 

Robie, Ronald B. (b. 1937) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1975-1983. 
1989, 97 pp. 

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. 1964-1973. 

Interviews with Joseph E. Bodovitz, Melvin Lane, and E. Clement Shute. 
1986, 98 pp. 

The Central Valley Project Improvement Act Oral History Series 

Beard, Daniel P. (b. 1943) 

Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The 
Role of George Miller. 1996, 67 pp. 

Boronkay, Carl (b. 1929) and Timothy H. Quinn (b. 1951) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Proiect Improvement Act. 1991-1992; 
The Metropolitan Water District Perspective. 1999, 152 pp. 

Golb, Richard K. (b. 1962) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Proiect Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
The Role of John Seymour. 1997, 136 pp. 

Graff, Thomas J. (b. 1944) and David R. Yardas (b. 1956) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Proiect Improvement Act. 1991-1992; 
Environmental Defense Fund Perspective. 1996, 133 pp. 

Nelson, Barry (b. 1959) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Proiect Improvement Act. 1991-1992; 
Executive Director. Save San Francisco Bay Assocation. 1994, 88 pp. 

Peltier, Jason (b. 1955) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Proiect Improvement Act, 1991-1992: 
Manager, Central Valley Proiect Water Association. 1994, 84 pp. 

Somach, Stuart (b. 1948) In process. 

For other California water-related interviews see California Water Resources 


Momentous shifts in social policy often seem to arrive on the 
scene without a history. On close inspection, one finds that people 
have worked, perhaps for decades, on a concept that now works its way 
into our consciousness. So it was with the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act (CVPIA) , that significant transition in California water 
policy history which was signed into law by President George Bush in 
1992. In 1993, the Regional Oral History Office initiated an oral 
history series, the Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act, 1991-1992, to document this important legislation. The series 
began with interviews with Jason Peltier and Barry Nelson, continued 
with Thomas Graff and David Yardas, Daniel Beard, and Richard Golb, and 
now moves to Carl Boronkay and Timothy Quinn. 

The history of the CVPIA is incomplete without understanding the 
role of the Metropolitan Water District (MET) and its key players 
Boronkay and Quinn in the passage of that landmark water policy 
legislation. Others who were interviewed in the CVPIA oral history 
series, while concentrating on their special interests for or against 
the reform act, discussed the MET and its shifting positions on the 
Seymour, Bradley and Miller bills. 

They left many questions: What was the MET s core philosophy on 
water policy? Why was MET willing to abandon its former special 
relationships with the agriculture /water community in order to achieve 
certainty of a water marketing provision in the Act? Did the rise of 
the organized urban water community signify that MET had assumed a 
divergent position from that of the age-old, but surely changing, water 
coalition in California? 

Fortunately the board and administration of the MET also 
recognized the importance of recording the experiences of Boronkay and 
Quinn and their dramatic story behind passage of the CVPIA, and was 
willing to consider funding an oral history. With funding assured by 
July 1997, as arranged by Chief of Operations Jay Malinowski, only 
scheduling conflicts prevented starting the process until December. 

Carl Boronkay, now retired, was for seventeen years a top-ranking 
officer of the Metropolitan Water District, seven as general counsel and 
nine as general manager. He was a key player in MET s action to ensure 
a place for water marketing in the several CVP reform packages moving 
through the Congress between 1991 and 1992. 

Timothy Quinn, now deputy general manager of the MET, was the 
district s economist during the CVP debates, and a close associate of 
Mr. Boronkay throughout the several years of drafting, lobbying, and 

pushing for the final passage of the Omnibus Water Act in which the 
CVPIA was embedded. Between them, as the oral history aptly 
demonstrates, is a striking bond of friendship, admiration, and trust. 

Prior to the scheduled December 9 interview in Los Angeles, I sent 
to Mr. Boronkay and Mr. Quinn an updated chronology of significant 
dates, events, and personnel within the framework of the 1991-1992 CVPIA 
debates, and a brief outline for the planned interviews. In turn, I 
received resumes, and from Mr. Boronkay an article he had co-authored 
dealing with the Miller-Bradley bills. He also proffered twelve broad 
questions which he thought might be useful, and an invitation to lunch 
so that we might not be strangers as we began the process. 

We also established this format for the interviews: On December 9, 
after lunch, I would meet with Mr. Boronkay in an office in MET 
headquarters, to obtain biographical background and information on 
aspects of his career leading to his involvement with the CVPIA 
legislation. Later, I would do the same with Mr. Quinn. On December 
19, I would return and interview them together about their experiences 
during the congressional debates, and, in so doing, get answers to those 
questions about the role of the MET, its board, and the adherence to the 
concept of water marketing which shattered their long-time relationship 
with the ag community. Then, in view of the fact that, since 1992, the 
Bay-Delta Accord had been hammered out and the CALFED organized, and 
that there surely had been opportunity for the MET to have made some 
progress in water transfers, I asked Mr. Quinn to grant me another hour 
or so to discuss these issues. Within about seven hours we completed 
the interviews. 

Mr. Boronkay appeared to welcome the opportunity to reflect on the 
highly emotional debates, which shifted personal and business 
relationships. Leaning back in his chair, he spoke slowly and quietly, 
frequently embellishing his story with quotations, helping one feel the 
drama of a given situation. He also made clear why he and the MET 
board, whose members he had carefully brought around to his position, 
would ultimately favor any bill which included water marketing. 

Tim Quinn, on the other hand, spoke rapidly and forcefully, yet, 
like Mr. Boronkay, with total recall. He looked back at the events 
which propelled him and MET into the current contentious debates on 
water policy with the sense of mission he has held in both periods- 
ensuring water marketing and reaching compromise among competing 
stakeholders. Recognizing the meaning of the landmark CVPIA legislation 
he said, "[In 1992] the urbans were voicing an independent view which we 
continue to do today. Today, we assert ourselves very much as an 
independent voice. In 92 we were just breaking away. I think it will 
go down as one of the most important times in natural resources politics 
in the West." 


The CVPIA did indeed change relationships between agriculture and 
the MET and formerly allied interests. Now farmers must share water 
with the environment (fish and wildlife) and the organized urban 
interests. Boronkay and Quinn agree that this triad is not an 
equilateral triangle. Yet among these three competing interests, 
cooperative relationships must be established. 

Boronkay, completing his interview, said, "There are times when 
we ll be with the ag people, say, on a new facility in the Delta. There 
will be times where we re with the environmentalists, say, on fisheries 
restoration. . .So, I think Tim works always toward the right goal--a 
suitable compromise, but of three parties. But there are times when a 
compromise can t be reached, and then you can t allow a third party to 
simply veto any action. . .There are now three independent parties at the 

And Quinn, ending his recital of MET s attempts to forge water 
marketing agreements, and his striving currently to build a coalition to 
support CALFED solutions, said, "Remember the revolution has been won. 
Now the issue is: can we govern what we have won." 

The lightly edited transcripts were sent to the interviewees in 
March 1998 and returned, carefully reviewed, in August, with some 
corrections but few substantive changes. With the additions of relevant 
articles and memoranda inserted to enhance the story, and other donated 
material deposited in the Water Resources Center Library, the Boronkay- 
Quinn oral history has added an essential dimension to the history of 
passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 

The Regional Oral History Office was established in 1954 to 
augment through tape-recorded memoirs the Library s materials on the 
history of California and the West. Copies of all interviews are 
available for research use in The Bancroft Library and in the UCLA 
Department of Special Collections. The office is under the direction of 
Willa K. Baum, Division Head, and the administrative direction of 
Charles B. Faulhaber, James D. Hart Director of The Bancroft Library, 
University of California, Berkeley. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

January 1999 

Regional Oral History Office 

The Bancroft Library 

University of California, Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office 
Room A86 The Bancroft Library 

University of California 
Berkeley, California 94720 

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[Interview 1: December 9, 1997] ## 

Education and Career Path to the Metropolitan Water District 

Chall: First I d like to find out a little bit of background about 
you, leading up to how you became general manager of the 
Metropolitan Water District. So let me know where you were 
born and where you had your original early education. 

Law School and Interest in Water Law 

Boronkay: I was born in New York City in 1929 and attended grade school 
there. At the age of twelve, in 1942, my family moved to Los 
Angeles where I attended public school in Boyle Heights. Then, 
in 1947, I went to UCLA, where I graduated in sociology and 
then went on to law school. I graduated law school in "54. 

I had general interests in law. I liked it all very much. 
I didn t have any specialty that I was after, although I was 
interested in water law, and they gave all of an hour 
instruction on water law, in the course on real property. 

Chall: Why were you interested in water law? 

This symbol indicates a tape or tape segment has begun or ended. A 
guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 





Boronkay : 

It just struck me as being a very intellectually stimulating, 
puzzling area. Water law not only deals with an essential 
resource to humanity, but it was derived from England and the 
eastern states where there was lots of water, and so the 
debates were among riparian owners. There was essentially a 
lot of water most of the time. Then you had an inconsistent, 
independent concept of water ownership or water rights 
ownership in the Westthe appropriative water rights. Here in 
California they came together and clashed. So you could follow 
how the law developed to resolve these differences to the 
extent that they are resolved. I don t think that they are 
entirely resolved. 

But it was just a very stimulating thingas, incidentally, 
was oil and gas law. But those were casual lectures. I mean, 
you didn t get three units of credit for them. I think oil and 
gas law was a courseperhaps two units of a semesterand that 
interested me too: the concept of regarding minerals as being 
wild animals. They re called ferae naturae because if you put 
oil back in the ground it s anybody s; it s a wild animal, 
released. Those are just quite curious to me. 

Did that come out of some philosophical concern that came with 

I don t think so. I don t relate it to that at all. I found 
various classes at law school interesting some very, some less 
soand these turned out to be very interesting, but I found a 
lot of philosophical concepts in the law interesting, 
definitely: constitutional law, contracts law, tort law not so 
much the practice of anything, but the understanding of it and 
how it develops and why. To that extent, there is a kind of a 
sociological connection. To see how the law develops is always 

And so from there, with your LL.B. you went on to get a 
master s? 

Well, first I went into the army for close to two years, 
was the end of the Korean conflict. I spent time in the 
infantry, basically. 


When I came out, I had already passed the bar; I d taken 
the bar before I went into the service in 1954. I was already 
married, and I got a job when I came out with a sole 
practitioner. His work wasn t very interesting. It was 
remunerative to him. He didn t pay me a great deal, but I was 
brand new and just doing low level stuff. Mostly there were 
business or collection and finance matters. So when an 


opportunity came to join the state attorney general s office 
six months later, I was quick to take that opportunity. I had 
friends there, so I knew what it was about. 

Let s see. In 19-- 

State of California, Office of the Attorney General, 1957- 

Boronkay: It would be February of 57 that I joined the attorney 
general s office. 

Chall: In "57. That would be just before Pat Brown became governor. 

Boronkay: That s correct. He was still attorney general. He had one 
year to go and was a very impressive man. 

Chall: What did you do at the beginning of your career there? 

Boronkay: The program there was that almost all new people started doing 
criminal appeals. There are just lots of them; that s the 
bread and butter of the attorney general s off ice- -the handling 
of appeals for all the district attorneys throughout the state 
--so perhaps half the office is devoted to that. So I did that 
a couple of years, and while it was good training it just 
became old hat. Surely there were some interesting issues, but 
most people tired of that. 

I don t know if that is the case today, because there is so 
much constitutional law involved today. At the time I did it, 
there was not a lot the defense could do. There are so many 
more rules now on advising the person arrested and getting an 
attorney for him, and I think even the exclusion of evidence 
that was wrongfully seized- -those were not yet concepts that 
had been accepted. So criminal law, I m saying, may be more 
interesting today than it was to me then. 

But from there I asked to go into other things as soon as 
something was possible. Fortuitously, what was possible was a 
major water case in San Diego, even though I lived in the San 
Fernando Valley and had a child by then. I assisted Adolph 
Moskowitz, who was a very prominent attorney in Sacramento in 
the attorney general s office. He had been with, I believe, 
the Bureau of Reclamation. So I was sent to San Diego to 
assist him in a trial that would go for months. I actually 
wound up moving down there with my family for a few months. 

I was always interested in water law as an intellectual 
pursuit, and here I was right in a major case. And 1 learned a 
lot there. It was a federal case involving the Pendleton 
marine base, the Santa Margarita Water District, the Vail 
Ranch, the stateand there were lots of private parties. I 
was very young and inexperienced, and I think I learned a great 
deal there and met several of the top water lawyers . 

When that ran out, I then looked for other openings back in 
the L.A. office. It was a small of fice--thirty-f ive, forty, 
maybe that number of people- -so you would kind of talk around 
and ask about what was available. So available came up 
administrative law: a lot of business matters, professional 
licensing, Department of Motor Vehiclesall kinds of things 
where a state agency issued licenses or otherwise administered 
something. So it was administrative law, and I did that for a 
couple of years or more. 

Then I got involved in the Charitable Trust Enforcement 
[section]. That involved wills, leaving money to charity, and 
trusts, and also charitable corporations. The purpose there 
was to see that the money was spent for the proper purposes and 
not either wrongfully taken by those in charge of it or not 
investing it properly. 

You had a variety of cases, anywhere from you suing someone 
who was speculating on the futures market with charitable 
fundsour problem was that he was doing well. [laughter] So 
I had to stop him doing it because it wasn t a proper 
investment category. We couldn t show that he lost anything. 
But he agreed to stop, so that was nice. On the other end, you 
saw people that were misusing charitable funds. And in 
between, you were trying to uphold wills where an identified 
charity wasn t named, such as "my estate for the poor," "my 
estate for cancer research," things like that, and the heirs 
would attack it as an indefinite or vague gift. Or you had 
other charitable gifts which by some means or another were 
being attacked, such as an heir saying that the testator was 
not of sound mind or suffered undue influence. 

So I stayed in there about twelve years . It was a 
fascinating area of law, but it was on a low level of office 
interest. There were never more than two or three of us doing 
that one in L.A. and perhaps one or two elsewhere in the 
state although the funds involved were in the millions. 

Chall: You state in your vita that from 71 to 76 you were a senior 
assistant attorney general and managed the public resources 

Boronkay: Yes. In 71 I was asked to take over the public resources 

section by a classmate and close friend who was doing that work 
when I was doing the charitable enforcement work. He became 
[Evelle] Younger s special assistant at one of the very top 
exempt personnel levels. I said to him, "Well, I don t have 
any background. I haven t done that." There must have been 
ten or fifteen people working for him, mostly in San Francisco 
and Sacramento. And, "Gee, those are old timers and they know 
this stuff and why do you want me to do it?" He said, "Well, 
you re a better administrator and that s what s needed, and 
you ll learn the law fast enough." I said, "Well, let me think 
about it." Well, I got enough courage up, and I finally did 

Chall: Certainly, it was in the field that you had been interested in 
anyway, in terms of law. 

Boronkay: Yes. And it turned out that it was far more interesting than I 
had anticipated. I knew the water end of it was in that 
section, but forestry matters and fish and game matters and 
water pollution and air pollution and Colorado River Board- - 
There were so many areas. 

Chall: It was humming. 

Boronkay: Yes. And then, of course, in 72-- 

Chall: CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] came out in that 

Boronkay: Well, I think CEQA came out in that period, but of greater, 

immediate impact on us was the California Coastal Act passed as 
an initiative. 1 I think that was in 72. That was a tremendous 
new challenge with creation of six regional agencies and a 
state board, and I was put in charge of all of that. So we 
were really humming- -try ing to interpret and apply uniformly 
throughout the state, comprehensive, not always clear, law 
affecting development of the coast. Lots of litigation ensued. 

Then Union Oil company had a major spill. I think it was 
Union. Well, you know, I m not sure now who it was, but it was 
off the shore of Santa Barbaraa major, major drilling blowout 
and a spill. Then we brought a suit for environmental damages 
for several million dollars at a time when we weren t prepared 
for that. Our budget was just for these other activities, and 
suddenly you have a $10 million suit and the need for funds to 

Proposition 20, the Coastal Zone Conservation Act, November 1972. 







have experts and develop your case. We actually relied upon 
volunteer experts, retired engineers, for a while. 

You were working under Evelle Younger, right? 

Before it had been Brown, 

At that time it was Evelle Younger. 

Oh, Stanley Mosk? 

Yes. Mosk was there for quite a bit. Tom Lynch for a short 
time, and then, I think, it was Younger. 

Did you find any one or the other of those men more interesting 
to work with? Or did it matter who was the attorney general? 

Well, it mattered because of the identification you made as an 
employee with the boss. In any action, you like to think the 
boss is someone you admire, and you get some aura from that. I 
think under Brown I was there so short a time that I really 
learned to appreciate him only years later when I used to have 
something to do with him on water matters . I thought very 
highly of him then. 

Mosk was clearly a giant- like figure intellectually. You 
knew you would have someone that understood everything. He was 
very bright, fairly independent, a fine public official, a fine 

Lynch was there for too short a time--I mean, he finished 
Mosk s second term- -and he was mostly in San Francisco, so you 
didn t see that much of him, and you had seen a lot of Stanley 

Then Younger took office and was down here most of the 
time. I thought highly of him; his strength was practical and 
organizational; he had the ability to judge the staff members 
well and to distribute responsibilities. 

Mosk has been on the [California] supreme court for many years. 
Many, many years. 

So, you were a senior assistant in charge of the natural 
resources section for about five years, it seems. 

Boronkay: That s right, five or six years. I left in the summer of 1976. 

The Metropolitan Water District; Assistant General Counsel. 
General Counsel, 1976-1984 

Chall: And then you went into the Metropolitan Water District in "76 

as the assistant general counsel. Now, what brought you there? 

Boronkay: I was tiring in the sense that, although the water resources 
and all the natural resources questions are always very 
stimulating, I had been with the attorney general s office a 
long time, almost twenty years. I wasn t--! m kind of looking 
back at myself--! didn t feel bored; I was not motivated to 
leave by the work, but two things happened. There is an 
awkwardness here, but I ll tell you about them. 

We weren t getting very much in the way of salary increases 
in those years. Here we were, senior people, and we used to 
have trials against O Melveny and Meyers and Gibson Dunn and 
Crutcher--the major firms. We certainly never dreamed of 
having remuneration on a comparable basis, but we thought there 
was a certain amount of respect that goes with your salary and 
that hadn t been increasing. 

So, one or more years were skipped, and then there was a 
year that Jerry Brown 1 proposed for welfare people and state 
employees the same increase something like 2 percentand I 
just felt that there was not a real appreciation of public 
employees, whether they were the attorney general s people or 
others. You can box them in with the increase you are going to 
give as a largess to welfare people, but there is a lack of 
respect. I didn t do anything; I just felt that way. 

I certainly never thought about moving to the Metropolitan 
Water District but I had a friend there who was chief counsel. 
He wasn t, then, a close friend. I knew him because 1 had 
represented the state s Colorado River Board and MET 
[Metropolitan Water District] was very much involved in it as a 
member. At about that time, Bob Will asked me to come over as 
assistant general counsel, and I found myself in a frame of 
mind where I talked to him about it and accepted the position. 

In years past, my satisfaction with the attorney general s 
office was such that I rarely would talk to anyone about 
leaving. I mean, if I got a call from time to time saying, 
"We re interested in an experienced person. My partner has 
just become a judge and we need to fill in," I would say, 

Edmund Brown, Jr. (Jerry) was governor of California 1975-1983. 

"Well, let s not have lunch because you re going to make this 
attractive and I don t want to think about it." [laughs] "I 
like what I m doing." But Bob Will asked me at a time when I 
was at a state of mind that, "By god, I am not going to stay 
here if I don t have to," so I left. But that s what it was. 
I m not sure I should be proud of that, but that s how it was. 

Chall: Many people make decisions based on moving ahead in some way, 

financially or otherwise. But it turned out to be a good move. 
You were the assistant general counsel with ten attorneys under 
your direction? 

Boronkay: Yes. That sounds right. 

Chall: I m reading it off here [vita]. So again, you were an 
administrator . 

Boronkay: Yes. In the attorney general s office there were about thirty- 
five attorneys who had been under my supervision, and this was 
about ten. But there was a big difference in that these 
attorneys did not go to trial; they were for in-house advisory 
opinions, preparing documents, and reviewing transactionsbut 
they were not expected to go to trial. It s like any large 
company: they would have their in-house counsel, but then if 
they went to trial they would hire a major firm or have the 
major firm on retainer. We basically used O Melveny and Meyers 
for any important trial work, which was not frequent; we didn t 
have a lot of trial work. 

Chall: At that time. 

Boronkay: Right. But I should mention that in that period when I was 

assistant general counsel, Proposition 13 passed, and a number 
of questions came up on whether we should still annex land to 
Metropolitan. 1 Now, Metropolitan never to my understanding and 
memory acted unilaterally to annex anything. A district or 
city would come to MET asking to become part of MET to get a 
water supply and we had to agree. So when we say, "MET annexes 
someone," that means not only with their permission but at 
their request. But it took two: they had to vote it, and we 
had to vote it. We also required they pay certain back taxes 
and catch up with what everybody else had done. So it wasn t 
that easy a thing, but whoever did it felt, for the reliability 
of the water supply, it was worth it. 

Proposition 13, Tax Limitation Initiative, June 1978. 

But Proposition 13 limited the raising of taxes to areas 
where there was outstanding voter-approved indebtedness. Well, 
we had a lot of bonds out, and that s voter-approved 
indebtedness, and we taxed to pay it. Well, now you re going 
to be asked to annex new areas where the people there didn t 
vote on our bonds, raising the question of whether they can be 
taxed. The board after strong debate just put a moratorium on 
annexations while they were going to think through whether they 
were going to allow any more. 

Chall: The result was, that because of Proposition 13 you stopped 

Boronkay: Yes. So that s a major legal and policy question, suddenly. A 
lot of the board felt, "Well, they re not going to come in and 
get the benefit of the water supply from MET and not pay taxes 
for their fair share of the outstanding bonds." Others argued, 
"Well, we exist to make sure there s an adequate water supply 
in southern California, and what are we going to do? Just stop 
all development?" 

There was critical dispute there, so I persuaded the board 
to bring a test case to raise the questions and we won that 
case. For one thing, the court didn t like that act; nobody in 
the government establishment liked that act, suddenly 
curtailing taxes that way. So I argued that the law required a 
voter-approved indebtedness prior to the date of the act, but 
didn t specify upon whom the taxes may be levied. So, if 
you re the one that is seeking to join MET and you are willing 
to pay the voter-approved indebtedness, then why should anybody 
object? Well, the court thought that was a practical legal 
position and accepted it. So we got back to annexations again. 

In pursuing this and other cases , the legal department was 
becoming more aggressive and gaining the confidence of the 

Chall: In 1980, you moved up to the position of general counsel. 

Boronkay: In 1980, Bob Will surprisingly resigned from MET to become a 
lobbyist in Washington. 

Chall: A lobbyist for what? 

Boronkay: Well, he wanted to represent water organizations, and he did. 
He signed up Metropolitan, and then I believe he went to 
Sacramento and eventually got some clients up there. I think 
he represented water interests elsewhere in the West, too. I 
know Arizona is one such area. 


That left his position open, and I was promoted to that 

Chall: So that was another four years. I noticed that you 

"represented the board in numerous meetings and conferences, 
often participating as a speaker," and "participated in policy 
development and implementation." That was a broader scope than 
what you had been doing previously as assistant. 

Boronkay: Yes. As assistant, you kind of manage the office, freeing the 
general counsel to get involved with the board and policy 
matters and relationships with the federal government, the 
state and water agencies. Now, you re the board s advisor, and 
you re the board s representative in major policy matters. 
Incidentally, I recommended to the board as my replacement 
Warren Abbott, whom I knew at the AG s office as an extremely 
competent lawyer. Of course, some senior staff were 
disappointed but most came to appreciate his skills and 

Chall: How did you feel about your promotion? 

Boronkay: Well, it felt wonderful. It really did. The Peripheral Canal 
defeat had occurred when I was still assistant counsel, and was 
behind us: I had been given little or no real part to play 
thereoccasional speech was all. There was a federal lawsuit 
during the Peripheral Canal matter, and I was involved in that. 
It was an action alleging that we were misspending public funds 
for the election, which was brought really for publicity 
purposes; the board saw it that way, as did the federal court, 
and it didn t go anywhere. 

But as general counsel, there was much more in the way of 
carrying out policy, helping to develop policy, relationships 
with others. I mean, you were looked upon as the point man in 
a lot of ways, particularly if you had a general manager who 
was engineering oriented, as was the case. So he looked 
internally. His strengths were in building pipelines and dams 
and figuring out how many engineers you need to operate the 

Chall: And who was this? 

Boronkay: It was Evan Griffith. Evan Griffith was the manager, and he 

was oriented that way, toward the internal organization and its 
construction activities. So, now, with regard to the outer 
world- -if you say inner or outer world- -now the outer world, 
mostly political matters, fell more completely on the general 
counsel, but that need not be the case. Indeed, when I became 


Boronkay : 


manager, I discontinued that division. But he was well- 
satisfied that I handle the outer world, and so I was involved 
in many more things . 

It was exciting being general counsel, entering the 
legislative arena. With the Peripheral Canal campaign behind 
us, I made some efforts to get so-called Through Delta 
legislation- -very modest legislation that improved some 
channels and connected channels. I believe Assemblyman [Jim] 
Costa authored that legislation and we, at MET, reluctantly 
supported it, some directors saying, "Well, we really want a 
peripheral canal, but all right, we ll do this as an interim 
measure . " 

Well, we couldn t get to first base on that. I mean, the 
water agencies misread everything. I certainly was with the 
rest of them. I didn t realize how strong were the feelings of 
opposition to water developmentnot merely to the Peripheral 
Canal, but beyond that to almost all water development. So 
that was the end of water development for a while. 

You began, then, to become involved in working with the board, 
I presume . 

As general counsel, much more than as assistant general 

Right. And they became much more aware of you. 

Yes. In that respect, I believe the board s regard for me was 
increased when I was able to come up with a legislative 
solution to a longstanding dispute concerning MET s tax policy. 
The chief opponents were the two largest agencies of MET, Los 
Angeles and the San Diego County Water Authority. It took a 
lot of shuttle diplomacy on my behalf but, with the help of a 
couple of long-time board members from each agency, the issue 
was resolved. We got unanimous board approval on our 
compromise legislation (tax only to pay our general obligation 
bonds and our share of the State Water Project s bonds) and 
quick approval in the legislature. There s a lesson in that. 

General Manager. 1984-1993 

Chall: In 1984, then, you became general manager. How did that come 


Boronkay: Well, the manager retired. He had been ill for a while. 
Chall: That was Mr. Griffith? 

Boronkay: Yes. He finally decided to retire. He gave a year s notice, 
and the board undertook a search for his successor. 


Chall: They made a regular professional search, I assume, outside and 
inside of California? 

Boronkay: I believe so. You know, I never did have a clear understanding 
of how they went about the selection of general manager. I 
knew that internally there were at least three of us who were 
being considered. Indeed, you had to indicate your interest, 
file a lengthy application with the personnel division. 

Chall: Did you? 

Boronkay: Yes. And through an interview schedule conflict between me and 
someone from out of state, I realized the board s interview 
committee was looking at outsiders. How they went about that, 
I really don t know, but I do know that they considered 
outsiders and, indeed, interviewed some. 

Attorney or Engineer? 

Chall: When they were thinking about hiring you, was the board 

interested in continuing with an engineer as the chief or 
somebody like you who would represent them in a different kind 
of fashion? I mean, they picked you, but I wondered if within 
the board there was this question. 

Boronkay: Well, the board is a large board--f ifty-one members 

representing twenty-seven member agencies that make up MET. 
And within fifty-one persons you will have lots of views, but 
sometimes they coalesce. 

I think there was no question that the problems we were 
having were understood by the board correctly not to be 
engineering problems. You could build anything. The problems 
we were having were political problems, legal problems, public 
relations problems, getting support from other water agencies 
and governmental agencies, getting along with environmental 
organizations if possible, or fighting them, if necessary. 



The quarrels, the opposition, the forum was always various 
interested parties, whether it was from the EPA [Environmental 
Protection Agency] or Fish and Game Department or Environmental 
Defense Fund or certain administration officials or 
legislators . 

But last on the list was engineering problems. I think 
they understood that, and they saw me for four years as their 
general counsel and for four earlier years as the assistant. I 
think they just decided that I understood the district well 
enough and could address the problems today s problems. They 
had always had engineers , but always was when they were 
building the Colorado River aqueduct, or our distribution 
system- -that was the whole purpose, pipelines, treatment 
plants, and all kinds of waterworks facilities. 

When Evan Griffith was manager--, 
sidelight I can tell you. 

Oh yes? 

There s an interesting 

Evan followed the only other lawyer in MET s history who became 
general manager. John Lauten had been general counsel, and 
when the manager left they made him the general manager. I got 
to know John professionally only for the last year before he 
retired. I found him to live up to his reputation as being 
very firm. Years later this came up in a debate I had with a 
director in my office. The director said after I didn t agree 
with him on something-- "Carl, I remember now why we said after 
John Lauten we d never have another lawyer as manager." 

So we had had several years with an engineer, and to be 
candid, my personal relationship with Evan Griffith couldn t 
have been more pleasant. I really liked him, and we had a lot 
of fun singing together. But he didn t like confrontation. He 
said so; he simply didn t like confrontation, whether it was a 
lawsuit over how much we had to pay a contractor or whether it 
was arguing about legislation in Sacramento or going to 
Washington. He just didn t like it; he was anxious about 
controversies; he sent others. So in that period, I don t 
think we were out in front as aggressively as I think was 

But you know, I m giving you my view, and I m a lawyer, and 
I m more used to a confrontational situation, or willing to 
engage in it when necessary. I think the board saw that there 
were things that we should be doing, and that they had to get 
someone who would do them. And our problems were more and more 



Boronkay : 

in Washington and with environmental groups and with the state 
legislature. So I think I was selected on that basis. 

I see. Now you were in the hot seat, as it were, the manager 
seat. What were some of the chief problems or issues that you 
confronted when you came into the job? Did any of them 

surprise you, or did you just look at them and say, 
here and I can take them on"? 

"Now I m 

Some surprised me in the sense that they were engineering 
problemspart engineering, part political/f inancial--which 
simply had not been addressed. They were very difficult 
problems, and they were just put off. They slid. So when I 
became manager and the other people in responsible positions 
started telling me what things had to be looked at, 1 just had 
to get after them, but I also knew there were staff weaknesses. 

Major Staff Changes 

Boronkay: The top staff was very good, but in certain areas there were 
pieces missing. It took time, but I hired a lot of the 
wonderful people. Tim Quinn I hired from the Rand Corporation, 
and before that Myron Holburt, who had been the chief engineer 
at the Colorado River Board for most of his whole career, and I 
plugged in experienced finance people and others. Later I 
hired Duane Georgeson from the L.A. DWP [Los Angeles Department 
of Water and Power] . There was a good degree of resentment 
from people who were used to just matriculating, but I hired 
people that the staff had to realize in short order were 
bringing something that wasn t here, otherwise the morale would 
have been very bad. It would have stayed bad. 

Chall: How did you get these persons that you needed, and then how did 
you relate this change to the staff? 

Boronkay: Well, with regard to the staff, there would be openings, and I 
would explain, certainly at the top level, "Here is what we 
need: we need people with a total understanding of the Colorado 
River. That s our only firm water supply, and it s in dispute 
--it always is--and Holburt is the guy who has lived his life 
on the Colorado River Board or as their chief engineer." I 
knew him personally, and he is a brilliant guy. Happily, the 
other top people knew Myron personally or by reputation and 
could accept his coming aboard as an assistant general manager 
although not everyone was pleased. 


Later Myron and I were both looking for someone with a 
strong economics background because we had an economist on 
board and he was very traditional, not very inventive, in 
enabling us to make cost comparisons on programs and 
strategies, not recognizing that the picture was bigger and 
more complicated than that assumed. So you needed 
comprehensive economic analysis, not just number crunching. 
Happily, there was a board member- -Marty Goldsmith from 
Pasadena- -who worked for JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] , and 
later worked at Rand. He knew we had been looking for the 
economics specialist for a year or two, and then he told us 
about Tim. We interviewed Tim, and we hired him. 

There were other people we hired here and there: one from 
the federal government, from the Bureau of Reclamationpeople 
we would come in contact with that we knew were knowledgeable 
and wouldn t have to learn on the job. We had important 
problems that we had to address immediately. We didn t have 
time to teach someone for two years, assuming we could teach 
them in two years. So we hired about half a dozen people over 
a period of time at higher levels, but they all showed in what 
they did that they brought something that wasn t here. I also 
upgraded the top staff by some promotions, reorganization, and 

Tackling the Issues: The Need for Future Water Facilities 

Boronkay: So I looked at improving the staff --a good staff, but it needed 
some specialized helpand, at the same time, I took on the 
issues. One issue was how do we expand our distribution 
facilities? There are times when the state gets more water 
than it can handle and has more water than we can handle. 

Chall: That s the State Water Project you re talking about? 
Boronkay: Yes. The State Water Project. 

Chall: This was water that was available that nobody was using at the 

Boronkay: Yes, but we couldn t take it. We had to build up our 

facilities, and there was a big debate on the staff, whether 
you build or, rather, expand the East Branch of the State Water 
Project up toward Riverside and San Bernardino. Then we could 
take the water into our system. Or we could build our own 
linethe larger capacity Middle Reach of the foothill feeder, 


to my recollection. And that s our own: we would build it, we 
would pay for it, and it would be ours. If we did the East 
Branch, it s still the state s, but they charge us because 
we re the one benefitting primarily from it. So there was a 
big dispute on staff between highly qualified engineers on what 
would be the soundest thing to do. 

My god, I had just become manager, and I said to one of the 
old-timers who had encouraged me, "You see, this is why I 
didn t feel I should be manager. How am I, a lawyer, going to 
answer a question like that?" Then someone said, "Well, they 
can t answer it, and they re all engineers on both sides of 
it." It came down to judgment. You have to think about what 
water demands are going to look like twenty-five, fifty years 
ahead. How much does the East Branch cost versus the Middle 
Reach? How much water are we going to get from the state? I 
mean, they re judgment calls, and the engineers were no more 
able to make that overall determination than anyone else. 

Chall: They were economic, too, weren t they? 

Boronkay: Oh, yes. They were all tied into economics, but you have to 

make that overall judgment. You have to decide. There will be 
enough additional people so that we will need the water and 
justify one facility over another. You have to first determine 
that, and it s guessing the future twenty-five and thirty years 
out. You have to then make a decision: will the state water be 
there for you. See, you re going to build this large aqueduct 
to take a certain amount of water, and you will have to spend a 
lot of money; so you don t need it if the demand isn t there or 
if the water isn t there. But you can t just ignore it, 
because if the demand is there, your responsibility is to make 
sure there s water. There are a lot of difficulties here. The 
state s East Branch would be a lot cheaper than adding to our 
own system. Our system would take us maybe seventy-five years 
in projected demand and the state s maybe fifty years. 

So I talked to engineers, and they said, "If there is 
anything certain about engineering estimates of the future, 
it s that they re wrong. It doesn t matter how good you are, 
they are going to be wrong. Things are never the way you think 
they ll be. So you make your best guess. But now if you want 
to be conservative, spend less money than more." 

That s how we did it. I decided we would take the cheaper 
of the two. It won t give us as big a supply capacity. Maybe 
we ll never need it. Maybe the state water won t be there. 
But what was sure was that we saved a lot of money. 


All I m trying to illustrate is that this is the kind of 
problem which I was not used to. As a lawyer I was faced with 
difficult problems but I wasn t used to problems like that. 
Then there were other similar things , and I got used to them as 
we went along, and I felt more and more comfortable with 
engineers, and they felt more comfortable with me. 

Engineers are like lawyers in terms of identifying what the 
problem is: here are alternative solutions; and here s why some 
solutions are better than others . I was amazed when working 
with engineers at how close they are to the approach of 
lawyers, because you don t solve a problem unless you can 
clearly identify the problem. So I found more and more that I 
enjoyed working with them and that these major things got 

This was the first big one. There were others: to what 
extent we should subsidize member agencies water reuse, 
reclaimed water, or development of independent supplies; how 
much money we should put in on a public education program to 
conserve water, to use less water. Should we stay ahead of the 
increasingly expensive EPA water quality standards? What could 
we do about getting water from the Imperial Irrigation 
District; and what additional facilities should MET build? 

The East Side Reservoir, MET s largest project, was decided 
on after some years of study. But all these other things were 
being worked at the same time. A lot of them were driven by 
the 1980s drought. Maybe they would have taken longer to get 
going, but we didn t have the time. So at one time we were 
starting to build more facilities, subsidize the reclamation of 
water, push for a public educational program, and trying to 
work with agricultural organizations to store water in their 
groundwater basins in conjunctive use programs. When we had 
water that we didn t need, we would store it in their basin, 
and when we needed it they would pump it for their use and we 
would take their water in by surface delivery. Of course, 
there had to be the physical setup so that you could do that. 
So we were looking in a lot of different directions because we 
were driven by the drought and population growth studies . 

The Imperial Irrigation District: MET s Plan to Increase 
its Water Supply 

Chall: You just mentioned the Imperial Irrigation District. Now, as I 
understand it, you began to develop one of your early ideas, 


concepts, about water transfers, water marketing with IID. Was 
it with the Environmental Defense Fund? 

Boronkay: I could explain the background on all those things, if you 

Chall: All right. 

Boronkay: When I was still assistant counsel, David Kennedy, who is now 
the director of the state Department of Water Resources, was 
the assistant general manager of Metropolitan. 

Chall: That s right. 

Boronkay: I got to know him quite well, and we worked together a lot. 

The concept of MET using water that seeped away or drained from 
the IID earthen canals or that was excessive or wasteful water 
used in Imperialthat was thought about for years. At the 
time, in the 1970s there was a twenty-year-old study in the 
Bureau of Reclamation saying they wasted a lot of water, and 
that was very troubling. But we didn t need it; we had enough 
water. We knew all that was true, but we were getting enough 
water from both our sources. As times got tougher and tougher, 
you had to look five and ten and fifteen years ahead and say, 
"Well, what could we do about that?" 

Under the state constitution you could sue Imperial to stop 
wasting water. The state constitution actually prohibits the 
waste of water. There are statutes too. And we are the ones 
that would benefit because there is a priority system in taking 
California s share of the water and they re ahead of us, so the 
water they don t take becomes available to us under our 
contract with the federal government and their contract. 

Chall: This is the Colorado River? 

Boronkay: Yes, the Colorado River. So, to the extent that they re more 

careful in the use of water and take less, we have the savings. 
Things were going along in those termsa lot of thinking, 
discussion, occasionally getting together and talking about it 
with interested persons. But our idea became this: 
realistically, we can t press them into spending a lot of money 
to conserve water- -millions of dollars to concrete-line canals, 
to put in tail water pump-back systems, to put in computerized 
gate controls. These are things that lots of agencies have, 
but since they had such a mass of water, why spend the money. 
They weren t going to do it. The loss was ours--they didn t 
lack for water. 


So we were talking, and it wasn t actually me. I was 
assistant general counsel, just giving advice. I wasn t up 
front in the policy-making end; Kennedy was. Kennedy was 
because he worked for Evan Griffith, and Griffith s strength 
was in construction. So these kinds of things he was aware of 
and understood, but he was happy that Kennedy ran with this. 

And so our thinking was we would pay Imperial the cost of 
conserving the water; they lose no water. The water that s 
lost before it gets to them is now not lost, and so that 
increment of water becomes available to us. We ll pay the 
millions of dollars to upgrade their system; we benefit and 
they benefit. They benefit by efficiency and they benefit by 
not being sued for wasting water, and there are some other 
benefits. We get the water saved, and the amount of money we 
spend, we figured out, would be reasonable compared to 
alternative costs of a new water supply. 

Kennedy was thinking in those terms when Tom Graff came in 
one day. I was called to that meeting, and Tom said, "EOF 
[Environmental Defense Fund] has done a study on MET leasing 
water from Imperial, and I want to explain it and give you an 
advance copy for your comments." Dave said, "We aren t 
interested in your advance copy. We re working with IID; we 
know what we re trying to do and why it s a good idea. We 
don t need your help." I may not be quoting exactly, but 
certainly the words were to that effect. And Tom, who I d met 
from time to time and didn t know well though I know him well 
now, said, "Well, not a very friendly reception here," and he 
left. But he still published his work a week later, and it got 
a lot of publicity that he was solving problems in the Delta by 
getting MET to lay off the Delta and lease water from Imperial. 1 

Now, about that time or a little later, he and I were 
invited to write an article in a bar journal--! think the real 
estate bar journal. He wrote in favor of water leasing or 
marketing and I wrote that we have to be very cautious. You 
lease water, and over the years the public is used to using 
that much waterdo you think the farmer is going to say, 
"Okay, it s over"? They re going to be reluctant to do it 
because they know once they start, they re not going to be able 
to stop giving you that water. I believed that conserving the 
large amount of water was the better course at the time. And 
there are a lot of other considerations. 

See interview with Thomas Graff and David Yardas , The Passage of the 
Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992. Regional Oral History 
Office, University of California, Berkeley, 1994, pp. 12-13. 

Boronkay : 


But basically I felt that he had a good idea in the concept 
of water transfers or marketing. I d heard the idea before. 
Every once in a while you would read a magazinethe Economist 
or some other serious magazine or even the newspaperan op-ed 
piece that says the problem with California water is not the 
amount but who has it, and that it doesn t make sense for the 
vast amount of water to be used in one industry- -agriculture- - 
where the water is up to a thousand more times valuable in a 
certain industry. And, you know, those things sink in. I 
mean, that s troubling. Well, I put it on the back burner- 
Can I interrupt? 

What had you planned to do with the water that you were saving 
in Imperial? How did you get it to MET? 

Boronkay: Well, it just goes to our aqueduct when we need it. You see, 
it s all a matter of Bureau of Reclamation releases from Lake 
Mead. Suppose IID needs 900,000 acre-feet; they have to order 
a million, because 100,000 is lost through inefficient 
distribution and irrigation practices. If you line the canals 
they get use of 900,000. So all they have to order is 900,000 
and 100,000 is left in Lake Mead for MET. 

Chall: I see. So you really didn t have to go through a leasing 

Boronkay: No. We didn t have to pay for water, didn t have to buy water. 
It was not water marketing. I ve explained that, but some 
people have difficulty with it. We were not doing water 
marketing with IID, but lots of people in the world think so. 
You see, to them, on the surface, we re paying lots of money to 
IID and getting water, so it looks like you ve purchased water; 
but we were very careful not to do that. We don t pay them; we 
put money into a fund that they administer, and they have to 
use it to build conservation projects which we both agreed on. 
We ve agreed on how much water is saved by the project; we 
jointly monitor savings so we know what s in Lake Mead that can 
be diverted then to MET. So it s a matter of not changing the 
federal water contracts, not changing the rights of anybody. 
We re paying them to act in a way that more water is left for 
us. If it s left in Lake Mead, we can order it. We order it 
when we need it, that s all, just like any other water we have 
in Lake Mead. 

Chall: So what would Tom Graff s idea have been in Imperial? 


Boronkay: I argued with him about this privately. Instead of saving 

water or conserving water, which an environmentalist should do, 
his program didn t cause them to use water more efficiently. 
They didn t have to line any canals or anything like that. 
They could continue use of the earthen canals. All they had to 
do is refrain from taking an amount of water--just refrain, 
order 100,000 less for ten yearsand we would pay them so much 
per year for it. I believe this should be a later program. 
First, water waste should be curtailed and MET was willing to 
bear the costs of that program. 

Another concern here that we had with water leasing and 
that was never resolved, even in the CVP [Central Valley 
Project], is that they re getting water at a nominal cost; it s 
practically given to them. It s essentially subsidized, and 
they re going to charge two or three hundred dollars an acre- 
foot for water that public money produced- -federal tax money 
produced- -and suddenly you re enriching them in a big way 
because southern California urban areas need water. That s a 
real policy question, and I think it s a problem that George 
Miller had, although I won t go into that now. 

So I had definite reservations about Tom s plan, but, you 
know, as time goes on you figure, well, we must do what works. 
In other words, it s nice to hold onto a principle, but only as 
long as you can hold on. I think someday we will buy or lease 

Chall: But with IID, you stayed with your original plan? 

Boronkay: We stayed with that, although most people don t have the total 
understanding of it. They know we put up a lot of money and we 
get a lot of water, but we actually get water through our 
priority right because they take less, and they take less 
because we ve improved their system so they don t need to take 
more. They don t need to take the amount they lose on the way. 
They get what they want, we get what was being lost; we pay for 
the facilities that create and conserve that amount of water. 

Now, once you have that, you have a payment reference 
point: how much should you pay IID? Well, we pay them for what 
the facilities actually cost. If you get away from that 
reference point they say, "Oh, we want $500 an acre- foot." 
Where s your reference point? What the traffic will bear, I 



Chall: You touch, then, of what water marketing might be, although you 
had a different approach to it? 

Boronkay: That s right. Tom triggered that. I remembered it vaguely 
from other sources , but he s the one who pushed it real hard 
and caused me, certainly, to think more about it. At the time, 
neither Kennedy nor anyone else were interested in that, and I 
believe they thought that these other ideas are merely 
distractions to get you away from fighting for the State Water 
Project improvement- -whether it was the Peripheral Canal or 
another onstream dam or other facilities. Certainly the 
culture here at Metropolitan was to finish the state project. 
When I became manager and I addressed the whole staff at our 
auditorium, I was asked what my chief goal was. I said, "To 
complete the State Water Project." 

Chall: Oh. 

Boronkay: That was the culture. It took nine years or at least seven 
years before I saw that in a larger context state project 
improvements really didn t have to get in the way of other 
approaches, of which water marketing was one. 

Organizing the California Urban Water Agencies 

Boronkay: But before you get to water marketing, I have to go back just a 
little. When Jerry Gilbert was the general manager of East Bay 
Municipal Utility District, he and I would clash--a north-south 
clashat water conference panels. As an aside, he told me 
that he was not against the Peripheral Canal, but certainly the 
community was . 

He said, "Carl, we have a lot of problems in common- -our 
urban districtsand we ought to think about what we can work 
at together." 

I said, "Well, that makes sense." Certainly there were EPA 
standards for water quality, improvement of the state project 
water quality as well as efficiency, what do you do in managing 
droughts, how do you react to legislation and which legislation 
we should introduce. 

So we started getting other urban water agency managers 
together and having meetings. He solicited two or three other 
agencies in the north and I solicited three or four in the 
south, and we grew into the California Urban Water Agencies 


[CUWA], a voluntary association which later incorporated and 
has a salaried director. I think that it became an excellent 
organizationa good arena for debating ideas and for getting 

We put out a number of good reports. We d hire engineers 
to do different studies. Some reports were controversial; 
others weren t. One early report was how to improve water 
quality for the state water contractors, and it concluded that 
you would need some kind of canal to avoid the Delta as the 
best alternative. Well, the northern guys got hell from their 
boards. But, you know, this was the conclusion of an 
engineering firm that was hired; no one told it what to do 
other than to see what our alternatives were. Well, that was 
one alternative; it wasn t the only one, but just mentioning it 
caused them grief. So I admired them very much for putting up 
with that. They stuck to it, though some were targets in 
newspapers. So, right along, the organization was growing more 
and more valuable as the statewide organization looking out for 
urban interests. 

Contacts with Representatives of Agriculture 

Boronkay: At the same time we were working with these urban agencies, MET 
also met with the ag [agriculture] people; we had worked with 
them forever. They were our allies in water project 
development, particularly the State Water Project. To the ag 
people I d say, "You know, we need more water, and you guys 
have to figure out a way of helping us get more water- 
conjunctive use or use of water more ef f iciently--just like 
we re pushing Imperial. We can help you with the costs of 
certain things if it will make water available." 

They weren t thrilled, but they said, "Yes, we ll go along 
with that . " So then there were some studies as to whether 
improvements could be done here or transfers made there, to the 
extent, or with a bottom line that we would get water from 
agriculture in some manner or another. 

That activity was going on--not at a good pace, but it was 
going on. 

Chall: Who would you be dealing with mostly? 

Boronkay: We dealt with Tom Clark from Kern County, and the Westlands 

manager, Jerry Butchert, a number of the other major ag agency 


managers, and to some extent [Jason] Peltier, of a CVP farmers 
organization, and Steve Hall who now heads ACWA [Association of 
California Water Agencies]. He then represented a group of San 
Joaquin ag agencies. We used to meet with all of them and try 
to do something, but they were really getting nervous that we 
were also meeting with environmentalist groups. So I said, 
"Well, let s all three meet," and we did that. We met at the 
East Bay MUD [Municipal Utility District] facility at Pardee 
Reservoir on numerous occasions. 

Organizing the Three-Way Process: The Concerns of the 
Environmental Community 

Chall: So that was the beginning of the so-called Three-Way Process? 

Boronkay: Yes. We started then discussing what we could do and what the 
problems were and what solutions there were, and we all put up 
some money and studies were going to be done. The governor was 
very cooperative and encouraging. 

Chall: Which governor was that? 

Boronkay: Pete Wilson. He was very thankful for us to undertake this. 
Everybody was happy if someone else-- 

Chall: Sure, because you re all talking. 

Boronkay: Right, and because they, the politicians, didn t have to do it. 
They weren t pressed into a political choice. You know, if 
you re for anything on the State Water Project, the north comes 
down on you, but if you don t do anything-- Well, the south 
doesn t come down on you, they don t know what s going on 
[laughter] until there s a drought, and then the governor would 
hear from the south. So the governor and legislators were 
happy that this progress was made, particularly chairmen Jim 
Costa and [Ruben] Ayala. We d be congratulated all the time, 
and they wanted to be kept up on it because at the very end 
they knew we would propose legislation and they would get to 
carry it. So that was good. In the meantime, they weren t 
involved, and you didn t get into any unnecessary politics. So 
this went along a long time. 

Chall: Did you all get along? 

Boronkay: Oh, we got along beautifully. Yes. When you get to know 
people, they aren t ogres. They have a point of view, and 





maybe you think it s extreme, but you know that s their 
feeling. It isn t that they re evil. They have a certain 
concern for the environment and they weigh it perhaps more than 
you do; and you have a concern for water supply and you weigh 
it perhaps more than they do. But we had gotten over a lot of 
problems in personal relations and history. Suddenly, we were 
moving towards some important principles we all agreed to, and 
I thought we were moving toward a resolution. The concept was 
to hire outside engineers of great stature that everyone could 
believe in and give them a series of issues to resolve. One of 
them would be what to do about more water supply to southern 
California; one would be how to protect the fish and game in 
the Delta; one would be how to protect or improve the water 
quality; one would be how to dispose of the waste from farm 
drainage. Those were the kind of things contemplated. The 
approach was to agree on the problems to be studied and 
consider alternative solutions without a pre-existing bias. 

But as we talked more and more, it became evident that most 
of the environmentalists were so concerned that once anything 
were done--once you had a physical improvement programno 
matter what we said, we would just take all the water. This 
was very disappointing because we were considering very 
inventive and elaborate legislation to give them confidence in 
preventing misuse of the state project. 

I see. 

I knew that attitude existed earlier in the Peripheral Canal 
election debates, because ultimately you always got away in 
these debates from the soundness of the construction project- 
was it wise, was it cost effective, what would it accomplish-- 
and you never could get any agreement there, and there should 
have been, until you realized that their bottom line was-- 

No plumbing. 

No plumbing, "Because then I know you can t do it. Now, you 
may mean well, but I don t know how long you ll be around. 
Maybe in the future someone else won t do it, but I know for 
sure they can t do it without plumbing." 

Well, that attitude came into this process. As we kept 
going along it became clear that if any study- -and we never put 
out these proposed studiesif the study came back that we 
needed an improvement in the Delta and such an improvement may 
be a smaller Peripheral Canal, well, they weren t going to do 
it. So I said, "Well, why are we doing all this- -numerous, 
lengthy meetings, drafts of position papers and proposed 


legislation? We re doing this because we want all together to 
do something about the Delta, but if before the studies are 
made you ve already written off something, well, then, that s 
not a fair study, and the original basis for these meetings is 
undermined . " 

Chall: Aside from the Environmental Defense Fund, perhaps--who else--? 

Boronkay: NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council]. They seemed even 

stronger than the Environmental Defense Fund. And I think, oh, 
Save the Bay, probably, and maybe some others. 

But what they did was set the tone. No other environmental 
group could afford to be more easy than they, you see. They 
intimidated the others by taking that position. In my opinion 
the Sierra Club had a representative who was more objective. 
Perhaps he could have been persuaded. I felt he could have. 
But once EOF and NRDC made it clear that they were not going 
for any construction, he couldn t last by saying, "Oh, yeah, we 
shouldn t rule that out." I mean, the Sierra Club would lose 
to these spear carriers: the editorials would say that the 
groups really trying to protect the environment are these 
groups that are fighting those people from the south with their 
cigars. I allude to the fact that there was this terrible TV 
ad by the Chronicle during one of the legislative fights with 
this guy with a big cigar saying, "We don t care about those 
little fishies!" [laughter] It s childish. 

Chall: That s wonderful. And the octopus. You know the octopus? 

Boronkay: Oh yes. All that. So I say the process really ended for that 

Also, toward the end, the governor s people indicated that 
whatever we get together on we had to give to them, and they 
would consider it along with whatever they were doing. Well, 
that was a big change and many of the three-way process people 
were taken aback by that. Up until then, everyone was eager to 
see what we could agree upon so it could be the basis for a 
Delta solution which they would support and perhaps to get it 
into legislation. But now you had the governor s people 
saying, "We re going to consider it with our own stuff- 
sending it down quite a rungand that was the signal that we 
were no longer in charge of what was going to happen. 

So all these things were coming together: a change, I 
think, in the governor s office in its support of this process 
and the manifestation that whatever happens it isn t going to 
be constructionat least not at first. 


Tom Graff and I talked about this a lot, because I have a 
great regard for him. He said, "Whatever they come out with, 
we want to see how the Delta could be operated for eight years 
without any physical change, just by changes in the operation. 
We 11 see what that does . Before we are convinced that you 
need any construction, we want to do that." 

I said, "Well, that s not why we all sat down together. We 
sat down because we all wanted to find out what should be done 
about the Delta problems and if we got an outside, competent 
report saying that this is what you ve got to do, and you ve 
got to do it in two years or yesterday or in five years, that 
was what would be done. Now you re writing in conditions 
before we get that report." 

Right about that time I faded out. 
but I believe Tim Quinn continued. 

I stopped attending, 

Gearing up for Water Marketing: The Rationale and the 

Boronkay: At about the same time, we continued our interest in ag water 
transfers or water marketing. I talked to the ag people about 
it although their main interest was the SWP. We still had some 
meetings with them alone and with the other urban people alone. 

I said at meetings with the ag group, "You know, we re not 
getting anywhere with ag water transfers, and we re going to 
have to do something." 

They said, "Well, we re making progress." 

So then we met with the whole group. 
Chall: The whole group being? 
Boronkay: The Three-Way group. 

And Tom Clark had-- He was on the committee for water 
marketing. Tom Clark was manager of the Kern County Water 
Agency. I believe it was Tom who headed that committee. He 
wrote up limitations on water marketing: you had to get the 
approval of this official or that agency; it couldn t be more 
than that amount from here or there, under different 
circumstances . 


I said, "You know, I thought the whole thing here was to 
sit down and try to encourage and stimulate support, to promote 
water marketing as a means of solving urban problems. You ve 
given us eight restrictions, eight hoops to run through. I 
don t have to have any of this. We re going to go out and do 
our own thing. I m not going to buy off on this. All you ve 
done is make it harder for water marketing, harder for water 
transfers"--we used "water transfers" in those days--"you re 
making it harder. It s self-protection, and that s fine, but 
there s no point in my being here, and I m not going to be a 
fool and agree to that, make it more difficult than it is now. 
Heck, I don t have that with IID. I don t have to agree to 
something like that." 

Well, they were taken aback a little, because I did feel 
strongly that they were unreal about the whole problem. 

Chall: So what you had were the environmentalists who you felt were 
unreal in one direction, and now you had the ag people unreal 
in the other? 

Boronkay: Yes, to the extent that neither seemed willing to face up to 
increasing urban needs. Actually, the environmentalists 
weren t unreal; their political situation was just not 
compatible with resolving anything in the Delta. 

Chall: And the ag people? 

Boronkay: The ag people- -you could say the same thing. Yes, you can say 
the same thing, use the same terms, whatever you want to use. 

Chall: [laughing] Well, I want you to use them. I shouldn t put 
words in your mouth. 

Boronkay: Well, no, those are good descriptions. I say they were unreal 
in the sense that if the objective was to help us get some 
water supply from the ag community, they were making it more 
difficult than it was at present. So why were we having 
meetings whose purpose was to promote the transfer of water if 
all they were writing up were restrictions? So I faded out of 

Chall: It seems that at this point you were at a standstill in 
obtaining water from the ag agencies? 

Boronkay: Yes. And as things went on at MET, with the many millions 

spent on public educational programs to use less water, putting 
in homes all kinds of plumbing and water-saving devices, 
subsidizing all the member agencies to re-use water, doing 


substantial research on desalinating ocean water, conjunctive 
use arrangementspushing everything we knew of as engineers 
and otherwise--! just felt that with the population growth and 
the continuing drought that we were going to suffer severe 
shortages. So it occurred to me that the time had come for 
water marketing, that this has been a concept that s rolled 
around long enough, and you can t dispute the logic of it. The 
logic of it was there, and 1 think the time had come. 

I remember at about that time writing an article for a 
publication that Bill Kahrl editedand I think it s defunct 
presently- -but I wrote that article, and I gave the same point 
in the speeches I made. I said, "If someone comes from outer 
space and just looks at California s water resources 
allocation, they would simply report back that there s no 
evidence of intelligent life here." 

Then I went into the foolishness of continuing the status 
quo in water allocation. MET had done economic studies of the 
amount of return you get. On a San Joaquin Valley farm growing 
low-value row crops, an acre-foot of water will give you a 
return of $300, perhaps $350. An acre-foot in the electronics 
industry in the Bay Area or southern California will give you 
about $300,000; an acre- foot accounts for nine jobs on the farm 
but 2,600 in industry. Now, how long are you going to go and 
worry industry about not expanding or even closing down because 
of water shortages and just continue putting water into low 
value crops where the water is subsidized to start with? I 
mean, there is just no economic sense to it. 

The next question was: is this the political time to do it? 
It may make economic sense, but we all grow up in school seeing 
a farmer behind a plow and something green growing, and the 
farmer is symbolic of the good guy and you never want to take 
on the farmer. That s how you think of it, even though many 
farms are huge corporate farms, particularly in California. 

It s as if someone is chopping up wood in the north for 
firewood and selling it in a little town and he s doing fine, 
and that same wood would bring a thousand times more for 
building houses. And someone says, "Gee, I would like to buy 
those pine trees and have them cut up for houses, and I ll pay 
X." And someone says, "Oh, you can t do that. You ll put this 
firewood guy out of work. He s been doing it all these years." 
You can see that economic realities have to rule. Generally 
they do eventually, but you have to get a public attitude 
change . 


So water marketing was not something that was going to be 
an easy sell. I think we came to it because we were in a 
drought, and if it was going to sell, it was going to sell 

Convincing the MET Board 

Chall: Well, how did the MET board feel about this? 

Boronkay: That was always a potential problem for me- -the question to 
what extent they would support that . For some years I had 
urged that we should consider water transfers. Mind you, we 
don t take anyone s water. Everyone was against taking water 
away from the farmer, and we never proposed that. It was 
always giving them the right or opportunity to sell water, 
which I believe they ll do if they can make enough of a profit 
on it. All we sought was the opportunity to buy water. 

Some people said, "Well, that s what L.A. did in the Owens 
Valley." Well, it wasn t the case at all. They didn t take 
away anyone s water, they bought up the water rights. And 
anyway, we weren t going to do that; it was a totally different 
situation and a different time. 

So I had proposed it to the board. I listed all the things 
we were doing in terms of meeting future water needs, and I had 
there water transfers. I explained the various possibilities. 
I don t even think we got into marketing as a full blown 
program; it was just specific opportunities. 

But one day--I think even before I did this listing for the 
board- -one day I was in my office, and an L.A. Times reporter 
came in. 

He says, "I have here a copy of a letter to MET from a 
farmer in the San Joaquin offering to sell you his water. Are 
you interested in that?" 

I was wary, recognizing that it would be a sensitive 

I said, "Yes. I have seen that letter." I mean, I had the 
original. "And we ll look into it and see what it s about." 

He said, "Well, have you ever done that before?" 


"No, we haven t done that to my knowledge," 
"What do you think of it?" 

"Well, I don t think anything of it at this point. I would 
have to find out more about it . " 

"But you re interested in it?" 

"Well, yes, we re interested in bolstering our water supply 
from whatever legal source we can." 

So the next day in the Los Angeles Times, on the front page 
of the second section, there was a headline: "MET to Buy out 
San Joaquin Valley Water." [laughter] 

Chall: Oh, whoops. 

Boronkay: Yes. Well, a couple of days later was the board meeting, and 
the board was furious. When I say the board was furious, it s 
never the whole board of fifty-one people; you have half a 
dozen who are furious. That s plenty, because most of the 
others don t speak. 

Chall: Do most of them come, though? 

Boronkay: Oh yes. Most of them come. I would say there are often forty- 
eight. But most have little to say at board meetings. 
Everything goes through committee meetings where they have more 
of a chance to talk. So when we had the big board meeting, 
there were not a lot of people who would say something. But 
those that are furious speak. We had a lot of people that were 
very close to farmers and very close to San Joaquin Valley 
farmers and ACWA and all that, and for some their own 
businesses were related to farming. 

They said, "Now, I want to know who gave you the authority 
to buy water. " 

I said, "Well, we re not buying water. I m going to look 
at the proposal and if it makes any sense, I would report to 
you and you would decide whether to do that." 

"Well, this says that we re buying out the valley and all 
of our friends there have phoned and we ve been getting lots of 
calls," and this and that and the other thing. 

I said, "There s nothing I can do there. Things happen 
between board meetings. This reporter walked in; someone had 


given him a copy of the letter. I couldn t deny that I had the 
letter, and I told him just what I m telling youthat we ve 
gotten this letter and I m going to find out what it s about." 

Some seemed satisfied and the majority of the board just 
listened. Others just raised the roof. "We don t want to do 
that. We don t want to take the farmer s water." Take, always 
take. They likened it to the Owens Valley story and said this 
will all hurt MET. 

I said, "We re not taking anyone s water. Only if they 
want to sell it would we consider it. And I don t know if it s 
physically possible, legally possible, or if it s financially 
desirable. We have a lot to look at." 

So after time, most board members were agreeing that it s 
sensible to look into it, but not all. One member from 
Burbank, it seemed to me, always wanted to embarrass 
management. It didn t matter what the issue was. 

He stood up and with considerable emotion said, "It s 
terrible, we don t want anything to do with it. I make a 
motion that the general manager be restricted and directed not 
to pursue purchasing water in the San Joaquin Valley or 
anywhere else." Something worded like that. 

So I said, "Well, now, that s not in MET s interest." Now, 
here s my difficulty. You don t like to be arguing with 
directors; you re the hired hand. So it s not good, but 
sometimes you have no alternative. You hope that someone else 
will take them on, and sometimes they did. 

So I said, "You know, that isn t going to look good to the 
public, that MET, irrespective of its tight water supply, just 
doesn t even want to consider something." I said, "I think the 
motion is unduly restrictive, not of me, but of you, because 
you re not going to get to consider this program. Whatever 
proposal comes, you won t get it because I won t be able to 
even think about it. It s always up to you to decide if it s a 
good proposal. Shouldn t you want to even listen to it?" 

Well, they voted down his motion right away, but you see 
the initial reaction of those who spoke against it. 

Ironically, some months later some board members originally 
opposed to any San Joaquin Valley water transfer were asking 
how we were doing and were encouraging such efforts. 


The Bradley Bill Surfaces: MET Supports Transfers 

Boronkay: So this was the background. I m searching to increase our 
water supplies, always receptive to water marketing by this 
time, and yet there s not a heck of a lot that s out there. 

I read in the paper that Senator [Bill] Bradley had a 
hearing in L.A. on a proposed bill to amend the federal Central 
Valley Project authorization and is going to have one in 
Sacramento. So I called his office and spoke to [Tom] Jensen. 

I said, "I see you had this hearing, and I m surprised that 
you had one of our member agencies testify and you didn t 
invite MET to testify." 

He said, "Well, why do we want you to testify? We know 
where you stand. We have enough people against the bill; we 
don t need you to speak against it." 

I said, "Well, you know, I never told you I m against it." 
So he said, "Well, how do you feel about our bill?" 

I said, "Well, there s a water sales provision in your bill 
that I would be eager to support if I am invited to 
Sacramento. " 

He said, "Yes, we ll do that." 

The MET board has to approve positions MET takes on 
legislation, so at a board meeting I said, "There s a draft 
Bradley bill that s circulating that has a lot to do with the 
CVP and the revision of it, but my interest in it is that it 
has a clause regarding the secretary of Interior selling water. 
I know this board has taken a position in favor of water 
transfers, water marketing, and I intend to go up to the 
hearing and indicate that." No one raised any question, so I 
went up there. 

Chall: So you went up to Sacramento? 1 
Boronkay: That s right. 

The date of the Sacramento hearing was May 18, 1991. 

Chall: By yourself? 

Boronkay: By myself. It turned out that the chairman of the [MET] board 
was sitting in one of the first few rows there. I didn t know 
she was going to be there. 

Chall: Who was that? 

Boronkay: Lois Krieger. She had very close relations with agricultural 
people as MET s chairman and through ACWA activities. 

But, in any case, she sat there. I finally was called and 
given short shrift. Bradley was interested in the environment. 
His bill was roughly 80 percent environmental and 20 percent 
revenue changes or financial revision of the farmers 
contracts. Perhaps 1 percent said something about the 
secretary of the Interior being authorized to sell some water, 
and that was to create a fund to help fish and game. I said, 
"Here s who we are, here s what we need, we re in trouble, and 
we would support provisions of any bill that would permit water 
marketingthat would allow Metropolitan to buy water." 

See, I refrained carefully from supporting the 
environmental part of the bill or the farmers contracts 
revisions that were being proposed. I just said, "I m here to 
support the idea of water marketing." And that was all, just 
took two or three minutes, no questions. Bradley was probably 
talking to one of the senators near him, and that was all. 

I walked out of the hearing. Out in the hall it was as if 
there were a fire storm. The TV people came up and said, "This 
is a break with agriculture. Is that right?" 

"Well, it s not necessarily a break. We take a different 
position on this point." 

"Well, aren t they going to fight you on this?" And 
another TV cameraman set up, and radio people, and newsmen were 
writing and also asking questions about a split in the historic 
urban-agriculture-water alliance. I repeated that we ve taken 
different positions and that water marketing was essential for 
urban needs. 

I knew there would be interest, but then when the media 
attention died down, I saw ag people were there who I knew, 
and they were just stunned. They said, "How could you do 



I said, "I ve been telling you right along that we need 
water and we want transfers, and we haven t gotten any water 
from you." 

"Well, what do you mean you haven t gotten any water?" 

I said, "Nothing we ve done in this period that we ve tried 
for two years has gotten us any water." 

So then I left. Later I saw Peltier--! think it was 
Peltier and Butchert near the Capitol. I know it was Butchert, 
and I think Peltier was with him. It was maybe the same day or 
the next day. I met them on the street and they said something 
like: "Gee whiz, we were really shocked that you did that, and 
we don t understand it." 

I said, "Well, I told you no progress on transfers was 
being made." 

Butchert said, "Sure there has been." 
I said, "Well, you tell me any." 
He said, "IID." 

I said, "Well, you just proved my case. We had the IID deal if 
you never existed. You haven t been able to show anything 
coming out of your group, and that s why we are here." 

And that was that. They went away, and after that they 
contacted us and they said, "What if we get together on our own 

I said, "Well, we ll talk about that." 

"A bill that would include water marketing." 

So I said, "Fine." 

Helping to Draft the Seymour Bill: Support in Principle 

Boronkay: They went ahead and drafted an alternate bill to the Bradley 

bill. That was the bill which became the [John] Seymour bill. 
That was the bill that reduced the upfront allocation of water 


for the environment, for the fisheries, but had a lot of 
technical environmental improvements which [David] Schuster and 
others were involved in drafting and which were very sound. I 
believe the draft also omitted or reduced substantially the 
Bradley bill s financial obligations of the farmers. I think 
it may have had some changes in their renewal contracts, but 
nothing like what the initial Bradley bill was going to have. 

So I dealt with them, and the difficulties we had. Tim 
will come in on this, because right about now he was involved. 

Quinn and I decided that the farmers had to be able to sell 
water, not the districts. If the districts could sell, you not 
only reduced competition right off because there are only so 
many districts instead of hundreds of farmers, but politically 
they won t want to sell or will sell at an exorbitant price. 
To them it s political power, and for us to be able to deal 
with their farmers was something that they weren t putting up 

That became the ma lor, ma lor fight, and we wouldn t go 
along with them. We held out on that. We met at one point at 
a convention in San Diego. Lots of water stuff goes on at 
conventions because everyone is there. People say, "Oh, that s 
a boondoggle." Nonsense. Everyone is there. You save ten 
trips if ten parties are there. So we argued it out. Tim and 
I stayed firm that it has to be farmers and not the districts 
who could sell, and they finally gave in. 

Chall: Jason Peltier said, "We had hours and hours of gut -wrenching 
meetings and a lot of conflict, and a lot of tension but 
finally we got through it and cut a deal with MET and part of 
that deal for us was, Well, this is good, we ll have now an 
alliance with the Metropolitan Water District to fight the 
Miller-Bradley bills, and they ll get with us and get behind 
Congressman Cal Dooley...and Senator Seymour... " 1 

Boronkay: Oh, that s plain wrong, perhaps a misunderstanding. At no time 
did we undertake to fight anybody s billsat no time. We 
merely agreed to work with them on the Seymour bill. I was not 
in a position to judge the likelihood of success of that bill 
and never cut my ties to the Miller-Bradley efforts. 

Jason Peltier, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act. 1991-1992. Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1994, p. 40. 


They were going to fight these bills, and did and never 
called on us to do anything on that front. They knew we never 
agreed to fight Bradley or Miller or anybody else. In fact I 
later recommended the MET board support a bill by Senator 
Bennett Johnston, essentially the Bradley bill. 

I can tell you why that s so and why it s so clear in my 
memory, because I went to Washington and worked with [Stuart] 
Somach--and maybe [Dave] Schuster, but certainly Somach--and we 
put together a bill where we finally said, "Yes, we can go with 
this." But I also said, "Hey, you know, this part isn t clear; 
we ve got to change that. This should be amplified; this is an 
error. But, as a whole, this looks good." Somach agreed that 
the draft would be modified to reflect our negotiations. We 
were going to be allies on the Seymour bill but we never talked 
about MET fighting the Miller-Bradley bills and were never 
asked to. 

Then the next morning I was advised that Seymour had 
already introduced our bill the way it was. I was surprised 
and said to Somach, "We had a bunch of things we had agreed to 
change. Some of those things aren t right, some are ambiguous, 
and some are misleading." 

"Oh," he said, "Don t worry about that. We ll take care of 
that by amendments, but it s important that we get moving." 

Well, it was done, but I made a big note here [puts finger 
on head]: "Don t always trust these guys." I had no reason to 
expect them to get that bill filed before we made those agreed 
corrections. They didn t tell me they were going to do it. 
So, now, it s a Seymour bill. Okay, the die is cast there. So 
1 went back to MET and asked the board to support the Seymour 

Chall: In principle, I noticed. 1 

Boronkay: In principle, and specifically the water marketing provisions. 
Yes. I didn t want to get into saying we re for or against 
environmental or economic changes. So I said, "We support it 
in principle or we support particularly the provisions for 
marketing. " 

Report to the Board of Directors from the General Manager, re the 
Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Act of 1991, (S. 2016), November 
26, 1991. 


Chris [Christine] Reed, a now-deceased former member of our 
board from Santa Monica and very liberal and very much a 
Democrat, said-- 

Quinn: She was a Republican. 

Boronkay: Oh, was she a Republican? 

Quinn: Yes, she was. 

Chall: This is Chris Reed? 

Boronkay: Chris Reed, former mayor of Santa Monica. 

So she says at the Water Problems Committee meeting or 
Executive Committee meeting, "Well, Carl, this man Seymour is 
in a race for the Senate, and we don t want MET to get involved 
in party politics." 

I said, "Well, we re not going to do that, but here s a 
bill that we want to support, and it s his bill." 

Then someone else said, "Well, this may not be the only 
bill that we like and may want to support . " 

1 said, "Indeed, it probably won t be the only bill, and 
we re not saying we won t support another bill." 

So I had in mind very clear sentiment of the board members 
that we were not married to any particular bill, but we were 
married to the position that we want to support a bill that 
comes out the way we want it on water marketing. That s why I 
say the portion you read to me about Peltier saying we made a 
deal to fight the Miller and Bradley bills was total 
imagination if not bad memory- -because we never agreed to fight 
those bills and didn t. 

Chall: He said, "We ll have an alliance with MET to fight the Miller- 
Bradley bills " 

Boronkay: Never. Our only alliance was to support the Seymour bill. He 
may have thought that if you were supporting the Seymour bill, 
automatically you re against the others. If so, that s his 
mistake. I never said that to him or anyone else. I tell you, 
I rode two horses as long as I could in that legislative fight, 
and ended up on the winner. 



DISTRICT, 1993-PRESENT (1998) 

Education and Career Path to the Metropolitan Water District 

Chall: What I want to know from you today is something about your 
personal background, your education and career path to the 
Metropolitan Water District, starting with where you were born and 
when and where you went to school and college. I didn t get a 
resume from you, so I don t really know these answers. 

Quinn: All the way back then? 
Chall: All the way back then. 

Quinn: I was born in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska [1951] and grew up in an 

agricultural area. My father worked for a sugar refining company, 
and we were bounced from small town to small town. 

Chall: Sugar factories? 

Quinn: Yes, in Nebraska and eastern Colorado. 

Chall: Sugar beets? 

Quinn: Sugar beets. The company that my father worked for was the Great 
Western Sugar Company. Great Western bought the beets from the 
farmers and refined them. 

Like a lot of the people who now live in the urban west, I 
grew up in the agricultural west. Eventually, I went to Denver 
and started my studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

Major Field of Study: Economics, 1970-1983 

Chall: What time was that? 

Quinn: I started college in 1970 and graduated from Boulder in 1974. 

Chall: In what field? 

Quinn: In economics. Actually, my affinities were for history and 

philosophy, but I had a conversation with my father who said he 
once knew a philosopher who starved to death. And I had six hours 
of economics at that point in my life, and it felt like it was 
kind of a mix of something you could supposedly make an income at, 
and yet could keep me alive intellectually. 

So I wound up as a major in economics and was awarded a four 
year fellowship at UCLA to go to graduate school. It was quite 
astonishing to me--the notion that you could actually get paid to 
go to school. I had a $6,500 a year stipend. I had a wife, and 
we had one small child at the time. 

Chall: You started early to have your family. You were still in school. 

Quinn: I have four children now. The youngest just graduated from high 
school this year, and I have a second granddaughter expected in 
about a week. 

At UCLA I really started to develop my professional interests. 
I received a master s degree in 1976 and a Ph.D. degreeboth in 
economics from UCLA--in 1983. 

Chall: You went straight through. 

Quinn: Well, sort of. I mean, if you add that all up, I was in graduate 
school a long time, but then by the time I was done I had four 
kids, a mortgage, and a couple of pets. I wouldn t recommend this 
as a way to get your Ph.D. to anyone else. 

Chall: Did your wife work? 

Quinn: No, she raised the family. When our youngest went to grade school 
she went back to college. The proudest day of my lifenothing 
else comes close was the day that my wife graduated from college. 
She now teaches. 

Chall: Is that right? So you were raising a family on an income from 
being a teaching fellow? 

Quinn: For the first few years that was the bulk of our income, and then 
I went to work at the Rand Corporation. 

Chall: Oh, I see. While you were still at UCLA? 

Quinn: While I did my graduate work at UCLA, which is one reason it took 
so long: I was working full time. Again, it s another thing that 
explains my particular perspectives on public policy issues. Even 
back when I was going through my academic life, I was researching 
and had a foot in the real world as opposed to being totally in 
academia. In 1976 and 1977 I went to Washington, D.C. 

The President s Council of Economic Advisors, 1976-1977 

Chall: With Rand? 

Quinn: No. I left Rand. I took a leave of absence from Rand and from 
UCLA, and I served on the staff of the President s Council of 
Economic Advisors [CEA] . I was originally hired by the [Gerald] 
Ford administration, but the tradition in those days was that the 
staff of CEA, as it was always called, was that you were there for 
your analytical expertise, not for your partisan politics. So, by 
tradition, they kept staff over when an administration changed. 
When Ford was voted out of office in November of 1976 I retained 
my position. Actually, I wound up with a better job under the 
[Jimmy] Carter administration than I had under the Ford 
administration. I was there for a little over a year, which is 
the standard appointment. 

It was in Washington where I realized that I probably never 
was going to be a professor, which had been my ambition in life up 
to that time. 

Chall: What made you realize that? 

Quinn: Watching real world policy get formulated. Economists can be 

fairly strong elitists, intellectual elitists. We are taught a 
very rigorous way of looking at the world and what kind of policy 
constitutes good policy, and I became quite fascinated by the fact 
that politicians rarely adopted the solutions that economists said 
were the perfect answers to social problems. 

I ve mentioned that my father worked for the sugar industry. 
One of the things that was going on in the mid- seventies in 
Washington was legislation to eliminate sugar subsidies, which had 
been a way of life in the American agricultural economy for some 

time. In fact, they did get rid of the sugar subsidies. The 
economic case for getting rid of sugar subsidies was compelling, 
but at the same time I had a father in that industry and knew a 
great many growers in that industry and I could see the 
implications for them of what seemed to me to be a perfectly 
rational, economically efficient public policy. 

It was the juxtaposition between the sound economic arguments 
and the real impacts of public policies in the real world that 
captured my intellectual interest, and I wound up writing my Ph.D. 
dissertation on water politics in California and why politicians 
don t do what economists recommend that they should do. 

The Ph.D. Dissertation on Groundwater Law 

Chall: Is that right? And that s at UCLA? 

Quinn: Yes, at UCLA. And I made the great mistake of thinking that I was 
solving the problems of the world in my Ph.D. dissertation. It s 
350 pages long. 

Chall: That s 1983, right at the-- 

Quinn: Right at the height of water politics. At the time, there was a 
fellow at the Rand Corporation. His name was Chuck Phelps. He 
was the manager of the newly created regulatory program at Rand. 
Chuck was working on water issues, doing what turned out to be a 
fairly influential study by Rand on the topic of water marketing. 
I was not directly involved in those studies, but I had a good 
relationship with all of the people who were. 

Phelps one day approached me when I was looking for a field to 
apply my dissertation ideas about how the political system 
operated, and he said, "You should think about water." And that 
was how I got involved with California water. 

My Ph.D. was on the topic of groundwater law in California and 
how it evolved in different parts of the state where you were 
essentially solving the same technical problemoverdraft, 
resulting in seawater intrusion, subsidence, and other problems. 
The problems are not all that different from one area to another, 
but there are economically radically different public policies 
that have been implemented to respond to that problem. So I set 
about the task of trying to figure out how the political system 
was balancing its different considerations and why that led to 
different decisions than what economists would advocate. It 

changed me forever. I learned things writing my dissertation that 
still guide me as a consensus builder and a coalition builder in 
the world of water resources in the West. 

Chall: Meaning that you understand there are reasons for these 

Quinn: Very good reasons. It turns out that there s a reason that they 

don t always do what economists say, which doesn t mean that there 
aren t powerful reasons to look hard at the economic side of 
public policy issues. I wrote a dissertation on these water 
issues, although I could never get any funding to do water. I 
tried hard, but nobody would pay me to do policy analysis of water 
resources. Again, water politics was probably never more fierce 
or more divisive than it was in the early 1980s, and I didn t have 
the maturity back then to understand the political context that 
was going on out there. And to have an independent mind from the 
Rand Corporation come in and say, "I m going to analyze the 
politics and economics and help you figure out what good public 
policy might be"--it wasn t a formula that was going to sell, and 
it didn t. 

My phone rang one day, and it was the assistant general 
manager, Myron Holburt, who worked with Metropolitan at the time-- 
very close with Carl Boronkay. 

Myron was a feisty water engineer, a person that I continue to 
respect greatly. Carl had brought him over from the Colorado 
River Board. I d never met the man, but I was popular on the 
speaking circuit in those days, and I used to give a speech that 
said what California needs is to fix the Delta and allow the 
market to function. I understood the Delta enough to realize that 
it was an unstable environment and that the transportation system 
for water was "broken"--the popular phrase these days--I don t 
think we used it back then. My pitch in those days was that you 
needed to fix the Delta--! was a supporter of the Peripheral Canal 
at the timeand you needed a water market. I don t think Carl 
had ever heard that particular combination of arguments. I had 
never met him. 

Metropolitan Water District; Economist. 1985 

Quinn: Myron called me and essentially offered me a job over the 

telephone one day. I was quite astonished. I was quite happy at 
Rand. I was doing research for EPA on other natural resource 
topics. I was developing strong expertise at the time in global 

warming issues and stratospheric ozone depletion. I was a project 
leader at a relatively young age and bringing in the better part 
of a million dollars a year in grants from the federal government. 
So I had a successful career at Rand. But there was the 
Washington experience, and I knew I was writing reports, 
essentially, that most people wouldn t pay much attention to. 

I went to lunch with Carl and Myron a couple of days later, 
and they said they wanted to hire me as an economist at 
Metropolitan Water District. Frankly, I didn t really understand 
who or what the Metropolitan Water District was at the time, and 
my immediate response was no. I said, "I m not even the slightest 
bit interested." But I said, "Let me help you search for someone 
who will fit your organization well." Because I had particular 
ideas of how an economist could be effective within the political 
world. I mean, the traditional classroom economist was going to 
come into this world and fall flat on his face because he didn t 
understand the political balancing that had to happen, and 
desirably needed to happen, from a social decision-making 
perspective. So I offered to help them on a search committee of 
some sort, but Carl later told me that he became determined at 
that lunch that he was going to hire me. It took several months. 
It was about five months before I actually agreed to come to work. 

Chall: How did they convince you? 

Quinn: Well, I knew I was taking a big risk. At the time, Metropolitan 

had an actual policy not to hire economists. [laughs] Economists 
were at the time quite critical of what was going on in the water 
industry. Metropolitan had hired an economist some years prior, 
and it had not been a happy experience for them. They had no job 
description that fit economic talents. So they didn t have a spot 
for an economist and they didn t want to create one, but they 
wound up creating a job especially for me when I came to work 

And you know, back in those days I had a number of strikes 
against me. I was from Rand, and the Rand reports which advocated 
water marketing and a different way of managing California water 
were not well received by Metropolitan at the time. I was a Ph.D. 
economist, and I was an outsider. Yet Carl Boronkay had decided 
at the time, I believe but didn t bother telling methat he 
really wanted to head the organization in a fundamentally 
different direction. He felt that the marketing concepts were 
powerful and important for Metropolitan, but he knew he didn t 
have staff resources that could help him do what needed to be 
done. So, he wanted to hire an economist, and an economist who at 
least had made an effort to understand how politics work and how 
you meld political and economic issues. 

It was not surprising to me now that Carl found me an 
attractive potential employee, and I have never looked back or 
regretted it. My friends at Rand were very perplexed. Rand is 
world class, and better in those days, I think, than it is today. 
They couldn t believe I would leave a world-famous research 
institute and go work for a utility. 

Chall: And now this utility has a certain world-class reputation. 

Quinn: Yes, and I can remember vividly explaining to them that I wanted 
to try my hand at having my hands on the policy levers themselves 
--instead of just writing about them, actually going out and doing 
it. That s what I ve been allowed to do at Metropolitan. 

Chall: They give you a free hand here. 

Quinn: Well, never a free hand. [laughter] Never a free hand. 

Analyzing Carl Boronkay s Vision: The Need to Change Historic 
Water Alliances 

Chall: How was Mr. Boronkay as a head officer--! mean to work with? 

Quinn: Well, Carl was the general manager. Carl is a very sharp 

strategist and understood the role of politics in some ways and 
didn t understand the world of politics in some ways. I now have 
a lot of the responsibility for making political strategic 
decisions that rested with Carl when he was here. But I realize 
what courage he had and the vision that he had and the leadership 
qualities that he had to try and recognize that we needed to head 
in another direction. It s like changing the direction of the 
Queen Mary. It takes a long time, and it doesn t surprise me he 
didn t tell me. 

I m not sure he knew fully what he was planning on back in 
1985 when I walked in the door. Carl had a vision of where he 
wanted to go, and he was willing to go through hard times and to 
hang onto the rails of the boat as it rocked to get there. I have 
tremendous respect for Carl. He was instrumental in changing the 
direction of California water, not only for the commitment to a 
new set of management toolsto looking more toward market forces 
--but towards realigning some of the traditional politics in 

This played itself out in the CVPIA debates. The extent to 
which Carl actually enunciated it to himself, I ll never know. 


But he understood that the old political axis of southern 
California and San Joaquin Valley agriculture against everyone 
else had run its course. It petered out in 1982, that view of 
north versus south. Carl was one of the leaders in creating the 
California Urban Water Agencies [CUWA] , for example. 

When historians write the history books with decades of proper 
perspective on this time, the creation of CUWA, as we call it, 
deserves a chapter or two. It was a fundamentally important 
event, quite apart from all this marketing and important aspects 
that were going on. The creation of CUWA was a fundamentally 
important event in California water that created relationships 
that hadn t existed in the past. 

It was the first real outreach between north and south. 
Always before, provincial differences had separated us. CUWA 
didn t allow us to be as provincial as we had been. We came to 
realize it wasn t north versus south, it wasn t that the water was 
in the north and we needed it in the south; it was the northerners 
and the southerners relying on the Bay-Delta watershed, relying on 
the same resource bundle, essentially, and we had common problems, 
and we had to come up with common solutions together. 

Agriculture was very perturbed by that alliance. As we were 
moving closer to CUWA, as we were establishing working 
relationships with the environmental community- -which we had never 
had--it was Carl who was thinking through and making decisions. 
One of the things which he did relatively early was he sent me up 
to meet Andy Moran and Tom Berliner, who both were with Hetch 
Hetchy in those days. They are now running the Public Utilities 
Commission of the city and county of San Francisco. Carl sent me 
up to meet the people that were running the East Bay Municipal 
Utility District. I was one of the people that worked on 
developing those relations under Carl s direction. 

I got to meet and know and like Tom Graff and Zach Willey at 
the Environmental Defense Fund. Those were relationships we had 
not had prior to Boronkay realizing that we needed to have them. 
I can remember some pretty tough sessions with representatives of 
agricultural interests who were bitter about the fact that we were 
establishing those relationships. They felt betrayed. 

In my mind at the time, I was not in a position to understand 
the politics the way that Carl did. I didn t see it from his 
broader umbrella perspective. From my perspective, I ve always 
approached everything in my life with openness and saying, "I 
respect where you re trying to go; I want you to respect where I m 
trying to go. Let s try and find common solutions." To do that 
with the environmentalists, to do that with the Bay Area seemed 


very natural to me. I didn t have the history of the old 
political alliance. I wasn t part of that. 

Chall: So did that make it easier for you? 

Quinn: It made it easier for me to do it, but it made it harder for me to 
see the consequences and to understand the reaction that was going 
on in the agricultural community, because I hadn t shared those 
old relationships. So establishing the new relationships, which 
seemed a natural, positive thing to do--I never apologized for it 
and still don t today, but I didn t appreciate the degree to which 
that would be viewed in a negative fashion by some of the people 
that we did have the historical relationships with. All that was 
sort of setting the stage as we moved into Miller-Bradley, where 
those old relationships were stressed to the breaking point. 

From a bigger picture perspective in the politics of 
California water, the simple fact is that the system was operated 
for the benefit of the water users. For decades upon decades the 
environment was neglected. Again, I wasn t a part of that 
history, so it was easier for me to disassociate myself from it, 
and very natural for me to realize that we had to have a new set 
of rules in the future. I come from a fairly strong environmental 
ethic in my own family and have passed that on to my children. 

The water business from the late-eighties into the mid- 
nineties was going through a cathartic change. Carl knew it was 
coming. He knew this change was coming along. One of its peaks-- 
or valleys, depending on your perspectivewas in 1992 with the 
CVPIA. I believe that Carl understood that the water industry had 
to go through cathartic change as a result of the environmental 
revolution and the fact that we all needed to have a new set of 
environmental values . 

We didn t get involved in the environmental issues in CVPIA 
until fairly late in the game. I wanted to. I argued we should, 
in his office, privately, but he was focused on the water 
marketing provisions. I can remember, one time Carl took me aside 
and said that we had to understand that we had more flexibility- - 
things like creating markets, different ways to manage resources-- 
we had more flexibility than the environment does. Carl kind of 
accepted that, but it was not the kind of thing you could say at a 
water meeting in the 1980s. It would not have been well received. 
We went through this adjustment period from 1987-1988. The first 
real sign of it in our world was the listing of the winter-run 
salmon in 1989. 

Chall: Oh, tell me about that. 

Quinn: Well, the Endangered Species Act had been passed years before, but 
never really affected the operations of our water projects until 
the winter run was listed in 1989. It s a run of salmon in the 
Sacramento River; its populations had gone to alarmingly low 
levels. It was listed. It didn t affect the operations of our 
projects. You can still argue maybe it should have, maybe it 
shouldn t have, because the evidence that we actually suck these 
fish up in the pumps is weak at best, but it was the first real 
definitive action that the rules were changing. 

The Delta smelt got listed in 91 or 92. The Central Valley 
Project Improvement Act was passed in 92. We re now looking at 
several other species for listing. This all culminated in our 
world seemingly slipping through our fingers from a water 
manager s perspective until 1994 with the Bay-Delta Accord. What 
was happening over this time period and CVPIA was the critical 
step if you ask me--was that we were having to make adjustments, 
revolutionary adjustments, in how we manage our world and how we 
think about our world to accommodate the degrading environmental 
resources that were going on in the system. 

CVPIA was a critical part of that, and as that pie was 
shrinking for water interests, the status quo was being changed 
fundamentally. A lot of consensus building which has occurred in 
recent years and has given us the opportunity to solve long-term 
problems never could have happened without CVPIA. CVPIA was a 
fundamentally important part of a shift in the status quo, 
especially for agriculture. 

Much to Carl Boronkay s credit, the urbans understood that the 
status quo was changing, that the old methods were not going to 
work. You weren t going to go out and get somebody to build a big 
project and pay for a big chunk of the costs and give you the low 
cost water. We were entering a very different world where we 
needed to look at things like water marketing, investments in 
reclamation and conservation on a scale unfathomable in 1985 when 
Tim Quinn became an employee for the Metropolitan Water District. 
Carl could see that. I don t think agriculture could see those 
changes . 

Chall: You think he saw that far ahead? He saw marketing ahead. 

Quinn: He saw marketing ahead. Marketing was where he chose to focus his 
energies, but I think he saw marketing as part of bigger changes 
that were going on. I mean, earthshaking changes in the world 
around us and that we needed to break out of the old political 
relationships, look at new management tools. Part and parcel of 
that was a great deal of decay and deterioration in our 

relationships with the agricultural community, which we have been 
rebuilding since the passage of CVPIA. 

Chall: In the latter part of our interviews, I d like to get into the 
whole CALFED process. 

Quinn: Oh, so let s save that topic for that time then. 
Chall: Yes. 

First Assignments with MET: Water Transfer Initiatives 


Quinn : 

What then were your earlier assignments here? 
that far back? 

Can you recall them 


Well, I ll tell you the first two assignments I got. They were in 
the first week that I came in. Again, I did not have the maturity 
to understand quite what was going on in my professional life at 
the time. Carl made me the chief negotiator for Metropolitan on 
two major water marketing transactions. One in the Palo Verde 
Valley on the Colorado River, and the other was the Arvin-Edison 
Water Storage District in the southern San Joaquin Valley near 

The Palo Verde Irrigation District is one of the oldest 
irrigation districts in the western United States. They have, I 
think, the second most senior rights on the Colorado River. 
Arvin-Edison Water Storage District is a CVP contractor. So Carl 
was interested in maybe making water transfers, water marketing, 
real to Metropolitan. We had discussions ongoing at the time with 
the Imperial Irrigation District, and I was an advisor to that 
process. These were two new initiatives that were launched as I 
walked through the door. And this was another strike against me 
as far as the organization was concerned. I was in my early 
thirties at the time. 

As far as the Metropolitan Water District staff? 

Yes. And, again, my attitude was, "I ll be honest and I ll be 
open with you," but I had never worked in a bureaucracy quite like 
Metropolitan at the time. 

Those were my first two jobs, and it was baptism by fire. 

The Palo Verde Irrigation District 

Chall: Tell me about Palo Verde. Tell me about each one of them a 

Quinn: Well, actually, both of them were extremely positive growth 

experiences for me, professionally. In the Palo Verde deal I went 
out and started negotiating with Dana Fisher, who was president of 
the Palo Verde Irrigation District board of trustees at the time, 
and Virgil Jones , and several other folks . The general manager 
was Jerry Davison, who is the general manager today. It was a 
very interesting experience. I went about my job by looking at 
how much money I thought these guys were making farming, which as 
an economist I understoodyou know, cost plus, competitive rate 
of returnthat was my target. 

Again, I suffered from naivete in those days that I don t 
suffer from necessarily today. It was the first place I learned 
to negotiate, and I discovered I m not a bad negotiator. My job 
has evolved where I have been Metropolitan s chief negotiator in, 
at this point, dozens of very complicated negotiations. Carl 
mentioned that when CVPIA got to serious negotiating, he let me. I 
knew Carl trusted me when he allowed me to talk at meetings . For 
quite a while, when Carl was at a meeting you understood your job 
was to shut up. [laughter] I started knowing that there was a 
relationship of trust being built when all of a sudden Carl would 
look at me and I would realize he wanted me to carry a lot of the 
discussion at meetings as the CVPIA unfolded. 

On Palo Verde I learned to walk away from a negotiating table. 
This negotiation was occurring in 1986 and 1987 

Chall: Was this a marketing transaction? 

Quinn: Yes. We were asking them not to grow as many crops, to fallow a 
portion of their fields. 

Chall: Really? Had they come to you with the suggestion? 
Quinn: Actually, we approached them. 
Chall: All right. 

Quinn: We approached them. More than probably any other place in 

California, the farmers out in the Palo Verde Irrigation District 
were willing to look at this as a business transaction. Generally 
water market ing --and I don t fault others for thiswater 
marketing has got very strong emotional and social issues tied to 


it. Those didn t tend to be attached to the issue as far as the 
Palo Verde Irrigation District was concerned. They were willing 
to approach it as a business transaction. 

We negotiated for a year or so, off and on. We were 
purchasing water for about a $135 an acre-foot in the case of the 
Imperial Irrigation District conservation program. That was the 
cost we calculated. Actually, it s a fairly high estimated cost 
for the Imperial Irrigation Conservation Program. I had looked 
hard at farm economics. My judgment was: If we purchase this 
water at $135 an acre-foot, that would be an extraordinarily 
handsome return, indeed, for a grower in the Palo Verde Valley. 
That s what we offered. 

Eventually there was a complicated negotiating process. At 
the time we were trying to put together a long-term transaction-- 
thirty-five years, I think is what we were looking for--and price 
indices and all these sorts of things. But the essence of it was 
that in the end we were willing to offer about $135 an acre-foot. 
The farmers out there thought the water ought to be worth closer 
to $300 an acre-foot, and we parted company, friends. At least 
from my perspective, it was actually amicable. We said, "Well, 
we re not able to get there now. Let s part friends and come back 
at some point in the future." 

Quinn: In 1991, California was facing an extraordinary crisis with a very 
deep drought. Nineteen ninety-one went off the hydrologic charts. 
In December, January, and February- -that water year- -it was truly 
a scary and extraordinary experience. The governor s Drought 
Water Bank was created at the time. Myself and Tom Clark had come 
up with the basic concept and the basic structure of the bank, 
sold that concept to Dave Kennedy and Bob Potter at the Department 
of Water Resources, and the bank was launched. I can remember 
sitting in meetings in February 1991 when people scoffed at the 
notion of water transfers and water marketing. They said, "You 
won t be able to buy any water. Maybe you ll get 100,000 acre- 
feet. This is a very dry year. Nobody s going to be willing to 
sell you water because it s just too dear. If you buy water it s 
going to be what we call paper water. 1 That is, not real stuff. 
It s when Harry sells you Dick s water and gives you a low price 
because he s not doing anything to make it available." 

But, lo and behold, in the water bank, through no particular 
magic, a price was established at $125 to the farmer. The next 
thing you knew, within less than a two-month window, at the price 
of $125 an acre-foot, the water bank purchased 800,000 acre-feet 
of water, gross. It was an extraordinary statement about the 


power of market forces, if you ask me. The bank wasn t perfect. 
It was a highly contrived market experiment, but it undeniably 
spoke to the power of market forces, and it also said $125 was not 
a bad price for water. I think that was one of the factors that 
caught the attention of the decision makers out at Palo Verde, and 
$135 didn t look so bad to them, after all. 

Chall: Oh, so that had them hanging on. 

Quinn: I had personally been the negotiator during 86 and 87. I did 
not finish the negotiation, but we did a short-term arrangement 
with them. We stopped talking long-term. We wound up with what 
we called a land fallowing test program. So we paid them, 
essentially, to increase the amount of fallowing in their crop 
rotations for two years, got everybody to agree how much water 
that would save, because they weren t growing as many crops. 

Chall: What crops were they growing up there? 

Quinn: Mostly they fallowed low value field crops. Fallowing has become 
the f-word in California water marketing; fallowing is just not 
something that is supposed to be politically correct. In point of 
fact, we fallow crops for financial reasons all the time in 
California. Eventually, I think, farmers will be able to make the 
decision in response to water market forces; how much they want to 
grow in that year. Right now it s something that the state is not 
entirely ready for. 

But this deal was built around the notion that for two years-- 
1992 and 1993--they would increase the amount of fallowing in crop 
rotation. They fallowed approximately 20,000 acres of land. 
Virtually every land owner in the valley of any size participated 
in the program. It created 186,000 acre-feet of water. We 
secured agreements with the federal government to allow us to bank 
the conserved water in Lake Mead- -the first time that had ever 
been done. 

Chall: Is Palo Verde part of the CVP? 

Quinn: No, Palo Verde--they have ancient water rights. It s their water, 
as they will quickly point out to you. They are beholden to no 
government for their water. 

Chall: Yes, so that s why you were able to deal with them. 
Quinn: As a legal matter, good question. 

So we were experimenting with this water transfer stuff, and 
it felt pretty good. I mean, the Palo Verde thing had worked 


well, the IID thing had worked well, and here was the largest 
block of water in Californiathe Central Valley Projectwhich 
was declared by law as being out of bounds. You couldn t go 
develop mutually agreeable transactions with CVP contractors. 

The Arvin-Edison Water Storage District 

Quinn: Let me mention briefly the Arvin-Edison transaction, which was 
quite a different transaction. We were proposing with Arvin- 
Edison to pay them for essentially banking storage services. We 
wanted, at that time, to take state project water that we couldn t 
use, bank it in Arvin-Edison, and they would give us their water 
back at a later time during dry periods. So it was: get the water 
out of the system while it s wet, put it into storage, the storage 
services would be provided by Arvin-Edison, and then later on 
Arvin-Edison would transfer their water supplies to us in exchange 
for the water that we had previously banked underground in their 
service area. That deal fell apart because of Delta politics. 

Just by a huge coincidence, before I came up for this 
interview, my board of directors today approved a new program with 
Arvin-Edison which is structured with the same basic concept: 
paying an agricultural district for storage service and receiving 
transfer water during later drought years. 

There s a lesson here for would-be water marketers. I 
remember Myron Holburt one day. We worked forever on the first 
Arvin project which eventually died. About four years into the 
process, Myron Holburt took me aside and said, "When are you going 
to get this done?" 

I said, "Well, it s very complicated." 

He said, "You know, Tim, we fought World War II in less time 
than it s taken to put this water marketing transaction together." 

And really, that s not a bad description of my early years at 
Metropolitan. I was going through this torturous experience where 
it was not a popular thing to be doing in the first place. We 
constantly were questioning if this made sense. The rest of the 
world was up in arms about these transactions. 

Chall: A lot of articles were written opposing it. 


Quinn: I now realize that it must have been a weekly occurrence where 

Carl Boronkay would step in and protect me, and I didn t even know 
I needed protection. Really. I m absolutely convinced that 

Chall: Protecting you against what? 

Quinn: Oh, against people that wanted my job because, "What are this 

guy s crazy ideas? You ve got to get rid of him." I mean, change 
is a hard thing to accomplish. I have much more sophistication 
about how I approach change today than I did a dozen years ago 
when I came to work here. I mean, I ve got a lot of battle scars 
from a lot of change that I have been a part of. I realize now 
that on a regular basis Carl came in and protected me from 
detractors. Carl was a man who had a vision. I believe that 
vision was sound, and he carried it out, and he rode out the 
storms that had to be ridden out to cause change to happen. 

I learned a great deal about Colorado River politics, 
negotiating a water transfer. I learned a great deal about 
Central Valley water politics by negotiating a transfer. One was 
eventually successful, and one was not successful until almost 
twelve years after the first time I sat down with the 
representative of the Arvin-Edison Water Storage District. 1 

Water Marketing: An Accepted Concept Today 

Chall: What s changed in the eleven years? 

Quinn: Certainly, eleven years ago it was heresy to stand up and say, 

"Water marketing must be an important part of California s water 
future." We never believed at Metropolitan that marketing was the 
only part, just that it was an important component of a long-term 
water policy for California. 

One of the first things I did professionally at Metropolitan 
was something I had started organizing before I left Rand in late 
1985. Myself and Nancy Moore--who was one of the Rand crowd who 
had an interest in water issuesNancy and I had developed the 
concept of a conference on water marketing, which we were doing in 
cooperation with the UCLA public policy extension program. The 
whole conference was at UCLA. LeRoy Graymer was very active. 
That was the first time I got to know LeRoy. We worked with LeRoy 

More on Arvin-Edison on page 132 ff. 


Graymer and UCLA to structure a water conference. This conference 
was a fairly big deal. It was held in February of 1986, and I 
remember it like it was yesterday. These ideas were just coming 
in western water that water marketing was something that made 

I remember Dave Kennedy spoke. I don t know that anybody knew 
or realized that Dave was still going to be the director of the 
Department of Water Resources on December 9, 1997. It s almost 
twelve years later; he s been there a long time. Dave spoke 
there. We had what we called "the Daves" at the time: Dave 
Kennedy, Dave Schuster who was the head of the State Water 
Contractors, and Dave Houston who was the regional director of the 
Bureau of Reclamation in those days. Three Daves were on the 
panel. It was the first time I saw the three Daves together. 

And let s just say water marketing didn t get received very 
well by the water community in those days . That is one of the 
profound changes. Nobody can argue that water transfer is not an 
important part of California water policy today. Many of the 
people fighting it in those daysthe CVP contractors, for 
examplethey re now the biggest buyers in the market. I mean, 
nobody buys more water than the Westlands Water District these 

Chall: From each other? 

Quinn: They re buying from other agricultural entities. 

There were three profound changes in California water in the 
last decade. One is the realignment of relationships. There is 
much more coalition building going on today. The coalitions are 
much more sophisticated and they are much bigger. We have broken 
down north versus south. Within the professional water community, 
north versus south does not exist. I think that s a strong 
statement, but I would be prepared to defend it. 

The second change has been the rise of the market. We are 
just at the beginning of that change, but in terms of allocating 
water supplies , the market is much more important today than it 
was ever conceived to be twelve years ago. 

Chall: Is that so? 
Quinn: Oh, absolutely. 
Chall: It s really working? 


Quinn: Well, again, working is a relative term. It is evolving. We have 
a lot of history to unfold on this, but nobody thinks they re 
going to push marketing back into obscurity. CVPIA was a terribly 
important step along that process. The other change has been the 
rise in environmental values within water management. I think 
probably the environmental movement hasn t even begun to recognize 
the depth to which environmental values have taken seed and rooted 
themselves in the minds of the people managing California s water. 

Those three things make the water industry today a very 
different place than where it was in 1985. 

Chall: I see. So it s been exciting for you. 

Quinn: You can tell? [laughter] I like the job, even though I pull out 
a little more hair every day. If you like challenging public 
policy and trying to manage change, California water is not a bad 
place to be. 

John Wodraska: Current MET General Manager, 1993 to Present 

Chall: Now, what about working with the new general manager? I don t 
know anything about him. 

Quinn: Mr. [John] Wodraska. We call him Woody. Woody is a strong 
internal manager. I mean, Woody pays attention to what s 
happening in the organization; to how much it s costing you to 
push the water through your water treatment plants. On those 
scores, Woody has very strong capabilities as a public agency 
manager, but he s less interested in the vision side of the 

Carl was a visionary who basically delegated the day-to-day 
operations of the organization to assistant general managers. 
Dick Balcerzak was the assistant general manager that basically 
ran the day-to-day operations of Metropolitan. So the treatment 
plants, and moving water through the system and worrying about 
what was going to be happening in the operations of the State 
Water Project next yearall of that was handled by Balcerzak. 
Carl clearly had an interest in the efficient operation of the 
organization and provided guidance, but his primary energies were 
directed at changing the policy direction of Metropolitan, rather 
than in directing day-to-day decisions. 


In those days, Metropolitan was less cost conscious, but we 
were still relatively cheap up until the environmental revolution 
started to catch up to us and surpass us. To make enough water 
available we built these magnificent engineering feats which were 
things to marvel, but once you got them built, all the costs were 
fixed costs and we had substantial contributions from property 
taxes to pay the bills. The system more or less hummed along. 

In that environment, we weren t nearly under the competitive 
pressure that we are today. Nobody ever thought of competing with 
us, for heavens sake, to go out and get their own water. Nobody 
was talking about privatizing treatment plants in the water 
business . 

Carl looked to the long-term vision and was less involved in 
the day-to-day operations of the business. Woody tends to be the 
reverse. So Woody and Carl have very different styles. 

With all respect, if Woody had been the general manager in 
1985, I suspect we would have evolved very differently. You had 
to be willing to take the lumps and sacrifice the old 
relationships. That s a hard thing to do. Not very many people 
had the courage or foolishnessagain, depending upon your 
perspectiveto follow through and actually do it. 

Chall: So, actually these two came at the right time. They were sort of 
in place at the right time. 

Quinn: I would argue that each has attributes that fit their situation 
relatively well. We needed a person of vision at the time of 
Carl. We needed to realign politics. A number of times I had 
conversations with Woody where he recognized that Carl was able to 
do things that were hard to do and which we are glad were done. 

Carl recognized a need for change, but in the world of 
politics, you need to be a consummate coalition builder and 
consensus builder if you want sustainable change --change that will 
last over time. Carl retired when acrimony within the water world 
was at its peak. Carl retired in early 1993 right after the CVPIA 
was passed, and that was probably the point of the greatest 
divisiveness. You ve got to go back to 1982 to get to a period 
where the water community was more at war with itself. It turns 
out that my own skills tend to head off in the direction of 
negotiation and consensus building. That s what I think I m 
fairly good at. 


Assessing the Need for "Revolutionary" Changes Within the 
Urban, Agricultural, and Environmental Communities 

Chall: So now we re where we re going to be at the end of next week when 
I want to talk to you about the plans for the new arrangement with 
CALFED [California Federal Bay Delta Process]. 

Quinn: I firmly believe that we had to go through these times. We had to 
go through revolutionary change. Revolution by naturewell, 
political revolution by its natureyou are winning something that 
you can t win by consensus. I have an anecdote that drives this 
point home. I had a conversation with Jerry Butchert [General 
Manager of Westlands Water District] in the spring of 1992 while 
all this CVPIA stuff was going on. We had been through a process 
we called the Three-Way Process in California at the time. I was 
one of the people heavily involved in that Three-Way Process. 
Carl and I were the Metropolitan representatives most of the time. 

I believed in my heart of hearts that there were consensual 
ways to deal with the problem. We were talking about dedicating a 
million acre-feet of water to the environment. We were talking 
about other actions that would be required to right some of the 
wrongs that had been done to the environment. That was part and 
parcel to the Three-Way Process. 

Jerry Butchert was heavily involved in that process as well. 
I remember pleading with him in the spring of 1992 at an ACWA 
conference in the Palm Springs area that we needed to do it by 
consensus in California. Otherwise, if we didn t deal with the 
forces of change that were upon us, it would happen in Washington 
and it would be much worse- -on them and on us. Jerry said 
something to me, and it was like it hung in the air. He said, 
"Tim, you have to understand this. Some things you can give away; 
some things have to be taken away." 

And the CVPIA was part of a process in which the 
environmentalists were essentially saying, "Okay, we understand 
that political dynamic; we ve got the power to take it away." And 
in the CVPIA change was happening that was revolutionary. I was 
working for consensual outcomes at the Three-Way Process. I think 
Carl understood that we had to go and fight this fight in 
Washington and wasn t having as negative a reaction as I was. I 
was disappointed at the time that we couldn t take command of our 
own destiny and work this out in a stakeholder negotiation. 
Again, you live, you learn. But what happened in 1992 was that 
agriculture lost something that they couldn t give away. It was 
revolutionary change, and the status quo was so dramatically 
changed that all of the sudden, going into 1993 and certainly by 


1994, agriculture realized that they also had to become change 
advocates. That s a common interest that we now have. We both 
need changenot just the urban interestsand that has been very 
powerful stuff in terms of rebuilding relations over time. 

Now, in the aftermath of the environmental revolution, 
California has to decide which direction to go through the CALFED 
process. Ultimately, revolutions are judged not just by winning 
the revolution, but by the answer to the question, "Can you govern 
what you have won?" We went through revolutionary change from 89 
to 94 in California water. The CALFED process puts the challenge 
to us: can we now govern that revolutionary change? 

Chall: And that hasn t been easy. 

Quinn: And that has not been easy and its success is still to be 
determined. So I have been at a fascinating place at a 
fascinating time in California water. 

Chall: It certainly is. 

I think then that we ll start next week with the writing of 
the Seymour bill which we ve already begun to discuss, and then 
we ll go into some of these other items about the passage of the 
CVPIA which are on this chronology. Then I ll talk to you about 




[Interview 2: December 19, 1997] ## 

Drafting and Introducing the Seymour Bill. S. 2016 

Chall: Mr. Boronkay, I m going to quote from your article with Mr. 
[Warren] Abbott. You said, "A trek through both houses of 
Congress in achieving this legislation was itself an 
intriguing, emotional adventure too lengthy and diverting for 
this article." That s what we want to get into today, the 
intrigue and the emotion. "In summary, key agricultural 
representatives invited urban agencies to support a substitute 
bill... [which] included an acceptable water marking section." 1 

What I wanted to ask you was how did you get invited? I 
mean, when you say water agencies, who besides you were in on 
that? I know that David Schuster and [Stuart] Somach had 
written drafts of several bills before Senator Seymour came 
into the picture. So, how and when were you invited, and why? 

Boronkay: Well, we were invited because I appeared at a hearing of 

Senator Bradley in Sacramento and said we support the marketing 
provisions of his bill, or the water transfer provisions of the 
bill, which were relatively minor. I mean that bill was a mass 
of economic reform and even more on environmental restoration 
with a throwaway line that the secretary can sell some water. 
Well, that was an opening. I had been thinking of water 
marketing for years, but it really was in the back of my mind. 
We had projects to build. Then with Tim Quinn coming aboard, I 

Carl Boronkay and Warren J. Abbott. "Water Conflicts in the Western 
United States," Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 20: 137-166, 1997. p. 
144. On deposit in the Water Resources Center Library. 


had someone I could talk to occasionally on the soundness of 
water marketing from a broad policy level, a broad societal 
level. I would talk to him because he was a brilliant 
economist and had a very broad outlook. 

So, once I appeared there at the Bradley hearing, and I 
believe I filed a written statement as well, the ag 
[agricultural] representatives were just shocked. They 
shouldn t have been; we were workingTim and Iwith them in 
meetings with agricultural agencies and urban agencies for a 
long time pursuing means of getting some transfers of water 
from ag to urban use direct transfer or conjunctive use, or 
whatever; he could tell you more on specifics. There were a 
number of potentials, none of which came to fruition by this 

So, when I did that, suddenly, I was a player in 
Washington. I didn t think of it that way. I mean I wasn t 
seeking to be a personal player, but suddenly the age-old 
agriculture /urban alliance was shattered, maybe not 
irreparably, but shattered. People were surprised and 
identified me as the one to deal with. 

Chall: Do you mean it was shattering or shattered at that point? 

Boronkay: Well, it was shattered but not necessarily a complete break. 
It s like an earthquake; it shakes up things and if it keeps 
shaking, it gets even further apart. So, they started out and 
they were shocked at this , but that s the way it went . I was 
convinced that the time had come for other reasons that I ve 
indicated in that article that we at MET had to make some 
changes in the state s ag water use, as an urban entity, with 
projections of serious water shortages, but also all urban 
entities that were subject to growth or in the process of 
growth . 

We hadn t earlier looked to significant transfers of ag 
water; but now, the huge amount of developed water in this 
state that s devoted to irrigation had to be considered to some 
degree as a source for urban supply, and I made that pitch. I 
had developed this alternative at board meetings in the two 
years prior to that by saying, "We re trying to work out deals 
with ag agencies . " Tim was out there working with Arvin- 
Edison, I think, at around this time, and perhaps others that 
he ll tell you about. 

So, the board had gotten used to our idea of a transfer of 
ag water. That didn t come easily to them. They were very 
close to the ag community. They didn t distinguish themselves 



Boronkay : 

from the ag community. There were water users, ag and urban 
together, and on the opposite side were the environmentalists; 
there were just two sides. By appearing in Sacramento before 
the Bradley committee, in effect, I created a third side. 

I say "I" a lot, and it s rather immodest, but I took the 
lead in the effort to do that. No one was there pushing me; 
the board certainly didn t push me. I had to persuade the 
board and at all times maintain support of the board. It s a 
large board; they had a lot of people who were influenced by 
agricultural friends and associates. Also, a lot of people on 
the board could be influenced by Governor Wilson and the 
administration, and others who were close to agriculture. So, 
I had to be very wary. 

So, when you said, "How did you get to Seymour?" We very 
carefully kept our interests in these Miller bills that had 
been around for years, and now the major Bradley bill, which is 
a colossal taking of water--! mean seemed colossal--away from 
ag use to environmental use. I had to restrict carefully 
everything I said. "We re supporting water marketing. We re 
supporting water transfers." I d never go out and say, "Oh, 
we re for all these other things." We stayed away from that. 

I felt that independently of my own views on those things 
that I was much safer with regard to the board by saying, 
"Well, here s MET s particular interest." I didn t want to get 
into an argument with board members that we are supporting the 
environmental changes here, or the economic changes, and the 
renewal contracts for the farmers. 

So, did Senator Seymour, himself, or the people who had been 
writing the previous bills invite you in? 

Well, this is where Tim will come in. But what happened first 
was I was contacted by various ag leaders. I think it was 
Somach, but it probably, at the initial part, may have been 
[Jason] Peltier and others, and maybe Steve Hall, all the top 
ag people. They were saying they want to have their own bill 
to make some of the environmental changes and improve the 
situation in the Delta. They said they would put in some 
marketing or water transfer provisions that were satisfactory 
to us, "Do we want to talk about them?" I said sure. I mean 
our policy at MET was that we wanted to advance the cause of 
water marketing. We weren t going to pick at this point any 
particular author, if Seymour was to be an author, well, that s 
fine. So, I went and spoke to them, and eventually we had a 
meeting with all of them, Tim and I, and he really was the main 


one negotiating the specific language for us, 
Diego at one of those conventions. 

This was at San 

Quinn: It was the climax of several months of activity. 
Boronkay: Yes, why don t you explain it? 
Chall: Writing S. 2016. 

Quinn: Carl was working very closely particularly with Somach in my 
recollection. He was on the phone with Stu a great deal. At 
the same time, we were having the so-called three-way 
discussions, which eventually became a casualty of the Miller- 
Bradley legislative war. At the time, we were getting 
togethersometimes ag and urban and other times ag, urban, and 
environmentalists fairly frequently. I can remember a key 
session between ag and urban interests around a swimming pool 
in some hotel or motel up in the Bay Area. I think it was one 
of the ones near the Oakland Airport. 

It was Jerry Butchert, Jason Peltier, [Stu] Somach, and I 
think probably [Tom] Clark, and some of the state water 
contractors, but they were very quiet in this. Why Schuster 
was so active when he worked for Clark at the time was always a 
mystery. There were a lot of discussions at that time that led 
to the negotiations down at the Del Coronado, where we finally 
got closure on what would be the water transfer provisions of 
S. 2016. 

Boronkay: At San Diego, was it Coronado? 

Quinn: It was at the Hotel Del Coronado; I remember which room. 

Boronkay: I recall that meeting and Tim was doing the negotiating. I was 
doing a lot of other things at those conventions; there were 
lots of other activities that go on. Then, he found me. One 
thing that Tim and I felt certain about, the line in the sand, 
was that the farmer had to be permitted to sell water, within 
certain restrictions, a limited amount in each area. A number 
of reasonable restrictions, but it had to be the farmer. If 
it s the district, which was the other argument, the district 
politically may find that undesirable, the districts being 
fewer, you don t have as good a competition. For a lot of 
reasons, and Tim probably will remember more, we just felt we 
had to have that . 

So, he came out and found me and said, "We re pretty close 
on everything, but they don t want to give us farmer-initiated 
transfers. They re holding it to the district." So, I talked 

to him before we went in, and I said, "Well, we re holding out 
there." So, I went in and I said, "No, that s something we 
have to have. We re not interested in pursuing this any 
further without that . " 

Chall: Did they give it to you? I ve forgotten. 
Boronkay: They did. 

Chall: They did, and that s why Peltier says that these were gut 
wrenching sessions? Were they gut wrenching from his 
perspective or were you all feeling it? 

Quinn: Very, very tense. It was very tense. Carl, do you remember 
kicking me under the table? [laugher] We had developed a 
relationship by that time. In the early days of one s 
employment when you re in the room with Carl and Myron 
[Holburt], staff didn t speak, Carl and Myron spoke. But by 
this time, we had developed a level of trust that Carl would 
let me negotiate. But when he thought I was being a little too 
talkative--. I guess four or five times at that sessionyour 
foot and my shin collided. 

Boronkay: It was just a matter of tactics there, reading the other 

Quinn: We were very close, and we knew it. 

Boronkay: Personally, Timwhatever he did was okay. However it came 
out, I know that we couldn t have done better. But to the 
extent that he used to call me in, I simply could not 
subordinate [chuckles] my natural lawyer instincts. So, I 
would judge how they re going and the likelihood of their 
giving in. But that s all on the side; we worked extremely 
well together and accomplished what we sought . 

After that, I flew to Washington to meet with Somach. 
Actually we had submitted language, and they had submitted 
language, and we had gone over it. So, we had what was the 
last draft, and they wanted my signature or agreement. I think 
I was there alone with Somach. 

Quinn: Yes. 

Boronkay: Because I remember this happened. We went over a few things. 
You and I went over how far we d could go on this , what we 
would do here. We argued some more, Somach and I, and pretty 
much negotiated everything out, but things were unclear, and 
this or that had to be added. We all came to those conclusions 


that this was a good basis and we ve got to make these changes. 
Well, the next morning, the bill was introduced by Seymour with 
no changes. I called him [Somach] and he said, "Oh, well, 
those are all going to be made," but they feel that it had to 
start. Well, one thing it did, from then I didn t completely 
trust them. Who expected a bill in a form like that to be 

Quinn: They were very keen to get Carl s support, and therefore 
Metropolitan s support. 

Boronkay: And then, they paraded that all over the Hill that Boronkay s 
gone with us, this is MET s bill. I thought we were taken 
advantage of at the start, but it was a good learning lesson. 

Quinn: But it did start that series of events when we were perceived 
to be supporting particular politicians, and political views, 
when all we were supporting was our interests in achieving some 
sound policy in the form of water transfer provisions in a 

I would like to take a minute to clarify things about what 
S. 2016 was and some conversations that were happening between 
us and the agricultural interests down at Del Coronado. When 
Carl agreed to S. 2016, he agreed to support the bill in 
principle, since we had wanted changes that never got made that 
were important. 

If you stood back and looked at S. 2016, it was a huge 
breakthrough for the CVP ag interests because they could parade 
Carl s name around, and they wanted very much to do that. They 
did it in ways which were not altogether ethical from our 
perspective, but that was the prize they were seeking. We had 
the best water transfer language, I think, that could have been 
worked out at the time, and we had agricultural interests 
actually saying they supported water transfers. That was a 
huge step forward at that time. But, it was in the context of 
S. 2016, which became very controversial and strongly opposed 
by the environmental community. 

But if you look at the provisions that were in S. 2016, on 
the whole it was not a bad draft bill. It was incomplete. The 
environmentalists had an all-water, no habitat improvement 
approach to the environment: S. 2016 was all-habitat and no 
water for the environment; neither of those polar extremes was 
going to work. S. 2016 had water transfer language in it that 
was very desirable from our perspective. It was very rational 
for us to say that it was a vehicle that looked attractive to 

oy me ooaca o Lmtt.u s - 
Tho Metropofitsr. Watftf Dittn 
65a of SoisNsro r.?: : .i:v<:a 



November 26, 1991 

(Executive Committee Action) 
Board of Directors (Water Problems Committee Action) 

General Manager 

The Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Act of 1991 
(S. 2016) 


Recently, federal legislation was introduced by 
Senator Seymour which proposes far-reaching reforms for the 
uses of Central Valley Project (CVP) water. The Central Valley 
Project Fish and Wildlife Act of 1991, S. 2016, would, for the 
first time, expressly permit the transfer of water outside the 
CVP service area. The bill also contains substantial 
provisions to protect, enhance, and restore Central Valley fish 
and wildlife resources. 

The water transfer provisions of S. 2016 would 
facilitate a variety of different types of water transfers. 
The bill would encourage projects like the Arvin-Edison/ 
Metropolitan Water Storage and Exchange Program and water 
conservation programs that could make water available for use 
outside the CVP service area. In addition, the legislation 
would permit landowner-initiated transfers involving the short 
er long-term fallowing of land. Fallowing-based transfer 
agreements would be limited to 20 percent of the total water 
use within a CVP contractor s service area. The bill provides 
that 80 percent of the water made available by fallowing could 
be exported for use outside the CVP service area. The 
remaining 20 percent would be divided equally, 10 percent for 
use by the local water district and 10 percent for 
environmental uses. 

The fish and wildlife provisions of S. 2016 include an 
extensive set of proposed projects to protect, enhance, and 
restore fish, wildlife, and other environmental resources in 
the Central Valley. The bill requires the implementation of a 
variety of initial environmental actions, including the 
installation of fish screens at the Tracy and Contra Costa 
County delta pumping facilities, a temperature control 
structure at Shasta Reservoir, and numerous other near-term 
actions to improve fish and wildlife resources. 

Over the longer-term, the bill requires the 

implementation of 13 specific actions by December 31, 2000, to 
protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat. These actions 


Board of Directors -2- November 26, 1991 

include developing adequate water flows, hatcheries, and other 
programs and facilities to protect salmon and steelhead 
fisheries in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers; providing 
water for wildlife refuges; and measures to help improve 
populations of striped bass. Other provisions of the bill would 
create the Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Task Force 
to identify and recommend the implementation of additional 
environmental actions, including the development of additional 
flows and habitat restoration to protect, enhance, and restore 
Central Valley fish and wildlife. S. 2016 also calls for 
federal and, in some cases, state funding to pay for the 
proposed environmental program. Finally, S. 2016 contains 
provisions to promote water conservation in agricultural areas. 

Nearly identical legislation was simultaneously 
introduced by Congressmen Dooley, Lehman, and others in the 
House of Representatives (H.R. 3876) . The only difference in 
the Senate and House versions of the bill is that the House bill 
contains a provision related to the construction of facilities, 
such as the Mid Valley Canal, to increase exports from the 
Delta, if sufficient water is available after considering the 
needs of the environment, as specified in the Act, and the needs 
of existing CVP contractors. 

We believe that the basic approach in S. 2016 is 
sound. However, negotiations regarding the bill s specific 
provisions are expected to continue and amendments may be 
incorporated to make the bill more effective in encouraging 
water marketing and improving the environment. 

Board Committee Assignments 

This letter is referred to: 

a. Water Problems Committee for action because of its 
authority to make recommendations regarding water policies, 
pursuant to Administrative Code Section 2481 (a) ; and 

b. Executive Committee for action because it is in regard 
to policy and procedures to be considered by the Board, pursuant 
to Administrative Code Section 2417 (e) . 


It is recommended that your Board support in principle 
the Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Act of 1991; 
(S. 2016). 

THQ : kmk 

... Act of 1991, and encourage all parties to continue negotiations 
with all members of Congress and other interests who have been and 
are making efforts to resolve water issues in California. 


I don t remember if you were there, Carl. I had lunch with 
[Jason] Peltier and [Jerry] Butchert the day after we closed 
the negotiations. I think you had gone to Washington, and I 
was trying to work through relationships with the agricultural 
interests at the Hotel Del Coronado. We had lunch across the 
street from the hotel. I said, "Do you guys understand we re 
not done?" I analyzed the situation then just the way I just 
did now. "The environmentalists have got an all-water, no 
habitat bill; you ve got an all-habitat, no water bill; that s 
not going to get you to closure. 

"You have to be prepared to move." Metropolitan wanted a 
successful bill to get through that would have to have all of 
those elements if our transfer provisions were going to get 
through. I m not sure if the ag interests agreed with the need 
to negotiate at the time. I think they were still very much in 
a state of denial, thinking that somehow the United States 
Senate never rolls a home-state senator. I don t think they 
appreciated the power and the brilliance of Miller s strategy 
of wrapping this thing up in the omnibus bill. 

Carl Boronkay s Single Interest in Water Marketing Confuses 
Seymour Bill Proponents 

Boronkay: One thing you have to realize about Tim is that he always saw a 
bigger picture than other parties. Even today, although I 
don t always agree with him, he has a knack of seeing the 
interests of the other side. He ll make a legitimate effort to 
see the agricultural interests and that helps him formulate a 
bill that should be suitable for them and, of course, he knows 
our interests. But even though he s able to do that, he s not 
always able to convince them of what s in their interests. 

Chall: Can anybody? 

Boronkay: Well, sometimes you can if you try. I certainly make that 

effort or have made that effort where I think there s an open 
mind or the potential is there, but sometimes you find that 
they re not really listening, that they re somewhere else. 

I can illustrate that here. After the board supported this 
Seymour bill, I went to Washington on a number of occasions and 
attended meetings with Tom Jensen, that s Senator Bradley s 
aide, and with them were the chief aides on the Republican 
side. They were bitter, hostile, terrible meetings. You never 


realized, if I don t say anything, he ll be misled. So, I 
said, "Metropolitan is not opposed to those bills." Well, he 
jumped out of his chair, six-foot-six of him, just jumped, 
literally shocked. 

He just jumped up in the air; he could have dunked a 
basketball at about that point. He s very nice about it. He 
said, "Carl, I have to know where you are. I mean there s a 
lot I can do, but I have to know where all of us are. If 
you re not with us, I have to know that." I said, "Well, I m 
in favor of the Seymour bill, but I cannot say that we re 
against other bills." Well, the meeting ended. He was cordial 
and everything but not happy, and I was a little nervous, but 
that was it. Outside, I looked at Bob Will, and he said, "I 
guess you had to tell him," and that was that. 

But again, you see I was just trying to get a bill through. 
I didn t know, at that point, whose bill would get through, or 
if any bill would get through. Then, I ll give you a third 

Analyzing Senator John Seymour s Understanding of the Dynamics 
of the Debate 

Boronkay: I met time and again with Senator Seymour, time and again about 
how the bill was going. I asked him on one occasion, "Where is 
the governor on this? I thought he d be supporting the bill," 
and he d say, "No, he s not yet." 

Then, another time I saw him and said, "You know, this 
looks bad. We re supporting a bill for California, and 
California s governor isn t supporting it. There are even 
people from the governor s staff that say the governor doesn t 
feel he needs any bill. Now, that s not exactly opposing a 
bill, but it s damn close." He said, "Carl, I spent two hours 
with the governor last week in California and I can t get him 
to come out for it, but you shouldn t care if we don t have a 
bill because the governor just said he will be taking over the 
Central Valley Project." 

This really gave me pause because here I am dealing with 
the senator and it s sensitive, and it s major, and I am 
realizing that he doesn t understand the importance to MET of 
such legislation. I said, "Senator, I haven t any good reason 
to believe that the federal government is going to give that 
project to Governor Wilson. There are certainly Democrats that 


have indicated they re against it." At this time, I didn t say 
this, but I learned subsequently even the federal farmers 
didn t want it. They were getting a huge subsidy, which they 
didn t think they d get from the state. 

So, here is the senator telling me suddenly while I m 
working to get his bill passed, "Well, even if it doesn t pass 
--" Now, that s suddenly a state of mind that I never saw 
before. He s already able to concede that his bill won t go 
anywhere and is telling me that it s okay because the governor 
will get the CVP transferred to state control. I said, "Not 
only won t he get it, in my opinion, I don t have any reason to 
think the urban users will be any better off if CVP was in the 
governor s authority rather than where it is now." He stopped 
there and he just nodded and we went our ways. 

Chall: Well, the environmentalists say that Seymour never came to the 
table, as it were; he never made any offers of amendments. 
There are others, Mr. Golb for example, who feel that he did; 
at times he would offer something, but it was never defined. 1 
What was your take on Seymour? Did he think that it wouldn t 
matter if a bill didn t pass, or that it wouldn t pass, because 
California ag would always have the other agriculture senators 
behind them? 

Boronkay: Well, Tim is going to contribute more to this, but have in mind 
that the ag community never did unite behind Seymour s bill. 
He knew that. 

Chall: Or any bill. 

Boronkay: Or any bill. In fact, it occurred to me one day that the best 
thing for ag was not to pass the Seymour bill, but simply to 
have no bill. I foresaw at one point that they were going to 
fight to have all those bills defeated, and that s the biggest 
victory for ag. 

Chall: Those bills, meaning which bills? 

Boronkay: The Seymour bill and the Bradley-Miller bill. If neither one 
made it, that s the biggest victory, rather than a Seymour ag 
bill, because they re better off with what they have. So, I 
was more and more concerned about identifying totally with the 
Seymour bill, which I tried never to do, but people were 

Richard K. Golb, "Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act," 1991-1992. Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1997, pp. 30-32. 


thinking that because I heard in Washington that I was strongly 
behind the Seymour bill. I d have to tell them, "Well, when 
another bill comes up with good water marketing provisions I 
would probably support it," and they hadn t come out yet. I 
finally did testify before Miller s committee on his bill. 

There was another occasion where I met Seymour; the 
prospect for his bill wasn t looking good anymore. He couldn t 
get the governor s support, ag was split. I went to the Los 
Angeles Times and talked to this editorial writer who was the 
new fellow who replaced [Bill] Burby, I believe. I think he 
replaced Burby. It was Frank Del Olmo who writes now on a lot 
of minority, and civil rights, and societal issues, but he 
started out writing some water editorials for the Times. 

I explained Bradley "s bill and Seymour s bill, and he wrote 
an article a day or two later, and it said, "Both of these 
bills have merit, and they both ought to pass and be settled in 
a conference committee." I thought I had done Seymour a great 
service, because the Times might have opposed his bill as being 
short on environmental concerns . 



So, the Times , in effect, supported what MET was doing; get 
both bills through and work it out in committee. I saw Seymour 
after that in Washingtona day or two after thatand he said, 
"Did you see that article?" 

[Richard] Golb was there; Golb was always there. The 
senator said, "Gee, we were really disappointed in that." I 
said, "Why would you be disappointed? It supports your bill." 
"Well, it s supporting the Bradley effort." I said, "To them, 
they just want the substance. They want the legislation. It s 
not a political matter, or an election thing 
didn t buy that. They were unhappy with the article, 
number of occasions, they would press me "to come out 
forthright for Seymour only," and I never would, 
always a little disturbed with me. 

Well, they 
On a 

Golb was 

Was your relationship with Seymour then unpleasant or hostile? 

Oh, no, no, very pleasant, very cordial. His manner was always 
friendly. When we got down to issues, I just didn t move the 
way he wanted. He wanted me totally on his side, and he wanted 
a great effort to defeat the other bills. He really undermined 
my confidence in him when he said, "We really won t be hurt if 
there s no bill, because the governor is going to get the CVP." 


When he told me that, I realized how important and wise it was 
that we stayed on both sides of this legislation. 

Carl Boronkay Moves to Realign the Politics of Western Water 

Chall: All right, now I want to go back just a bit on this matter of 
the lobbyist, which you brought up, because Robert Will was 
your lobbyist; he was also a lobbyist for the Westlands Water 
District. Is that correct? 

Quinn: Yes. 

Chall: And that s more than a conflict of interests, that s a real 
conflict. Isn t it? I mean how could he do both? 

Quinn: It s an excellent illustration of the dilemma that Carl found 
himself in. If you stand back and look at the bigger picture 
of what was going on in those days, the agricultural and the 
environmental interests were doing what always came natural. 
The environmentalists were being deeply critical of the water 
industry, especially agriculture. The agricultural interests 
were being very defensive, trying to protect the status quo. 
It was the urbans who were changing their traditional role, 
although that s a big stretch, because it wasn t the urbans in 
those days; it was Carl Boronkay pretty much alone. 

Chall: Yes, because the urbans were also divided. 

Quinn: It was Carl who was trying to redefine some of the 

relationships and move to a different place. Historically, the 
fact that Bob Will was comfortable being Westlands 1 lobbyist 
and Metropolitan s lobbyist, that was a reflection of the past. 
If Carl had been willing to go to the comfortable historic 
place, he would have simply done what everybody was urging him 
to do, but his instincts told him that he couldn t do that. 
The urbans at this time were emerging as a force for change, 
primarily around the water marketing issue, but on other issues 
as well. 

Eventually, I may want to talk about the May testimony that 
Carl delivered, because it was not just water marketing. It 
was strategically positioning usurban interests--much more 
towards the middle of trying to stand up for a future that had 
more balance in it, because the status quo was too heavily 
weighted toward agriculture. 


Boronkay: What hearing was that in May? 

Quinn: I think it was Miller s bill. [H.R. 5099] 

Boronkay: Miller s bill, oh, yes. I agree with you, go ahead, you 

Quinn: Carl was breaking all the rules. Nobody had ever seen somebody 
go to Washington and do what Carl was doing at the time. My 
impression was Carl was going totally on instinct, and I was 
getting bits of the story, but most of the weight Carl was 
carrying on his shoulders. 

Boronkay: Don t forget where you are right now [in the story], but you ve 
caused me to remember that Ray Corley, our lobbyist in 
Sacramento, told me that there was a meeting up there and Doug 
Wheeler told everybody, "We ve got to keep Boronkay out of 
Washington." [laughter] I just thought that was as funny as 
can be. How can you do that? He was very serious. He said, 
"Our problem is we ve got to keep Boronkay out of Washington." 
I guess I was flattered but basically thought it was 

Quinn: Eventually, as it turned out--and we ll get to the end of the 
story later--CVPIA was the first time that the urbans spoke 
forcefully independently of the agricultural community on a 
political matter; they didn t like that. It started with Carl. 
Carl carried the weight of the world on his shoulders for 
months upon months. 

In the end, though, the Western Urban Water Coalition was 
formed that year and that allowed Carl and Metropolitan to 
approach it from two angles. We took up positions ourselves, 
but we were also part of a recently formed Western states urban 
water coalition. Urban interests had always been stifled 
within the NWRA [National Water Resources Association] , which 
was an agriculture-dominated organization that spoke for 
western water in Washington, D.C. I don t know the extent to 
which Carl was rationalizing or thinking about it in his head, 
but what he was doing was very forcefully realigning the 
politics of western water. It started with CVPIA. 

Boronkay: WUWC was a continuation of the concept of CUWA in California, 
and they testified--. 

Quinn: CUWA didn t testify because CUWA was a nonpolitical 
organization under California law. 

Boronkay: No, but the common interests of urbans passed also to the 
urbans of the western states, and they did testify before 
Miller. I remember a lot of the ridicule of Western Urban 
Water Association, when it started from ag people in 

Quinn: WUWU, they called it, W-U-W-U. 

Boronkay: They were derisive that these urban people in the West are 
moving away from these ag states, but they were definitely 
significant and helpful at that point. 

Quinn: The Western Urban Water Coalition was formed in 1992. WUWC 

hired as its national representative Guy Martin, who had been 
assistant secretary at a very young age in the Carter 
administration and was very well connected to the Democrats. 
He was a long time personal friend of Miller, knew all the 
Democrats on the Hill. From the perspective of the 
agricultural community in California, these were very ominous 
events because they did represent change. 

They couldn t count on the great and powerful Metropolitan 
Water District anymore to line up in their corner. The urbans 
were voicing an independent view, which we continue to do 
today. Today, we assert ourselves very much as an independent 
voice. A lot of the partnering with agriculture is determined 
by common interests. In "92 we were just breaking away. 1 
think it will go down as one of the most important times in 
natural resource politics in the West. 

Boronkay: Let me mention another thing. Tim may be able to fill in 
because I was gone when it came to the board. 

Quinn: This is when you became "Kenya Carl." 

Boronkay: Another trip I made to Washington, always generally at Bob 
Will s arranging. Bob was in between. I think I had moved 
ahead of him in seeing Metropolitan as more independent of 
other water users in the West, particularly agriculture. I 
think he came to that understanding, but it was a slow process. 
It s not a reluctance; it s not deliberately saying I don t 
want to be there; it just takes some maturation, breaking old 
habits. I think he had to catch up to me, and eventually he 
did. But Quinn will tell you more there. 


Senator Bennett Johnston s Mark Stirs the Water-Agriculture 

Boronkay: So, on one trip to Washington, Bob arranged a meeting, a very 
useful meeting, with Senator Bennett Johnston, chairman of the 
whole energy committee [Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources] , and a very powerful man in the Senate. At this 
time, they re having a lot of trouble moving the Bradley bill. 
Suddenly, that night at dinner, Bob hands me a Bennett Johnston 
bill, which was like the Bradley bill in favoring the 
environment, maybe even more. They went definitely into big 
time reduction in ag water use, and was a very heavily 
environmentally leaning bill. 1 

Chall: That s the mark-up? 

Boronkay: Yes. 

Quinn: The chairman s mark. 

Chall: Well, how did you think that came about? Did you have any ideas? 

Boronkay: Well, I ll just say how it first struck me. I never heard of 
it; I didn t know anything about it. I m meeting Bob for 
dinner. I just got in late, I m meeting for dinner; we re 
going to see Bennett Johnston in the morning. He hands me a 
thick bill, and he says, "Johnston put this bill out there." I 
said, "What? Why would that be? How would that come about?" 
He says, "I don t know." We look at that bill and, of course, 
it s a stronger bill than anything dealing with these issues so 
far. We knew there was going to be a major fight over it. 

I have, on top of that, a morning meeting with Bennett 
Johnston to support the Bradley bill and support the Seymour 
bill. I go to that meeting and now I have his own bill. Well, 
I met him and he says, "What do you think of the bill?" I say, 
"Well, Metropolitan certainly supports water marketing at this 
point." [chuckles] He says, "Well, I hope you ll be able to 
support the bill." Then there s a roll call ring; he s gone. 
Everyone is out on the Senate floor to stop a filibuster; your 
time has expired and you don t see him again. 

So, now I have to come back to MET. I ve supported the 
Seymour bill. I told them we re in support of Bradley too, 
though I think I didn t have a [board] vote on the bill, but 
our whole attitude was we re going to ride whatever horses 

Senator Bennett Johnston distributed his mark February 20, 1992. 


there are and do the best we can. A lot of people said, "Well, 
Bennett Johnston s bill will be the worst thing we could have." 
I mean everyone is upset. The ag community that we ve been 
dealing with on the Seymour bill was very upset with his bill. 
Johnston s bill really surprised and upset everyone. 

I said, "I don t see logically how we could not support 
that bill. Our policy is to support any acceptable water 
marketing bill. That s what the board determined originally 
when I asked about the Seymour bill." I said, "Let s support 
the Seymour bill," and board members said, "We don t want to 
get political. We don t want to just tie ourselves to Seymour. 
He s in an election and we want to be careful we re not branded 
as being on one side or the other." I said, "No, we ll support 
any bill that moves Metropolitan s interests." 

So, here comes a bill that upsets the entire California 
agricultural community and the people we re dealing with on the 
Seymour bill. I thought hard about it and said to Tim, 
"There s no way I could fail to support this, as a matter of 
logic. How would I explain not supporting it?" People were 
telling me, "You re really going to get in trouble on this 
one." I said, "People have been telling me I m going to get in 
trouble right along." I said, "The logic of it is compelling. 
I don t have any reason not to." 

So, I drafted a board letter to support the Johnston bill. 1 
But, as circumstance had it, six months earlier I had paid a 
big amount of money to go to Cairo and Kenya--my wife, and I, 
and the Holburts--my assistant general manager, Myron Holburt, 
and his wife. So, that letter was submitted to the board. But 
before the board meeting, I left. I asked my very talented 
assistant general manager, Duane Georgeson, to manage it. Of 
course, Tim would be the person it was turned over to because 
he was the one who knew it all. Duane being at a higher level 
would substitute for me in my absence but didn t know our 
legislative activities to this extent. So, I ll stop here and 
let Quinn tell you what happened. 

Solving the Lobbying Dilemma 

Chall: Okay now, but we have to go back because you really didn t 

finish answering the question that I have about Robert Will, 

Report of February 25, 1992 on deposit in the Water Resources Center 


whether it was possible for him to be your lobbyist and the 
Westlands Water District s lobbyist. 

Quinn: We re getting there. 

Chall: The reason I ask you that because I wanted to find out about 
your whole lobbying project. I mean how you lobbied? 

Boronkay: Well, it s bill by bill, though. You see, there was no time 
that he was representing Westlands fighting the Miller bill. 

Quinn: Let me jump ahead a little bit in time and then we can come 

back because it s important. Carl came to the conclusion that 
Bob could not serve both masters. It was a very hard decision 
for Carl. This was after you came back from Kenya, Carl. 

Boronkay: Right along when we took the position on these bills, firstly 
on the Seymour Bill, well, that was consistent with Westlands, 
so it was no problem. But as we got away from that as the only 
legislation we supported, it became manifest that he s in an 
impossible position. 

Quinn: It really started coming to a head when the chairman s mark 
came out. 

Chall: Right, okay. 

Quinn: During that month, when Carl was gone, Duane and I had some 
pretty serious wrestling matches with our Washington 
representative. Quite frankly, Duane went back and did the 
lobbying for Metropolitan during that month because Bob had 
been pushed to a point where he was really out of sorts. We 
simply weren t on the same wavelength. We ought to keep in 
mind, the changes here were tremendous. Bob was being asked to 
go against everything he had done in his entire career. 

When Carl came back, we talked. Carl, as friendly as he 
could, confronted Bob and made Bob choose. Carl was the one 
that did it so he needs to talk about it. 

Chall: Oh, I see. 

Quinn: Bob had been the general counsel, his roots were deep with 
Metropolitan. I think financially, he probably had more at 
stake with Metropolitan, and Bob chose Metropolitan and dropped 
Westlands as a client. 


Oh, is that right? 


Boronkay : 

Quinn : 



Quinn : 

It s another good illustration of what was going on between the 
two communities at the time. 

He then dropped all ag people, Arizona too. He felt the 
appearance, at the very least, was unsatisfactory. Tim is 
correct, I did give him that option. When we did the Seymour 
bill, that was okay; Westlands was one of the supporters. Or, 
it was consistent with Westlands 1 position. I m not sure 
Westlands ever voted to actually support the Seymour bill. 

I don t think they did. Westlands wanted to kill anything that 
moved; they did not want a bill, and we did want a bill, and 
that was the fundamental difference. I don t think we 
appreciated it at the Hotel Del Coronado. To Bob Will s 
credit, he works for Metropolitan today and helps us develop 
progressive positions. I ll never be able to understand fully 
what he was going through because it was his experience, but he 
must have been going through maybe the hardest time of any of 
us given the changes in relationships that were demanded by 
what was happening out here in California. 

Jason Peltier says, "The lobbyists from the west side," this he 
discusses with respect to the Somach-Graff , which we ll get to. 
He said, "The lobbyist from the west side opposed any 
legislation from the start," which is just what you said. 1 

Westlands, he said, hired 

All right, so now let me see. 
their own lobbyist. 

Because they lost Bob. 

Were you also in touch with the lobbyist from the environmental 
people like Dave Weiman? Did you all have any contact with 
them? Or, were you just out there saying, "I support whatever 
bill supports water marketing"? 

No, there were meetings, and certainly Tim was more involved. 

I was in the very earlier stages of developing a relationship 
with David. Weiman now works for Metropolitan part time. 

Jason Peltier interview, p. 53. 


How and Why the Seymour Bill Passed Out of the Senate Energy 
and Natural Resources Committee onto the Senate Floor 

Chall: Well, was it only Senator Seymour who refused to come to the 

table, as it were? I have a lot of questions here with respect 
to 2016. The Los Angeles Times said, when the bill came out on 
November 21, that Seymour dragged the state s urban water 
agencies and agribusiness over the Rubicon. Although, they 
claimed they liked the Bradley bill better. I guess a great 
break had been made at that point. 

To go back a bit. Senator Seymour claimed, apparently when 
he introduced the bill, that it was a beginning, and he was 
willing to consider any ideas from Californians on how to 
improve it. It is the product of California s groups: urban, 
agricultural, conservation interests all working together. It 
was written for California by Californians. 1 

Boronkay: May I ask you a question, Mrs. Chall? 
Chall: Yes. 

Boronkay: You say it represents the conservationists, and the urban 
people, and the ag people? 

Chall: That what Seymour said. 

Quinn: That s what Seymour said, and he did say that. 

Chall: I m quoting from his November 21 statement. 

Boronkay: I m not sure what conservationists he might have been referring 

Quinn: Yes, I m puzzled. 

Chall: Well, I think Golb, in his interview, points out all the 

conservation people Seymour had contact with, so he calls them 
conservationists . 2 

Boronkay: Okay, and just what the nature of their support was, I don t 

know. In our dealings, it was with the ag people and us making 
up the Seymour bill, improving it. I never felt that the 

Congressional Record. Senate, November 21, 1991. pp. S 17465-17466. 
2 Richard Golb interview, pp. 17-20. 



environmentalists did other than want to distance themselves 
from it, and defeat it, move only their own bill. I don t 
think they were interested in the Seymour bill. 

I think that we have to separate your term environmentalist 
from his term conservationist. 




Conservationist, yes. 

People in the Congress do that even 

Well, for what it s worth, I can only report the impression 
that I had at the time, of someone who was close but not in the 
rooms in Washington at the time. My impression was that 
Seymour was in fact trying to establish an anchor as a 
negotiating position and that he was prepared to deal with the 
issues. Certainly, the rumor flying around at the time was 
that Governor Wilson was not prepared to engage. 

Wilson did not want the federal government passing a bill. 
He had been persuaded by the west side interests that was the 
case. They would, from time to time, report somewhat sketchily 
about sessions that their growers were having with the 

I think, actually, one has to feel somewhat sorry for the 
position that Seymour was in. He had been maneuvered to try 
and structure a negotiating position, but no one in California 
was prepared to support him. He made this an important part of 
his re-election campaign, but he had absolutely no grassroots 
support, even the guy that appointed him, Governor Wilson, was 
not willing to support what he was putting on the table. He 
must have felt like the loneliest man in the United States 

But at the beginning he had some ag support, 
of money in the valley. 

He raised a lot 

At the beginning, Carl, in retrospect, I think it s fair to say 
the support was fairly disingenuous for the most part. 

Oh , okay . 

He certainly had our support because we were prepared to move 
forward and use the Seymour bill as a negotiating platform to 
deal with the environmentalists, and with Miller, and with 
Bradley. The lunch that I mentioned that I had with Butchert 
and Peltier. 1 told them in no uncertain terms, this is the 
beginning, it s not an end, and these are the major areas that 
we re going to have to resolve. They were agreeable to some 



Quinn : 

extent because they so wanted us to be there, but they were 
certainly not showing us all their cards at the same time. 
Everything started to come to head with the chairman s mark. 

The most important thing about the chairman s mark was when 
he dropped his bill and moved the Seymour bill out of 
committee. I didn t understand it at the time but at one level 
Johnston was saying that there was going to be an omnibus bill; 
CVP is going to be part of the omnibus bill [H.R. 429]. When 
Johnston moved Seymour s bill out of his committee, onto the 
Senate floor, and out of the Senate, he knew very well that 
Seymour s bill wasn t going to survive any conference 
committee. What he had done was hitch CVPIA inextricably into 
the bigger omnibus package, which was part of the Miller- 
Bradley political strategy from the beginning, and that was 
huge. That s why Seymour must have been extraordinarily 
unhappy when he saw his bill moving out in the Senate to be 
attached to the omnibus bill because that meant he was about to 
get eaten alive. For a senator to lose something like that, 
which affects his home state amazing! 1 

Let me just add this though. I m not sure everyone saw it at 
the time, though. 

I think Miller and Bradley saw it at the time. 

Yes, they may have. But at the time that Bennett Johnston just 
moved Seymour s bill, people were shocked. Environmentalists 
were shocked. 

Chall: That s right. 
Quinn: They were. 

Boronkay: We were shocked. I think a day or two later, Bob explained 
much of what you just told me, but at first we were quite 

Quinn: I learned this from Bob Will. 

Boronkay: The night it happened Bob was puzzled; he was still puzzled by 
what was going on there until the Johnston strategy was 
realized. I don t believe Seymour, at the time, realized that 
it was negative. He had gotten his bill out of committee! I 

The Seymour bill moved out of the Energy Committee and onto the 
Senate floor on March 19, 1992. It passed the Senate April 10, 1992. 


thought he, at the moment, was flying high, but just for the 
moment. Does Golb say otherwise? 

Chall: Yes, well, Golb feels that Seymour felt that it wasn t a great 
victory. I guess the question I have is that Golb says that in 
the committee, as it was being discussed- -that they went 
through all kinds of computations and figures to realize that 
nothing considered by the bills was going to work well. It was 
too complicated, or too expensive, that Seymour was willing to 
make quite a few changes in his own bill that would have come 
closer, perhaps, to the environmental side, but Senator 
Johnston would not allow any amendments. Therefore, no matter 
what Seymour might have wanted to change , he couldn t . 1 

Everybody s bill had to go out exactly as it was. Of 
course, there was only a mark so that wasn t a bill, so it was 
only 2016 and Bradley s S. 484. I asked Golb, well, even if he 
had made the changes, would agriculture have accepted them, and 
he said he didn t know; Seymour was taking a chance. 

Quinn: I strongly suspect that they would not, and everybody knew 
that, which took the air out of Seymour s sails. With the 
benefit of five years of hindsight, one strongly suspects that 
Bennett Johnston, and Bill Bradley, and George Miller had cut a 
deal. They didn t want to mess with 2016; they wanted to get 
to the real stuff, which was going to be using Miller-Bradley 
as a foundation, because you had the House side to deal with. 
Nothing was going to happen until then. 

George Miller had bottled up water projects all across the 
western states for a decade, however long he had been chairman. 
Miller had everything bottled up, nothing was going to happen 
without Miller s stamp. It just seems to me, in retrospect, 
it s hard to explain it any other way than Miller and Johnston, 
whatever their differences might have been, got together and 
said CVPIA was going to be part of the omnibus bill period and 
it wasn t going to be on the basis of Seymour s bill, it was 
going to be on the basis of Miller s bill. Normally, Miller 
could never roll a home state senator. But the planets had 
lined up and they were not going to line up again for a lot of 
years, which is one of the reasons why it was so intense. 

Golb interview, pp. 31-33. 


Chall: That s what Dan Beard said, that everything had lined up. 1 When 
Miller produced his H.R. 5099, which was like the mark, now you 
had a House bill to argue. 

Quinn: Well, if we might go back to... I m not sure where you want to 
go, Malca--. 

Chall: No, you go back to wherever you want. 

The Effect of the Johnston Mark on MET s Stance on the 
Competing Reform Bills; Setting Forth the Principles 

Quinn: Well, to the mark, and what was happening here in California, 

particularly at Metropolitan. As I look back on it, that month 
was a critical month of maturing of the Metropolitan with 
regard to these issues. The mark came out, Carl felt strongly 
that we couldn t not support the mark. I don t know if you 
remember it Carl, but I was trying to draft the board letter 
for you, it was not writing itself well, and you and I spent a 
lively couple of hours at your home the night before you left 
for Africa and finally came up with a draft. 

When 1 read the letter preparing for this interview, it 
seemed a rather schizophrenic letter. 

Boronkay: We were schizophrenic. 

Quinn: The answer was we support both; people weren t used to hearing 
that you could support guys on two sides of the aisle who are 
in such opposition. The mark had water marketing language in 
it; although, it was very poor marketing language. It did not 
do what we needed it to do, but what it signified was something 
was going to move and we wanted to be part of the process that 

Boronkay: In addition, a lot of pressure was put on the board including 

personal calls to influential board members and officers by the 
ag people and their supporters to withhold support of the mark. 

Quinn: The significant thing that happened while Carl was away was we 
moved from saying we support this bill or that bill to very 

Daniel Beard, Passage of the Central Valley Prolect Improvement Act. 
1991-1992. Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1995. pp. 18-20, 47. 


clearly saying we support a particular set of principles. We 
called a special meeting of the board on February 28. I don t 
remember for sure, Carl, if you were back for that special 
meeting or not. Instead of saying we support this bill and we 
support that bill, we said, we support provisions of CVP 
legislation only where legislation would promote the following. 
We listed the things that we were looking for in legislation, 
which allowed us from that point in time to dodge the question 
of do you support this bill or that bill. 


Quinn: One of the youngest members of our board at the time was Alf 
Brandt. Alf was extraordinarily valuable that week as a 
courier between me and the board. He was young but he was a 
board member, and the board tended to respect any of their 
fellows. Alf was progressive and was willing to take risks 
that maybe some other board members weren t. Alf and I were 
shuttling back and forth between committee rooms and my office 
trying to get down on paper a set of principles that would put 
us in good stead for whatever was left in Washington, D.C. 

We were also having some problems in Washington. Bob Will 
was just out of sorts with what was going on. He was very 
uncomfortable, which was part of the conversation we were 
having a while ago. The board finally wound up in this 
February 28, 1992 revised board letter 8-11. I think you have 
a copy; if you don t, I have one for you. 

The list of provisions that we said we would support 
included the following: water transfers, which was at the top 
of the list; fish and wildlife improvements, including water 
for the environment- -a big change for Metropolitan; water 
management reforms, including water metering and changes in 
water pricing; appropriate federal actions to pursue needed 
facilities; and other provisions consistent with Metropolitan s 
objectives. There were a couple of bombshells for the 
agricultural interests. 

What was happening in February, setting the stage for 
Carl s May testimony, was a broadening of our position to try 
and create something in the center, a middle ground that 
represented more balanced policy. Nobody else was doing that 
at that point in time. 

Boronkay: Do you want to explain how that came about, your ability to get 
you and Alf Brandt working on a board action that adopted a set 
of broad principles as opposed to voting in favor, or not in 
favor, of the Bennett Johnston letter, which was before then. 

ot Soi"~sr i C*. ; i;sn 
a: .TS :-.-...- ~i 

MAR 10 1992 




February 28, 1992 

Board of Directors (Water Problems CommitteeAction) 
General Manager 

Support in Principle for Central Valley Project Reform 


At their special meetings on February 28, 1992, the 
Executive Committee and Special Committee on Legislation 
revised the recommendation in the General Manager s letter of 
February 25, 1992, on the above subject to read as shown below. 



That the Board: 

1. Support efforts of the State of California to 
transfer the Central Valley Project (CVP) to the State of 

2. Authorize the General Manager to support 
provisions of CVP reform legislation that promote: water 
transfers; fish and wildlife improvements, including water for 
the environment; water management reforms, including water 
metering and changes in water pricing; appropriate federal 
actions to pursue needed facilities; and other provisions 
consistent with Metropolitan s objectives to increase the 
quantity, quality, and reliability of Metropolitan s water 
resources ; and 

3. Encourage all parties to continue negotiations 
with all members of the State Legislature, the United States 
Congress, the Governor of California, and other interests who 

Board of Directors -2- February 28, 1992 

have been and are making efforts to resolve water issues in 
California, recognizing the need for balance among 
environmental, agricultural, and urban uses of the State s 
water supplies. 


8- 11 rev. bd 


Quinn: You may be thinking of something particular. By the way, Carl, 
Duane at the time didn t understand the specific issues as well 
as I. I was living this day in and day out, but Duane was 
nothing short of spectacular, couriering back and forth between 
southern California and Washington, and sitting down and 
working with board members. At that time, I worked on these 
bills, Duane had the skills then that I have tried to develop 
in the five years since. We were afraid we were going to lose 
it while Carl was in Kenya. 

Chall: With whom was Duane working? Your board members? 

Quinn: When he went back to Washington it was all staff contact; he 

was not meeting with the committee members, but he was meeting 
with various staff people trying to explain what our positions 
were. In California, Mike Madigan was a member of our board of 
directors very close to Governor Pete Wilson. There were a 
number of people very close to Governor Wilson. In the 
governor s office, a key goal was to keep Boronkay out of 
Washington and stop Metropolitan from interfering with their 
strategies to kill this legislation. 

To save the proactive position Metropolitan was trying to 
create, we switched to supporting a set of principles. Then, 
some of the environmentally progressive members of our board 
were very persuasive as to broadening that set of principles 
that would allow us to play a role in the larger legislation; 
although we continued to focus 95 percent of our energies on 
the water marketing provisions, which was what was of primary 
interest to us. 

Boronkay: Let me supplement that, consistent with what Tim said. I 

believe that after I got back, I had a meeting with Brandt who 
explained what happened, what you said, but why it came about. 
By that time, the governor had called people on the MET s 

Quinn: He was calling our entire executive committee. 
Chall: That s what I understood. 

Boronkay: And the chair, Lois Krieger, was always questionable on this 
fight with ag. Mike Madigan was his lead man. Mike had been 
one of his aides when the governor was mayor of San Diego, so 
they go back a long ways. Mike is a very capable fellow 
politically in his own right. Mike lead a charge against the 
Bennett Johnston bill. The Bennett Johnston bill simply scared 
everybody, and here I had asked the board to approve it, 
logically. Brandt said in order to end the fight--that it was 

Carl Boronkay, "...The relaxed me (perhaps enjoying the recent 
Congressional victory) ," 1992. 


a fight lead by Madigan against it, and Brandt and maybe Mike 
Gage, who was on the board then, for it- -that they should 
compromise by saying, "Well, we won t take a position on the 
bill, but we ll pass principles." Principles were even better. 
When I read that I said, "Well, now I can support any bill." 

Chall: You had always been saying, "We support, in principle." 

Quinn: He had been saying that, but we hadn t gotten it to where the 
board was taking a position that gave him the protection. 

Boronkay: But when I said that I support in principle, that s kind of 
vague. Here, the principles were very specific. I could 
support environmental enhancement. I could support financial 
changes on the project, other things as well as water 
marketing. So, this was a find. Even though they didn t 
support that board letter, it was better than that letter. A 
neat twist that I can t resist telling. 

Quinn: Duane and I were so glad you felt that way when you came back, 

Boronkay: Oh, you guys were stunning. You did an amazing job there. 
Frankly, had the letter been rejected, I wouldn t have been 
surprised because that was a lot to push on the MET board. I 
think the compromise worked very well and you guys totally get 
the credit for that. 

There s an interesting twist. San Diego has always felt 
the need for more water, more reliability in water supply. San 
Diego was, years back, one of the earliest supporters of my 
efforts for water marketing, for water transfers. I mean years 
ago, marketing was just a theoretical concept. We were just 
taking the first steps with ag agencies to develop transfers. 
Mike was always out front with water marketing. Now, he is put 
in the position by the governor where he has to oppose the 
water marketing bill, and that I think kind of took something 
away from his standing. 

In other words, he didn t come in with total credibility 
because he was a water marketing person, and now he was 
fighting a bill that would promote marketing. I think that 
helped in the compromise. I think he saw that he had to 
compromise. Now, that s all conjecture on my part. I did see 
the irony of Mike being a real pusher for water marketing 
suddenly representing the governor who didn t want any 
marketing bill, or any CVP bill. 


Chall: There was another part of this February 28 compromise and that 
came, of course, after the governor had called all of the 
members of the executive committee, is that it? Because, in 
Number One, they support the efforts of the state of California 
to transfer the Central Valley Project to the state of 
California. Now, I realize that meant that he got what he 
wanted in there somewhere, since that s Number One on the list. 

Boronkay: But that s apple pie. 

Chall: Well, I know but at least it was part of that so-called 

Quinn: Well, it was and that was definitely the hand of Mike Madigan. 
It was something that we worked out so Mike could take it back 
to the governor; that was the governor s main initiative. My 
recollection, at this time, though, while many people thought 
that buying the CVP was a legitimate position, others felt the 
governor s primary goal was to defeat the CVP bills--"Don t 
talk about this legislation, we re only going to talk about the 
CVP transfer." 

By the time you got to February, March of 92, that 
strategy clearly wasn t going to sell. I think we had Miller- 
Bradley drafts out on the table, which included provisions to 
study the transfer of the CVP to the state, so you could look 
yourself in the mirror and pass a straight face test at 
principle one, here, and principle two. The first principle 
was to support the transfer to the CVP; the other principles 
looked an awful lot like supporting the stuff that was in the 
chairman s mark because a lot of this stuff was not in 
Seymour s S. 2016. 

Boronkay: You know, when I told Seymour that I didn t think the state 

would get it [CVP], or if the state got it, I had no assurance 
it would help urban people, that was true. I also felt 
politically, we had to support the governor wanting a federal 
project, wanting to take over a project that s all California 
water for all California users, we could not in anyway refuse 
to support that. 

If I had been here, I would have supported that as a part 
of this same board letter, or board action. I would merely 
have made a great effort to get the commitment of the governor, 
or get into the congressional legislation for the federal 
government transferring it, that a certain amount of water has 
to be left for urban use. I would make the best I could of it. 


But, I think Tim is right. When the governor first raised 
that, it was a red herring. It was just, "We don t need any 
legislation, we re getting the project; we can take care of our 
own water problems," as trumpeted by the governor s aides. 

Chall: I was under the impression that in one of his meetings in 
California when the Energy Committee staffs came out, that 
Johnston said, "Why don t you just take it over?" Was it one 
of his ideas that suddenly surfaced? 

Quinn: I don t know. 

Boronkay: I don t know, but doubt it. 

The MET Board and Its Committee Structure 

Chall: You don t know, okay. I want to ask you about your working 

with the board since you were always having to do that. Your 
letters always ended with referring the matter to committees 
because they had certain responsibilities. With a fifty-one 
member board, you can really divide committees pretty well, but 
some of those water policy committees and special committees 
looked as if they had overlapping jurisdictions. Did they 
always agree with each other? 

Boronkay: I ll give you my picture of it. 

Quinn: And, then you ll get the picture from the person who is still 
employed by this board. [laughter] 

Boronkay: Most of the time, there was agreement. There always has been 
overlap, engineering and finance, for example. A lot of it 
turned on personalities. If someone was on an engineering 
committee and didn t like a project and it went through, if he 
was also on the finance committee, he d try to scuttle it 

Chall: Oh, so there was overlap of committee membership? 

Boronkay: There was board member overlap as well as subject matter. Most 
of the time, the staff would be convincing enough to get 
everything through committee, and then the diehards might 
attack it at the board. But if it got through the committees, 
the board seldom turned it around. Whether that s still the 
case, I ll leave to Tim. 


Quinn : 

Quinn : 

Personally, I think, then as now, the committee structure, 
while imperfect, works pretty well for Metropolitan. It s such 
a large board that it needs to break itself down into some 
workable manner. At the time, the Water Problems Committee was 
the one that dealt with this issue almost exclusively so that 
committee had jurisdiction. Also, it was the most important 
policy committee that we had at the time. Its successor, the 
Planning and Resources Committee, the same thing can be said 
about that today. The Water Problems Committee has always had 
a strong chairman. I think Ibbey was the chairman of the Water 
Problems Committee during the Miller-Bradley fight. 


was? What s the name of that person? 

E. Thorton Ibbitson. He s about to retire, Carl, about to 
leave the board after thirty-eight years. 

Boronkay: Is he really, did he announce that? 

Quinn: Which is a topic for another conversation, but we will miss 
him. We call him Ibbey, I-b-b-e-y. Ibbey was arguably the 
most respected member of the board at the time, and one of the 
most respected today, a strong chairman. So, we didn t have 
much of a problem getting the facts out and letting the debate 

Another significant thing that was happening at the time 
was the creation of a Legislative Committee, which we had never 
had before. I recall Carl being less than thrilled at the 
prospect of having a Legislative Committee. I think [Mike] 
Gage was the committee s first chairman. 

Gage was one of the stronger personalities on the board. 
There was a strong view by board members to create a 
Legislative Committee, which the board did in 1991. While 
upper management might have had misgivings about it, I ll tell 
you, that committee was a lifesaver when we got to February and 
March of 1992 in terms of fashioning those principles, which 
sort of allowed us to dodge some very large bullets and regain 
our balance. All of that was happening in the Legislative 
Committee at that point, so you had some structural change at 
Metropolitan, where Water Problems and the Legislative 
Committee both became active at that point in time. 

Chall: I see because I know you sent these measures to them. Now, one 
other thing I wanted to ask you. Number three on the list, you 
wanted to "Encourage all parties to continue negotiations with 
all members of the State Legislature, the United States 
Congress, the Governor of California, and other interests who 


have been and are making efforts to resolve water issues in 
California, recognizing the need for balance among 
environmental, agricultural, and urban uses of the State s 
water supplies." Now, when you say encourage all parties, what 
do you mean by that? 

Quinn: There were a lot of relationships going through hard times in 
those days . We had board members that were very close to the 
environmental community. We had board members, a large number 
it s fair to say, were close to the agricultural community. 
They were getting phone calls. The governor was calling the 
Executive Committee. Tom Graff had appeared at the 
Metropolitan board, I think, prior to all of this happening. I 
think it had been at the January board meeting. 

Boronkay: It was after we supported formally the Seymour bill. 

Quinn: I remember Seymour came--. 

Boronkay: Seymour came and Graff was there the same day; they both spoke. 1 

Quinn: So, there were a lot of relationships out there. Frankly, the 
commitment to work with others was a way of assuring our board 
that we were not going to turn our back on any of these 
interests. It was part of the emerging role that the urbans 
play still today. Well, it sounds like a lot of fluff, that 
last recommendation said we re going to be for balance, and 
we re going deal with all the parties. 

So, we were, I think unwittingly, moving ourselves into a 
mediator role. Frankly, thank goodness because if you left it 
to the agricultural and the environmental interests, we would 
still have the California water wars raging without an end in 
sight. And, this was the beginning of the rise of urban 
California, and even of the urban West, as a centrist force in 
national water politics and natural resource politics. Again, 
when we start to get to the end of the story, the role the 
Western Urban Water Coalition played in preventing a 
presidential veto, which I think to this day is undervalued, 
for the letters that Carl had Lois sending to Secretary 
[Manuel] Lujan, and I ve forgotten the secretary of 
agriculture s name. [Clayton Yeutter] 

I ve got it in the files here somewhere. Again, this is 
part of the urban center rising to say, balance is what we 
need. We were the only entity acting different than we ever 

Graf f-Yardas interview, pp. 65-66. 


had before. The aggies were doing what they always had done; 
the environmentalists were doing what they had always done. It 
was the urbans that were being forced to change what they had 
always done, tag along with ag. 

The Bradley Bill Changed the Agricultural, Urban, and 
Environmental Relationships 

Boronkay: The major change was the fact that instead of there being two 
sides to water issues, users and conservationists, or 
environmentalists if you will, there were now three sides. The 
break over this bill made it very clear to everyone that there 
were three sides and should be three sides. In the West, urban 
interests were politically always an appendage of irrigation 
districts because the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902 started 
the water projects for irrigation, and towns were an essential 
part, but a minor part. Well now, urban interests and the 
economics of it just compel you to move water to urban areas. 
It just doesn t make sense to do otherwise. 

Bradley s legislation allowed the distinctions to be drawn. 
They were in the heads of a number of people who thought about 
it, but not in the heads of agricultural people, and not in the 
heads of most urban people. It was just some of the urban 
leaders who could see that we really didn t have the same 
interests uniformly, and at all times, with agriculture. 

Now, why weren t we being recognized and treated 
separately? The governor didn t have to deal with 
Metropolitan, and didn t to a great extent, as he did with the 
ag community. Over the years, it was the ag community that 
came out on top when there was a dispute. It was the urban 
people that gave up the compromise, usually financial, but 
that s the way it went. Now, there s more of a separate 
identity. We re able to do more to look out for urban 

Agriculture s Strength in Congress and the Need for Equity 
Among the Sectors 


You talked about three sides, is that an equilateral triangle? 




I think it varies. The ag people are the most organized, 
politically. They have lots of money that they raise in 
politics. Their organization in California is very thorough 
and comprehensive, and it extends throughout the country. You 
get bills in Washington and you get senators from Alabama and 
Minnesota; it didn t matter which party they were in, they were 
on the ag side, and lots of money is raised in that way. 

So, they still are the strongest. I think, in large part, 
from history, in large part from the ability to raise and 
donate money, and in large part because they re damned smart. 
The committees that matter for water are run by ag senators, ag 
representatives. The city folk in Congress are on education 
committees, and welfare committees, and the post office, and 
all the things that you think are urban problems, and they 
don t regard water as an urban problem because water has always 
been there. 

When you go back to Washington to get somewhere with 
legislation for lining the Ail-American Canal, to conserve 
water that drains away, to get a bill through, a bill that made 
all the sense in the world but the Imperial Irrigation District 
opposed it, who did you get to be your fighter? It was 
[George] Miller, from northern California, a strong opponent of 
transferring water south. Miller was chairman of that 
subcommittee, and he was doing southern California s bidding. 

We had one southern Calif ornian on that committee, another 
guy in our favor and that was [Mel] Levine, and he got briefed 
and was helpful for the moment, but to tell you frankly, that s 
not where his interest was. He was into foreign policy. It 
was Miller who knew water. You look around in California. 
Who s chairman or active members of these water committees? 
It s generally ag people, Westland s people, Fresno, 

So, you get a bill where you 
legislators because there s a lot 
away when votes are traded. See, 
about a water bill, but that bill 
strong, political bill to them so 
watch when the Fresno people want 
bill; your guys are gone. I don 
strongly about this, but that was 

line up southern California 
of them, and watch them fade 
they re okay when you talk 
really isn t an emotional, 
they re with you. But then 
to trade to win their water 
t know, maybe I feel too 
my experience. 

You asked does it have to be an equilateral triangle. The fact 
is, to sustain change, it does. I think, these days, as the 
urban community matures it needs to figure out how to handle a 
position of its own and overcome some of the natural deficits 




that we face in the world of water politics, where water is not 
the number one issue for the businesses that count politically 
in the urban community. 

It is the number one thing, politically, on many of the 
businesses that count in the ag community. Over time we re 
learning that unless it s an equilateral triangle, unless all 
three entities and their interests are represented and are 
being dealt with, you can t sustain change. We re learning 
that in the implementation of this act today. And not all the 
corners of the triangle fully appreciate and understand that, I 
might add. Back in 92, there was to some degree a ganging up 
of two other sides of the triangle against the third. We 
joined league with the northern urbans, and with the 
environmentalists; the agricultural interests by and large 
refused. I mean, they were denying that change was necessary. 
We felt change was absolutely essential, so did the 
environmental community so we fought for change against those 
that wanted to retain the status quo and we won. 

We won, and that was fundamentally important because it 
changed the whole status quo in agriculture, something we 
mentioned in our session together a week ago, that has given 
agriculture today an incentive to desire change. We would not 
be making the progress today that we are, if Miller-Bradley 
hadn t happened, if we hadn t gone through that terrible 
conflict that took place in those days. We needed to 
restructure the status quo to recognize the imbalance of the 
old regime, and the immediacy of establishing balance between 
the sectors. Miller-Bradley took you a big step towards that, 
although certainly not the perfect bill, but it took you a huge 
step in that direction of creating the equilateral triangle. 

The governor was not in the loop? He was out of it, I guess. 
Of his own choice. 

Of his own choice. What about the Department of Water 
Resources? Now that s the state water peopleDavid Kennedy 
and [Douglas] Wheeler. They wanted you out of it. 

There is no distinction to be drawn between the governor and 
the department, and that includes Wheeler, who s cabinet, not 
just the department, but of a larger authority [State Resources 
Agency] . 

And, you say, basically, that there was a denial among the 
staff that this would ever go through? 

Quinn: There was certainly denial that change needed to be made. Once 
again, I ll mention the conversation that I had with Jerry 
Butchert. I think it was May, it was about the same time you 
were delivering your testimony before Miller s committee, which 
again shook them up because it really put Metropolitan much 
more towards the type of change that was being contemplated in 
the bills that they didn t like. 

Jerry said something that has always stuck with me, he 
said, "Some things you can give up in negotiations, some things 
have to be taken away." In that statement he wasn t denying 
that something was going to be taken away. He wasn t denying 
that the change was going to happen. He was just saying, "As 
the general manager of Westlands Water District, I can t give 
this up at a negotiating table and go back to my board of 
directors and tell them what a great deal I just cut for them." 

If the environmentalists want this kind of change, pricing 
reforms, reallocation of water away from ag to urbans, they 
were going to have to fight ag to get it. Butchert made it 
very clear, "Stop talking about compromise to us. We re not 
going to compromise. We re going to go to war." Since that 
was their perspective, change required the war. Although the 
agricultural interests had agreed to user-initiated transfers 
in S . 2016, I question what we really got at the time because 
it s one thing to have it written down in the bill, it s 
another thing to have the district cooperating in the passage 
and implementation of that law. 

Boronkay: Let me give you an earlier part of the same story with 
Butchert. To begin with, although MET is a large board, 
generally they are together and have a lot of confidence in 
their management. They raise a lot of questions but 
ultimately, you re the manager, and they meet once a month, 
they are from all walks of life, and rarely, except a few, have 
anything to do with water. So, they ultimately get to size up 
management and develop confidence in it. Now, contrast that 
with agricultural districts, where the farmers know all about 

They know the history of it. They know the need. They 
know every dollar it costs . They know what the market is . 
They re heavily involved in the politics of it. So, now, you 
take management of those districts and they re at a 
disadvantage as opposed to Metropolitan because their five- 
person board, or seven-person board will second guess them on 
anything. It s not a matter of merely their deciding they have 
confidence in management; they may feel they know better than 
management, at least as much and probably more. 


So, when young managers they re younger than the board 
members --Butchert and many others I talked tosometimes wanted 
to come along with us, their boards often wouldn t let them. 
Butchert was particularly able and I m told did propose 
compromise on the Seymour bill. I think it was Borba on his 
board that--. 

Quinn: Mike Borba. 

Boronkay: Yes, before a vote on the Seymour billwhat I was told is just 
coming vaguely now a vote on the Seymour bill which management 
was proposing, at least informally, to negotiate and support, 
Borba called the governor, and he came back to the meeting and 
said in effect, "The governor says they can kill any bill." 

Quinn: That was particularly the case, we were seeing--. 
Boronkay: Am I wrong in that recollection? 

Quinn: We were seeing signs of that in 2016. It was very prominent 
when Somach and Graff tried to negotiate. 

Chall: Yes, yes, and we do want to take that up, that s when the whole 
thing fell apart. 

Quinn: We want to talk about Somach-Graf f , too. 

Boronkay: But, I wanted to leave you with the idea that a lot of younger 
people who were managers of these agricultural districts, I 
think, personally leaned toward getting along, negotiating, 
compromising, but they d also be fired. Their board members 
hadn t ever lost; they didn t lose any big bill in Congress. 

Quinn: Never had, never had happened before 1992. 

Boronkay: So, they couldn t accept the idea that they may not win. 

Chall: If it hadn t been for H.R. 429 having been bottled up for so 
many years that all the other western senators wanted, maybe 
the CVPIA wouldn t have passed? 

Quinn: Unquestionably, it would not have passed. 

Chall: It was a Miller ploy that worked. 

Quinn: A brilliant stroke of strategy. It truly was. 

Boronkay: Yes, and one that he d been using a rather long time. He 
didn t just invent this. 


Quinn: The plan was well conceived, and it was being exceptionally 
well executed. 

Boronkay: Yes, it was a good textbook examples of how to accomplish 

things. You mentioned Somach and Graff, and perhaps you want 
to get into that now? 

Carl Boronkay Testifies at Hearing on H.R. 5099: Suggests 
Modifications to S. 2016 


Quinn : 


Quinn : 


Quinn : 

Chall ; 

Yes, well, we were just finishing up with 5099, so we should 
discuss your testimony in Washington on May 1A, 1992. 1 

It was actually before Miller s committee. [Subcommittee on 
Water, Power, and Offshore Energy Resources of the House 
Interior Committee] 

You said here as you had in other places, that, "On balance, we 
prefer the more specific provisions of Senator Seymour s 
bill..." So you never negated your position on Senator 
Seymour s bill, but you always said that it needed to be 
modified. Then you went on in your testimony to itemize what 
changes needed to be made, and said that you hoped that 5099 
"would join S. 2016 in the form of Title XXXIV..." Of course 
2016 was already in the conference. 

The May testimony indicated that we were certainly amenable to 
2016 moving forward; but if you read the heart of the 
testimony, it says to Congress: "Move something forward." This 
is what Carl was referring to earlier about the strategy we 
were promoting was move something to the conference committee 
to force it to the next stage, and we could get a bill out of 

Although, you did suggest certain revisions, 
requests for certain revisions. 

I mean, you had 

We listed, I don t know, six or eight things, but they were not 
focused on any particular bill. They were focused on the 
policy that needed to be established from our perspective. 

Just get it in, any bill. 

On deposit in the Water Resources Center Library. 


Boronkay: And Tim drafted those. When I went to Washington to speak in 
support of the Miller bill, that was an exciting meeting. I 
was there with Bob Will. There were whole rows of people 
there. Firstly, I am there the night before alone in my room, 
and at eleven at night I got a call--. And I won t identify 
the caller. 

Quinn: Oh, you should. 

Boronkay: It s not fair. But I got a call that night from a rather grand 
person of intimidating stature. 

Chall: On your board? 

Boronkay: No, in Congress. He said, "We expect you to do the right thing 
tomorrow." I said, "Well, yes, I m going to testify." "No, we 
expect you to come out four square on the side of the Miller- 
Bradley bill." I said, "Well, we re going to support those 
bills, but basically our interest is going to be marketing, 
though, we re going to support the rest." Then, I was left 
with this: "If this fails, everyone is going to know who s 
responsible." Hang up. [laughter] 

So, I m a little intimidated. Even that night, I m looking 
again at my statement that I drafted. I don t plan to read it; 
I knew what I would say. I m wondering what I could change to 
make something a little stronger or a little weaker, and then I 
said, "You know, Quinn and I went over this. We know what we 
want to say; I can t pay attention to that call." So I didn t. 

So, I went to the hearing the next day and the rows are 
set. First, Miller calls up Bradley. He gave a nice, strong 
statement, very pro-environmental statement. Then there are 
rows of environmentalists, probably two rows worth. Then some 
urban people, and last, ag. Well, there s a lot of ag people 
in the room. It s a big crowded room there; I believe there 
were media people, too. 

After Senator Bradley spoke for ten or fifteen minutes 
very, very strong, a lot of applause. I m sitting two rows 
back, and he starts to leave. He walks over to me, puts his 
hand over two rows and shakes my hand. Throughout the room, 
you heard, "Ahhhhhhh." [laughter] I mean really like that. 
It was like a wave, you know, the wave at football games. 
People looked away and started murmuring, and others got up to 
talk to each other in the back or outside. 

I don t know what they thought I was going to do 
differently than I d been doing, but it seemed to shock people. 




I guess an impression was intended that I m not independent any 
longer; that I m completely over with environmentalists. 
Eventually I spoke, and there were a lot of questions from some 
of the valley people on the committee-- [Richard] Lehman, Cal 
Dooley. They asked me questions, but they were easily handled. 
I said, "We don t want a lot of water, very little. You are 
going to be paid more than you get through growing certain 
crops. And it s voluntary; no one has to do it." 

I mean, they had no questions that put us on the spot. And 
then, the water district manager, a woman from Las Vegas, Pat 
Mulroy, was called. 

Pat Mulroy. 

She testified on behalf of the Western Urban Water 

She just said in a broader sense, "This is a key bill. It s 
the beginning of what all of us urban areas are going to need 
in the West. We re all for this marketing, and that s what 
we re going to need in all these other states." She was very 
impressive. The environmentalists had already spoken, and by 
then, in reality it was all over. I mean I guess some ag 
people spoke, but the tenor of that meeting was all one way. 

Mulroy was the founding chair of the Western Urban Water 
Coalition. She was appearing, as I recall, at the hearing as a 
representative of the Western Urban Water Coalition, of which 
we were one vote out of seventeen or eighteen member agencies. 
I don t remember if it happened in May, but eventually the 
Western Urban Water Coalition was unabashedly pushing for the 
passage of the Miller-Bradley bill. On the one hand, it was 
desirable; on the other hand, it created an even more 
complicated situation for us here in California where we were 
trying to stay on this tight rope. 

Carl, go back to the February board letter. I mean, we do 
take seriously what parameters our board gives us. Carl 
couldn t go out and pick a bill. That had been the deal that 
he cut with his board. He couldn t go out and say, "I support 
this bill. Vote yes on this bill; vote no on that bill." We 
were supporting a set of principles. 

But if you looked at those principles, it was a clear 
signal that Metropolitan was going to support a pro-environment 
bill that came out of the conference committee. We were going 
to support a bill that had water for the environment . We were 
going to support a bill that restructured financial 
arrangements. So, I don t know what Bradley and others were 



Boronkay : 

thinking, because they had pressed Carl unmercifully on the 
issue of picking sides. 

At the time I remember thinking, politicians are odd people 
indeed. I mean, they were given a statement that made it very 
clear they were going to have Metropolitan where they needed 
Metropolitan when it came time to get a bill out. Why were 
they so insistent that we play the personality politics? Pick 
this guy not that guy, when both of them had elements in their 
bills that were consistent with where we wanted to go as a 
matter of principle. Frankly, this organization still has that 
problem when we deal with politicians. 

I guess they wanted the Democrats to win, is that true? 

Sure, of course, there s always partisan politics in 

Can I just say, during this whole legislative battle, I d meet 
with Miller a lot, all along. I have mentioned meetings with 
Seymour, but I d see Miller whenever I could when I was there, 
whenever he had time. We had an excellent relationship. He 
never was demanding. He had suggestions on helping to move the 
bill along. He never said he was against water marketing. I 
read that somewhere, but it never came up at the time I worked 
with him or his staff. 


But he was . 

The Interest of the Business Community in Water Marketing 

Boronkay: I know, I read that, but he never told me that because he was 
satisfied that was necessary for MET to support his bill. So, 
he got over that. I mean, I ve read statements of others that 
said he was against marketing, including, maybe, Dan Beard. 1 

Sometime after the hearing I met Miller in his office. 
Apart from just general conversation, I asked him, "Well, what 
else could we be doing." He said, "Get some support from other 
entities, from businesses, things like that." A lot of the 
things that Tim eventually accomplished, including getting 
major businesses in California to sign a letter in support, was 
really the result of our wanting to continue an active role, 

Dan Beard interview, pp. 21-23. 


not merely await the outcome. At this point, we ve already had 
all the hearings and everything else. So when he said, "Bring 
in some support from others, other agencies, businesses, other 
cities," that s where Tim went to town. 

Quinn: That s right. At that time, I established a relationship with 
Mike McGill; it was early in 1992. Mike, at the time, was the 
executive director of the Bay Area Economic Forum. Mike had 
become fascinated with water issues. Today he s Senator 
[Dianne] Feinstein s chief of staff. He s fascinated even 
today with water issues. We started working very closely with 
Mike generating North-South business support. 

It turned out, not all that surprisingly, that the business 
support would rally around the water marketing provisions of 
the bill, but not necessarily the other stuff. I mean, today 
the environmental community talks like the business community 
supported the environmental reforms. I tell you, I was pretty 
close to it and that s not true. At least, it s not true from 
my perspective. They were supporting water marketing. They 
were choking pretty hard on what looked like a pretty heavy 
hand from the federal government coming in and taking resources 
away from businesses in California. 

Boronkay: Not only businesses, but those businesses like banks were all 
close to the ag people. I mean, they made them all their 
loans . 

Chall: Right, Bank of America. 

Boronkay: So, it was a big thing, but let me add an anecdote here. There 
was a fellow at the [L.A. ] Times . who has since retired, he was 
a vice chairman. His name was Phil Williams. I encouraged 
Phil in terms of outreach to the business community. I would 
speak at chambers of commerce, trade organizations, and unions. 
One person that showed a lot of continuing interest was Phil 
Williams. He had a lot to do with bringing the [Business] 
Roundtable, or business people together in support of this 
bill. He d backed this right along, but he was on the business 
end, not the newspaper end. He was a corporate officer. 

What he told me once, and that s what really helped, "You 
know, when Rosenberg--." Is that Dick Rosenberg? 

Quinn: Yes, he was at the time chairman, CEO of the Bank of America. 

Boronkay: He said, "You know, I was having a meeting up in San 

Francisco," and Dick Rosenberg was the chairman of the 
Roundtable, and he had just got back from New York and he said, 


Boronkay : 


"You know they re constantly asking me what about California s 
water drought. What about California s water supply?" He 
said, "Dick is definitely going to support us, because he feels 
the finance community back there have a concern about water 
reliability in southern California, indeed of the urban areas 
of the state." 

So, I think that concern of the Bank of America, or that 
issue raised there, helped with Rosenberg, and he helped get a 
slew of others on board. Eventually, that helped kill any 
veto, but it also helped get the bill through. Was that while 
the bill was still being voted on that you got that letter of 

I don t have a copy of the letter. My recollection is it was 
in the summer, so the bill was still active. 

Yes, I think you re right. The letter was pushed again on the 
veto effort of the governor. 

And, again, Mike McGill was probably the central player in the 
business community because of his situation. He had a lot of 
businesses that were part of his organization. And Mike 
actively engaged issues going back and forth over important 
details and questions. Mike would ask, "What about this, what 
about that?" 

That s right, that s what Graff and Yardas stated. 1 

The Environmental Community and Water Marketing 

Boronkay: I m going to intrude here with a comment, because 1 don t want 
to forget it. All the years past, it was EDF, particularly Tom 
Graff, pushing water market ing --that was the future, that would 
get MET and other users off the Delta. When this whole concept 
came along, the Bradley bill and everything else, they said 
nothing . 

They spoke only on the environment . They left water 
marketing to Metropolitan. I talked to Tom about that. I 
said, "You know, I got this idea from you fifteen years ago." 
Then he said, "You re doing fine." They never got out front on 
water marketing, and they take a lot of the credit for it. 

Graff -Yardas interview, pp. 56-57b, 81, 98. 


They never pushed water marketing. They limited themselves. 
Just as we limited ourselves, they limited themselves to 
environmental matters . 

I just thought that was interesting, because I thought, 
"Hey, you know, I d like you to say something in support to the 
board, or something like that." He said, well, he ll do that, 
but he took no lead. None of the environmentalists took a lead 
on marketing. Of course, environmentalists, themselves, were 
split, not down the middle by any means. The Sierra Club 
always had questions about whether marketing was a sound thing 
for an environment. The other thingperhaps you will get 
there now- -was the Tom and Somach later effort, and we could 
speak to that. 

The Somach-Graff Negotiations 

Chall: Well, yes. I would like to talk about that because it looked, 
apparently, as if even H.R. 5099 wasn t going to go anywhere. 
Is that why they finally decided to bring Somach and Graff 
together to see if something could be worked out on both sides? 

Boronkay: Who brought them together? 
Chall: Well, that s a good question. 

Quinn: We, frankly, didn t know at the time, and I don t know today, 
but we know they came together. We were like everyone else 
when the Somach-Graf f--or the Graff-Somach draft, depending 
upon what the perspective is--came out, we were as surprised as 
anybody was . 

Chall: Jason Peltier says G4 brought it up. His side worked with a 
group called G4. That was Somach, and Mark Atlas, Gary 
Sawyers, Diane Rothmann, and Peltier. 1 

Quinn: They were representing the four units of the Central Valley 
Project Water Association. 

Chall: And then, there were sometimes, Kim Schnoor, and Greg--I don t 
know whether it s Wang or Wong. I think they were their 

Peltier interview pp. 54-59. 


Quinn: Wang. Greg is the technician here in California; Kim was the 

Chall: Okay. Now, he said that G4 decided that they should get Somach 
and Graff together, that, apparently, they or no one was going 
to be satisfied with 5099 and 2016, and maybe nothing was going 
to pass. I don t know what they were thinking about at that 
point. Tom Graff claims that he was called by Joe Raeder of 
Dooley s staff. Cal Dooley, is that it? Graff claims they got 
together, they met four times, and they completed their draft 
on June 15, as you all know. They worked by themselves, 
primarily. Once in a while, Dave Yardas would come in, and 
once in a while, somebody would come in on Somach 1 s side. Most 
of the time, it was just the two of them alone in a room. 

Boronkay: The cabin, at Somach s cabin. 
Chall: Oh, really? 

Boronkay: Yes. Not necessarily all meetings took place there, but some 

Chall: At least, they were alone most of the time. They had decided, 
and they had made arrangements that they would present their 
draft to the committee on June 16, but on the night of June 15, 
apparently, Mike Borba got to Wilson and Somach was pulled out. 
So, it was Graff who went alone and presented the draft to, I 
guess, Miller s committee. There it is. [Shows draft of 
Somach-Graff report] Now you can talk about it because that 
created a lot of flack in and of itself, right? 

Boronkay: Let me first give my experience on it, and then Tim you may do 
that. Is that all right to go in that order? 

Quinn: Sure. 

Boronkay: My speculation is that the ag people thought they were going to 
lose. Peltier and those people who were used to never losing 
didn t call Tom in to make a deal because they wanted a bill. 
You know, you said that they may have thought that no bill 
would go through; that s exactly where they wanted to end. 
They felt a little nervous. I think Tom misjudged the 

I think we had them beaten, and that Tom had a few other 
things that he liked. I m speculating he thought it would be a 
wonderful thing if, suddenly, the ag people and the 
environmentalists could write a bill, and he assumed, perhaps, 


that we d be dragged along kicking and screaming. I regarded 
it as a betrayal, a knife in the back. 

I remember, at the time, being extremely exercised by it, 
feeling that we d have to explain to the board that all this 
effort with the environmentalists has been for nought, and the 
board would go back to earlier thinking that we simply can t 
trust those people. I really thought that Tom was undoing a lot 
of what we had done in the last couple of years of showing that 
environmentalists can be responsible, and we can work with them. 

So, I was simply shocked at what I saw in their draft and 
by the whole secret process. What I saw just confirmed that 
they just simply added another billion dollars that southern 
California was going to have to pay for water by inserting an 
access fee. Well, why was there an access fee? Someone asked, 
"Why shouldn t Metropolitan pay a big amount for this?" The 
answer was because Metropolitan wasn t being made part of the 
Central Valley Project. 

If we were part of the Central Valley Project, or made so 
in that bill, we could have debated what share of anything we 
should have borne. Rather than that, farmers were going to be 
able to make a lot of money on cheap, subsidized, federal 
water, and we d have to pay for it. On top of that, Tom and 
Somach were willing to put a huge added cost on purchasers that 
would simply discourage the water marketing. The water 
marketing provisions would have been meaningless if we had to 
pay that. 

So, it was all negative. It was a lack of trust. It was 
betrayal. It was undoing the success of the water marketing 
support, and it was very upsetting. I called Miller, and I got 
Dan Beard on the phone. I said how troubled we are with that. 
Indeed, as far as we re concerned, we ll probably have to 
withdraw from the support, and he laughed. He said, "Don t pay 
any attention to this. Miller saw it and has just laughed at 
it and threw it out. Don t worry about it." 

By that time, I had talked to a few board members who I 
thought were politically connected well or adept, including 
Mike Gage. Well, Mike got red. Mike, if you know him--he 
worked for [Tom] Bradley as deputy mayorwhen he gets mad, his 
neck gets red. 1 I keep reading stories of people like that. 
I ve heard of it, but I ve never seen anyone s neck get red. 

Thomas Bradley, mayor of Los Angeles. 


Well, I saw Mike s neck redden. He s a big guy, and he 
just held his hands, and he said, "I ll take care of this." He 
was a board member, and he was on some important committees. 
He just started calling. He had good credentials in the 
environmental community; he called environmental groups and 
probably others. Before you knew it, that draft was dead, and 
you had to get over a very unhappy, and unpleasant relationship 
with the authors . 

Well, at that time, I was called to meet with Somach and 
Tom about some modification of the Miller bill. I went up to 
Sacramento; I think it was Somach s office. Were you with me? 
I think Corley was . 

Quinn: I don t think I went. 

Boronkay: Yes, well, I got there and I just told Tom and Somach what I 
thought about this, just as I ve told you. I told them and 
they just looked, and looked, and said nothing, Tom in 
particular. He just took it. Then, when I stopped, he said, 
"Nothing you ve said has come near to the flack that I took 
from the environmental organizations, the coalition that I m 
speaking for." So, he was chastened by this. I don t know 
what provisions that he had wanted eventually found themselves 
in. He feels they did. 

Chall: They did. 

Boronkay: But the manner that it occurred was detrimental to the process, 
frankly. I still have the highest regard for him and from time 
to time discuss things, but one flaw I find in him is his 
fundamental belief that southern California can afford 
anything . 

Quinn: And should have to pay. 

Boronkay: If there s a problem that has to do with money, and he could 

shunt it to southern California, he does so without hesitancy, 
and without any regard to equity, fairness, responsibility. 
You re seeing it from my view, but I m not sure he d deny it. 

Chall: That s right. I want to see it from everybody s point of view. 

Boronkay: He s an extraordinarily effective person and should be very 

proud of the success in his career. I have high regard for him 
in that, but in particulars, I ve been very much on the other 
side. I m done. 


And how about you and Somach-Graff ? 


Quinn: It was an eye-opening experience. The politics of Somach-Graff 
seemed pretty clear. The chairman s mark was out, Seymour s 
bill had gone out of the Senate, and the linkage between CVPIA 
reform, and the omnibus bill, all those water projects that 
western senators wanted had been established, so--. 

Chall: H.R. 5099 was out. 1 

Quinn: Earlier in the year, the CVP guys could believe that they could 
beat this thing. At that point in time, it s really hard to 
figure out how they thought they were going to beat this thing 
just by continuing the strategy of denial. It was logical to 
me that they would put themselves together with the 
environmentalists to try and come up with a negotiated 

While much of Somach-Graff wound up in the final bill, Tom 
gave a great deal. There was a quote in a Bill Kahrl editorial 
in the Sacramento Bee. I think the exact quote was, "Stuart 
ate Graff s shorts." 2 Kahrl was quoting from a Dave Schuster 
memo that had analyzed the Somach-Graff proposal. The way I 
read it, no wonder Tom had gotten so much flack from the 
environmental community. He had given up an awful lot of 
ground with Somach on the environmental provisions of the bill. 
Of course, the only thing that we focused on was this, quite 
frankly, ridiculous economic strategy of the fifty bucks a 

Boronkay: And the way it happened. 

Quinn: And the way it happened, which was revealing on a couple of 
accounts to me then, and continues, quite frankly, to create 
lack of trust today. I don t mean particular provisions of the 
draft, but what it generally reflected: this attitude that MET 
must pay. Here was Carl Boronkay, doing what I regard, then 
and now, as a courageous thing with his May testimony, breaking 
from the entire water community. 

I mean, you can get away with it if you re a small agency. 
A small agency can break away from the water community, nobody 
pays attention. This was Carl Boronkay, the general manager of 
the great Metropolitan Water District, going out there saying, 

H.R. 5099 passed the House on June 18, 1992, two days after Somach- 
Graff surfaced. 

2 William Kahrl, "California s Biggest Water Swindle," McClatchy News 
Service, Sacramento, in the Oakland Tribune. July 27, 1992. 






"We are for water for the environment. We re for taking away 
water from existing users and dedicating it to the environment. 
We re for pricing reforms that make rational sense." That was 
a courageous thing for Carl and for Metropolitan to do. 

We were taking great risks with relationships that we had 
taken strength from for decades. Later on in 94, we were 
doing it as a strong force working for more dedicated water for 
the environment as part of the Bay-Delta Accord, and in the 
back of your mind you were thinking the environmental community 
ought to be doing something to provide a little bit of 
protection for you, at least understand the enormity of the 
change that you re willing to embrace. 

Most of the stuff that was in Carl s May testimony was not 
narrowly defined in our interests. Taking water away from 
existing users was not in our interests. Letting the Congress 
define pricing reforms was not in our narrow interests. We 
were doing that out of a vision that you had to have your 
equilateral triangle, and we didn t have that under the status 

Can we take a short break? Here are the sandwiches. 
Do you want him to finish with his thought here? 

So, the feeling of betrayal was enormous on our end. What it 
told you about the attitude, at least of EOF, in the 
environmental community was disturbing. I read your interview 
with Tom where he admits that Somach-Graff was not the smartest 
thing that he ever did. When you pressed about why, his answer 
is that he thought it would provide incentive to break up 
Metropolitan, and that we ought to pay. 1 

That s right. 

In an ominous close to that portion of your interview, Tom 
said, "We thought that we should make them pay," and Dave 
Yardas said, "And we will." Then you moved on to a new topic. 

[Interview ceases for lunch break] 

Graff -Yardas interview, pp. 88-90. 


The CVPIA; Interpretation and Implementation ## 

Quinn: In some sense, in my heart of hearts, I believe the future of 

California water is at stake here. There has been a remarkable 
shift in the agricultural community from when Carl was general 
manager. I mean agriculture was absolutely glued to the old 
status quo. They refused change. I earlier used the phrase 
that they were in denial for the need for change. Their 
attitude about change changed a whole lot when the status quo 
was upended on them. 

Since the passage of CVPIA, with the listing of the winter- 
run salmon, the Delta smelt, the prospective listings of the 
spring run, and even the fall run of Chinook salmon, our world 
has been turned upside down as water users. Now, I happen to 
believe that s not inappropriate because we had to make 
adjustments for the environmental degradation of the past. 
Affirmative action for fish, if you will. 

The agricultural community, in the late eighties, was king 
of the hill- -king of the mountain; they didn t need any change. 
The system was biased heavily toward their objectives. That 
changed with CVPIA, and they have, in the intervening years, 
become advocates of change. 

Chall: Well, then, what, within the last month, in late November, 

caused [Dan] Nelson, the executive director of the San Luis and 
Delta-Mendota Water Authority, to file suit in the U.S. 
District Court in Fresno? I think it s against implementation 
of the CVPIA. 

Quinn: Mr. [John] Garamendi mainly, and the Department of Interior 

for their announced plan to establish guidelines for the CVPIA. 

Chall: Right, it s against the Garamendi plan. 
Quinn: Yes. 

Chall: All right, so now we ve got the agriculturalists fighting for 
their water. I mean they re not accepting the Garamendi 
opinion at all, are they? 

Quinn: Not in those legal documents, they re not. 

Chall: We are now getting ahead into implementing the CVPIA which I 

want to discuss later. So, before we do that is there anything 
else you want to say about the passage of the bill? I don t 
know if you have said everything you want to say about aspects 


of the passage of the CVPIA before we go on. Did you make 
notes about that history that you want be sure get covered? 

Quinn: I do. Let me just make one sort of summary overview of what 

CVPIA did. It was part of that realignment of the politics of 
water, the creation of the equilateral triangle. Again, it was 
truly something that was an absolutely essential stepping stone 
for the future of California. 

Now with that said, a lot of people today are transitioning 
to CVPIA implementation. Many who worked on the bill believed 
that CVPIA is the framework for the future of California water. 
In point of fact, while it was a critical stepping stone, it 
was only a stepping stone. The [Bay-Delta] Accord, in 1994, 
was a larger framework than CVPIA was, if you ask my opinion. 
The CALFED process that Calif ornians are going through as we re 
going through this interview here today, it is truly the 
comprehensive framework of which CVPIA implementation is a 
part. 1 

Part of what California water professionals wrestle with 
each and every day is that a lot of people in the environmental 
community believe CVPIA is the framework and everything else 
must be hammered into the CVPIA mold. At the same time the 
rest of us are trying to make the CVPIA work and implement the 
law the best you can because there is a great deal of ambiguity 
and uncertainty in the words that actually got put down on 
paper and signed by the president. To get CVPIA implemented we 
have then to move on to the bigger picture, which is CALFED. 

Reviewing the Bumpy Ride to Passage of the CVPIA from MET s 

Boronkay: In answer to the same question, is there anything more to say 
about the passage of the Miller-Bradley bill, I hope I didn t 
give the impression that it was a smooth effort. From day-to 
day, from month-to-month, from hearing- to-hearing, from speech- 
to-speech, from board meeting to board meeting, there was 

CALFED. Acronym for California-Federal (The California Water Policy 
Council and Federal Ecosystem Directorate), a group of state and federal 
water and environmental agencies whose aim is to reach final decisions on 
improving the San Francisco-San Joaquin Bay/Delta system, within parameters 
established by the interim 1994 Bay-Delta Accord, the CVPIA, the EPA, and 
other regulations and concerns of the stakeholders. Its alternative 
solutions were being debated during 1998. 



uncertaintywhether the Seymour bill is going to go anywhere, 
whether the Bradley bill will go anywhere. 

I thought I found less willingness in the Bradley people to 
modify their demand for big up-front water for the environment; 
that was an anathema to the ag people. That was something I 
was staying out of at that time, and that s why I think Jensen 
was unhappy with us. I didn t know where the Bradley thing 
would go. Then there seemed to be a problem in the Senate 
committee, and there s a surprise Bennett Johnston bill. I 
didn t know what that was going to do to our strategy. And all 
the while the governor s people are saying in California and 
Washington, we don t want any bill. 

We re all sitting back today and saying, "Gee, that was a 
brilliant move." At the time moving the Seymour bill to the 
full Senate, everyone thought they lost. No one knew what the 
heck was going on. You say the probability was that even 
Seymour was in doubt, but I m not even sure about it at that 
time. He may have been in doubt, but he didn t think he d 
lost. I mean, on the face of it, his bill made it. So, I 
think it was a heck of a rough ride. You d hear from Tim. 
You d hear from these other guys. You d have another meeting- 
Schuster, Somach--other proposals, other modifications right 
down to the Miller hearing. [May 14, 1992] 

By then, we thought we were okay, and I don t know when the 
Somach-Tom Graff effort occurred along that line. But the fact 
that it even could occur, even that late, and with such close 
working together for so long, I was never quite confident with 
either side after that. 

I want to tell you one last thing that I withheld from 
everybody because, personally, it s a little embarrassing. 

Do you know who Deep Throat is? [laughter] 

I don t think there is any. Bob Will, or someone, told me the 
vote on the conference committee bill coming back to the 
Senate--! guess it s the vote on the conference committee 
reportwill be on TV at a certain time that night. I tuned 
in, and I m late, and I hear one senator and another arguing. 
Each senator says, "I feel this way. I think it s terrible, 
but I m going to vote for it." Then, the next guy would speak 
and say, "This is an outrage, and I m against it," and he d go 
back. I m counting and counting and the damn bill loses. I go 
to bed, and I say, "We ll have to do it all again. We ll try 
again next year, but how disappointing." 


Bob calls me in the morning. He said, "Well, pretty good." 
I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well, it passed." I 
said, "No, I listened to it." He said, "Oh, no, that was the 
vote on motion made before the vote to do something else, and 
that was defeated." I had turned it off, so when the vote came 
I wasn t listening. [laughter] I went to bed feeling 

Quinn: I never knew that, Carl. 

Boronkay: I went to bed feeling terrible, but I didn t want to let 
everyone know, but now they ll all know. 

Quinn: That s just like Pat Brown in 1960. 

Boronkay: Tim is referring to the governor s belief on the night of the 
November election that JFK had carried California but the SWP 
bond authorization had lost. The opposite was the case. 

Quinn: As we transition to the post CVPIA era, I know that I will 

always remember this fight with agriculture. I wasn t a young 
kid at the time, but certainly had a lot less political mileage 
on me than I have today. I had gotten wrapped up in a bigger 
fight than I could have imagined. But, if you re going to be 
in a fight, you had better be committed to win the fight. Carl 
retired not long after. You retired in March of 93? 

Boronkay: Yes, in fact, April 1, 93. 

MET Sees Need to Maintain Relationships with Agricultural and 
Environmental Interests: Accords May Vary 

Quinn: Carl took me aside and gave me some advice as he was leaving. 
One of the pieces of advice he gave me--I remember, at the 
time, it surprised me, but when I thought about it, of course, 
it made a lot of sensewas that we had to immediately start 
rebuilding our bridges with agriculture. It never made sense 
to pick one side and then be two against one. You had to 
protect your interests, but you had to protect your 
relationships . 

He understood that the relationships had taken a real 
beating. His parting advice to me, as he was leaving 
Metropolitan, and of course leaving us to deal with the 
relationships that he had changed. His parting advice to me as 
he left Metropolitan Water District professionally was that we 




October 8, 1992 
All Directors 
General Manager 
Passage of The Central Valley Project Improvement Act 

In an historic action, on October 8, 1992, the 
United States Senate overwhelmingly approved H.R.429, 
which includes as Title XXXIV the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act (Act) . This legislation had been 
previously approved by the House of Representatives on 
October 5, and is now before the President for signature. 
The Act addresses three main issues: fish and wildlife 
restoration, including water for the environment; CVP 
water contract renewals and reform; and voluntary water 
marketing. A substantial summary of the Act is attached. 

The passage of the Act represents a major 
breakthrough in California water policy. It will create 
the opportunity for voluntary water transfers to 
Metropolitan and others from a potential market of supply 
totaling 7 million acre-feet. This legislation was 
passed after a threatened filibuster and considerable 
debate. Based on the debate in both houses, the water 
marketing provisions of the Act were noncontroversial and 
widely supported. However, the fish and wildlife 
provisions and contract renewal and reform provisions 
were highly controversial. 

The compromise bill before the President for 
signature is consistent with all of the legislative 
criteria established by your Board. Staff will continue 
to work with others to assure that the bill is signed 
into law. 



On October 8, 1992, the United States Senate overwhelmingly 
approved H.R.429, which includes as Title XXXIV the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act (Act) . This legislation had been 
previously approved by the House of Representatives. The 
compromise bill now before the President provides a technically 
sound approach to CVP reform that is consistent with all of the 
legislative criteria established by the Metropolitan Board. 
Following is a brief summary of the compromise legislation, 
highlighting changes relative to the September 15 House proposal. 


Like the House proposal, the compromise bill contains strong 
provisions to promote the voluntary transfer of CVP water. 

Transferrable Water. The compromise bill for the first time 
incorporates language which specifically authorizes the voluntary 
transfer of all CVP water, including water delivered to CVP 
contractors and "prior rights" water delivered under water rights 
settlement and exchange contracts. This broadened provision will 
promote a potential water market that includes all 7 million acre 
feet (AF) of water normally delivered by the CVP and not just the 
nearly 4 million AF of CVP contract water. 

Approvals. All transfers of CVP water would be subject to 
approval by the Secretary of Interior based on specific 
conditions identified in the bill. District approval would be 
required for transfers that affect more than 20 percent of a 
district s CVP supply, but approval would be required if the 
transfer met the specific conditions identified in the Act. The 
compromise bill requires a final decision by the Secretary or 
district within 90 days of receipt of a written transfer 
proposal. If the Secretary or district fails to act within 90 
days, then the transfer is deemed approved. 

Transfer Surcharges. The compromise bill eliminates the 15 
percent environmental surcharge on water transfers contained in 
the House proposal, as well as the "unreasonable profit" tax. In 
place of these provisions, the bill requires a $25 per acre-foot 
(adjusted for inflation) environmental surcharge on transfers of 
water to a nonCVP contractor. 

Area of Origin Provision. Like the House proposal, 
transfers of water outside the legally defined area of origin are 
subject to a "real water" test. Within the area of origin, 
however, the bill essentially allows "paper water" transfers, 
which under some circumstances could be harmful to other water 


Environmental Protections. The bill retains a provision 
requiring that no transfer may significantly reduce the quantity 
or quality of water supplies currently used for fish and wildlife 
purposes, unless other offsetting benefits occur. 

Other Transfer Conditions. The compromise bill also retains 
several conditions on transfers from earlier drafts. These 
include the requirement that transferred water be repaid to the 
federal government at full cost, f irst-right-of-refusal 
conditions, groundwater and water rights protections, and 
protections for the finances, operations, and water supplies of 
involved districts. 

Sunset. Selected conditions governing the approval of 
transfers would be sunsetted effective September 30, 1999. 
Notably, the $25 environmental surcharge and the area of origin 
provision noted above remain in effect after that date. 


The fish and wildlife provisions of the compromise bill 
incorporate many of the changes suggested by Congressman Vic 
Fazio. These changes are intended to help assure that the bill 
accomplishes its environmental objectives with minimum impacts on 
existing water users. 

Reauthorization. The bill retains language that 
reauthorizes the CVP to make the "mitigation, protection, 
restoration, and enhancement of fish and wildlife" an explicit 
purpose of the project. However, the bill contains numerous 
protections to assure that this reauthorization does not unduly 
reduce supplies available to existing CVP water users. 

Dedicated Environmental Water. The compromise bill reduces 
the amount of CVP yield dedicated primarily for environmental 
purposes from 1 million acre feet in the House proposal to 
800,000 acre feet annually. The bill further incorporates 
protective language clarifying that this quantity of water is the 
maximum that may be lost for fish and wildlife purposes under the 
Act. The bill retains language under which the CVP will receive 
full credits against this environmental water for any 
requirements imposed by the State of California or by actions 
taken under the Endangered Species Act. Because of these 
provisions, the amount of water involuntarily reallocated as a 
result of the Act itself is expected to be minimal. The primary 
means of making water available for environmental purposes under 
the Act will be through the development of conjunctive use 
programs, voluntary water transfers, and other means designed to 
minimize impacts on CVP water users. 

Habitat Restoration. The compromise bill requires more than 
20 habitat improvement measures, based largely on the actions 


originally included in S 2016. Like the House proposal, the 
compromise bill generally requires the state to pay for at least 
25 percent of the costs of habitat restoration. 

San Joaquin River. The compromise bill requires the 
development of a plan to restablish adequate fishery flows on the 
San Joaquin River, but only to the extent "reasonable, prudent, 
and feasible". The bill further protects the Friant water users 
against any releases of water from Friant Dam for fishery flows 
unless Congress specifically acts in the future to do otherwise. 
Until a plan, if any, is implemented, the bill requires annual 
payments from the Friant contractors, but these payments are 
reduced from a maximum of $12 per acre-foot plus adjustments for 
inflation in the House proposal to a maximum of $7 per acre foot 
with no inflation adjustment in the compromise bill. 

Restoration Fund. The Act creates an environmental 
Restoration Fund with total payments of up to $50 million 
annually, adjusted for inflation. The new provisions reduce the 
contributions by CVP water and power users from $50 million 
annually to $30 million annually. The water transfer 
environmental surcharge and other payments required by the Act 
would also be covered to the Fund. At least two-thirds of the 
Fund is to be used for activities related to the development of 
additional environmental water. No more than one-third of the 
Fund may be used to finance physical habitat improvements. 


Contract Renewal. The compromise bill would allow the 
renewal of CVP contracts for a term of 25 years (increased from 
20 years) following completion within 3 years of a programmatic 
environmental impact statement analyzing the direct and indirect 
environmental impacts of implementation of the Act. 
Significantly, the Secretary may renew such contracts for 
successive periods of up to 25 years each. 

Economic Reforms. With relatively minor modifications, the 
compromise bill requires implementation of several economic 
reforms upon contract renewal. These reforms include: (1) 
metering of all surface water delivery systems within CVP 
contractor boundaries; (2) implementing increasing block rate 
prices for CVP water such that price equals the full cost of 
delivery for quantities above 90 percent of the contract amount 
(previously 80 percent in the House proposal) ; and (3) 
establishing water conservation best management practices. 

New Urban Contracts. The compromise bill strikes a 
provision authorizing new contracts for municipal and industrial 
water in the amount of 100,000 AF annually to be made available 
to the highest bidder. 


had to be mindful to start rebuilding those relationships. We 
did start a process. 

Gage was the chairman by that time, and we were going 
through a blue ribbon panel. The blue ribbon panel was going 
out everywhere to talk to people about what they liked and 
didn t like about the Metropolitan Water District. Let s just 
say, when you got into the Central Valley, the list of names on 
our fan club was exceedingly short. The feelings were not only 
negative, they were extraordinarily negative. 

When the people who had been doing the survey on behalf of 
the blue ribbon panel came back, we were looking at an 
inventory of just how people felt now that we had been through 
the fight and won the fight. Mind you, I believe that was a 
fundamentally important realignment of the political 
relationships, but it became apparent that we had a lot of work 
to do to get back to the concept of an equilateral triangle 
where all three parts could be getting their objectives met and 
could work together. We started earnestly working towards that 
path, and we have gone a substantial way down it. 

Today, if you could get the opinions of the agricultural 
committee, we re probably in better shape now with those 
relationships. The environmentalists are going to be the ones 
that are unhappy with us, and largely around, oddly enough, 
CVPIA implementation issues. We helped pass the bill. We felt 
in our heart of hearts, and still do, that it was fundamentally 
important reform, important for California, important for water 
resource management, but you have to transition to a situation 
where everybody can live with what you re trying to do. 

You can t sustain the situation if every time there is a 
new Congress, the CVP contractors want to go back and pass a 
bill to get rid of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 
The urban community is once again trying to define a workable 
and sustainable solution. We have been trying to develop 
implementation strategies on CVPIA that can be supported by CVP 
agriculture. That s what will be required to maintain the 
integrity of the bill over the long run. 

Little of this has to do with water marketing provisions 
because, as a matter of law, they re not controversial. We 
might want to talk a little bit about our efforts to try and 
use the water transfer provisions after the passage of the act. 
It turns out getting the bill passed and using it are two 
different things, but the urban community has been working 
hard. This is December, 1997, and I m spending easily half 
plus of my time trying to work out centrist compromise 


positions for the implementation of the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act. 

Both the agricultural and the environmental interests , from 
time to time, are unhappy with us but the urbans are trying 
hard to create a centrist position; that is, good policy and 

Boronkay: May I add one thing. I understand the desirability, the 

ultimate goal, is to get three parties working together to 
compromise positions, but what I see that has happened at least 
for the present, or the immediate period following the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act, is that there are three players 
instead of two. 

There are times when we ll be with the ag people, say, on 
the new facility in the Delta. There will be times where we re 
with the environmentalists, say, on fisheries restoration, 
because we re an urban area and so we re concerned with the 
environment, and our board is concerned with it. Our 
constituents to a great extent are environmentaliststhey re 
the ones that voted environmental protection. I think East Bay 
Municipal Utility District became independent of its 
constituencies, so that board was voted away. 

So, I think Tim works always toward the right goal--a 
suitable compromise, but of three parties. But there are times 
when a compromise can t be attained, and then you can t allow 
the third party to simply veto any action. So there are times 
it will be two against one. But the major change that has 
happened is that instead of assuming urban water people are 
always with ag water people, and the fight is with the 
environmentalists, or conservationists, no longer can that 
assumption be made. There are now three independent parties at 
the table. With that, I m going to ask to be excused. 

Chall: Thank you very much for your time and interest. 
[Mr. Boronkay leaves] 




^ a . - - PUBLICATION Press-Enterprise 


METROPOLITAN wAr-aDismc Cr s:. -: -. ;-. -:-v/j n A jr March 29, 1993 

Guiding the MWD in modern time 

Carl Boronkay, general manager since 1984, retires this week 

By Douglas E. freeman 
The Pnt-EnJrprise 

Carl Boronkay. a former trial attorney, bas spent the last 
nine years arguing his case before some oJ the toughest around: 51 water board directors, a baodful of 
environmental groups and 15 million Southern Califor- 

Boronkay is retiring this week as general manager of 
tne Metropolitan Water District His original objective 
the controversial Peripheral Canal to divert more North 
ern California water around toe Sacramento-San JoaquJn 
delta still is unrealized. 

But the agency Boronkay is leaving behind Is remark 
ably dlfferenl from the one he Inherited In 1984. 

Back then. Metropolitan was hide-bound, still stunned 
that voters two years earlier rejected the Peripheral 
Canal, still certain that the only way to slake Southern 
California s thirst was to build more dams and canals in 
far-off regions. 

Bsck tbeo, environmentalists were The Enemy they 
killed the Peripheral Canal, didn t they? And if you wanted 
to burst a few veins, suggest Metropolitan do something 
really wiJd. like buy water from farmers. 



ME ~ : 0Ci TA ,V rt 4 TER DlS " ." " CF SOU THERN 4( IF C"?,V J 

These days. Metropolitan is 
working with environmental 
groups on a number of issues, 
including water marketing. It is 
paying Palo Verde Valley farmers 
to fallow fields in exchange for the 
water. It has lined Imperial Valley 
canals to prevent seepage, also in 
exchange for the water saved. It 
has set up nature preserves in 
Riverside County for endangered 
and threatened spedes. 

Although opinions vary, nearly 
everyone agrees that Boronkay 
deserves at least some of the credit 
lor this turnaround. 

Boronkay "certainly brought us 
into the modern century," said 
Franceses Krauel, one of San Die 
go County s representatives on 
Metropolitan s board. 

A more skeptical observer 
agreed. "I think he moved Metro 
politan Water District not by 
himself, but with others a sub 
stantial distance from where they 
were when he began," said Thom 
as Graff, a senior attorney with the 
Environmental Defense Fund. 

V.Boronkay, who earns $189.000 a 

year, navigated the district through 
one of the worst droughts in the 
modern era. He presided at a time 
When the district began expanding 
its water storage capability with 
the Domenigonj Valley Reservoir 
near Hemet, and when bis own 
Board was becoming more conten 
tious and more likely to challenge 
tftp staff. 

; At 63, Boronkay looks like the 
tired man he says he is. His face is 
lined and his slight stoop and 
mannerisms suggest a man in 
search of an easy chair. Boronkay 
says that after nine years as gener 
al manager, he s ready to do 
something else. Just what, he says, 
he doesn t know. 
< "I feel that If I did something 
else, it would be Invigorating," he 

It was his search for something 
invigorating that led Boronkay 
from the state attorney general s 
office to Metropolitan as assistant 
general counsel in 1976. Four 
years later, he was named the 
district s top lawyer. Four years 
after that, he became head of the 

. He took over Metropolitan at a 
difficult time In its history. 

Porvoars Mptronol (tan s orima- 

113b DATE 
ry goals were to pour more con 
crete for canals and aqueducts and 
other facilities to Import and dis 
tribute water from the Colorado 
River and Northern California. 
The agency now supplies about 60 
percent of the water used by some 
15 million Southern Calif ornians. 

But In 1982, California voters 
decisively rejected a key element 
of the State Water Project a plan 
to build a canal around the periph 
ery of the Sacramento-San Joaquin 
river delta to move more water 
south. Large numbers of voters 
accepted environmentalist con 
cerns about potential environmen 
tal harm. It became clear that 
similar proposals weren t going 
anywhere, either. 

Boronkay said that when he was 
interviewed for the general man 
ager s job. he told Metropolitan 
board members his primary goal 
would be to push for completion of 
the State Water Project 

"I was a traditionalist My view 
was, we were defeated on the State 
Project, particularly the Peripher 
al Canal, but our cause was just and 
we just have to do better fighting 
for the cause," Boronkay said. 

Gradually, though, he began to 
realize that his goal was an elusive 
one. With Southern California 
growing rapidly, and no new water 
projects foreseeable, the agency 
had to try something else, 

"We were driven to be more 
imaginative, " he said. 

The agency began talking to the 
Imperial Irrigation District about a 
previously unheard of Idea: Metro 
politan would line with concrete 
Imperial s leaky earthen canals in. 
exchange for the water saved. It 
took years of wrangling. At several 
points, the deal appeared to unrav 
el. But it didn t Metropolitan ex 
pects eventually to obtain enough 
water to supply about 200,000 

Metropolitan began exploring 
other ideas, as well It expanded 
programs to dean up contaminat 
ed ground water basins in Southern 
California, figuring that the more 
local water Southern CaUfomians 
used, the less imported water they 
would need. 

It expanded conservation pro 
grams, much as electric and gas 
utilities did in the 1970s. It support 
ed programs to recycle water for 
non-drinking purposes. It devel 
oped programs to bank water in 
underground basins in wet years to 
meet demand in dry yqars. 

Tf h*ean nurrhasinc watr frnm 

March 29. 1993 

farmers through water marketing 
programs. It was a concept ibng 
supported by environmentalists, 
but one Metropolitan resisted. 

And Metropolitan began talking 
about water problems with envi 
ronmental groups. 

Boronkay said the turnabout 
came in part because the argu 
ments of environmentalists 
"seeped through." 

"The environmentalists were no 
longer the enemy and their argu 
ments could not be dismissed out of 
hand. Just as the arguments ap 
pealed to the public, they appealed 
to me." 

Graff of the Environmental De 
fense Fund said the Peripheral 
Canal rejection was the "first sub 
stantial defeat" of Metropolitan 
and the old way of doing business. 
The old way just didn t work," he 
said. "They were up against it. 
They had to try some new things." 

Those new things did not always 
come about smoothly. The board 
that hired Boronkay was mostly 
older and accustomed to Met s old 
way of doing business with con 
crete and dams. They sometimes 
were reluctant cohorts. 

"He didnt really bring the board 
along with him." contends Robert 
Gottlieb, a former board member 
and critic "His role was to humor 
the board." Gottlieb said the board 
membersdidnt really understand 
where Boronkay was taking them. 

Gottlieb s view is not universally 
held, but some board members 
said Boronkay did strike out ahead 
of the board at times. 

"Cart tends to advocate positions 
rather than approaching things 
strictly as a manager (who did as 
the board directed)." said Krauel, 
the San Diego board member. 

Boronkay said he may have 
interpreted his ability to act more 
broadly than some board members 
would have liked. But he said all of 
his actions were rooted iifgovern- 




DATF March 29, 1993- 

ing board policy. 

"Of course, I never do anything 
without (board) approval But it s 
at a broad level," he said. 

At the same time, Boronkay 
admits to some missteps. One time 
a reporter asked Boronkay about 
one Kern County fanner s offer to 
sell his land and water rights to 
Metropolitan. Boronkays answer 

that he was interested In any 
deal to secure water for the district 

ignited a contentious debate 
among board members who feared 
the district was being tarred as 
another Los Angeles, out to strip 
whole regions of their land and 

Board members wanted to pass 
a measure restricting MWD from 
ever buying land for the property s 
water rights. Boronkay argued 
with board members that such a 
move would unnecessarily tie the 
district s hands. Although there 
was much support among board 
members, he won his case. 

"Because of his convictions 
because of his forcefulness ... 
he can come across very, very 
strong," said Burton Jones, another 
former director. Boronkay, he add 
ed, "definitely is a vigorous gener 
al manager." 

And bright, arbitrary, witty, ar 
rogant, a visionary, and very cre 
ative. These are the words used by 
people outside the district to de 
scribe Boronkay. 

Inside the district a few other 
words are used. 

He is known as a tough Inquisi 
tor, always asking questions, al 
ways pushing his staff. 

"I have seen people crumble 
under a Boronkay questioning," 
said Richard Clemmer, an asso 
ciate division director at Metropol 
itan. "He acts like a trial attorney. 
He wants answers." 

At the same time, demmer and 
others believe Boronkay has done 
much for the agency, steering it 
toward a greater appreciation for 

conservation, a willingness to try 
innovative ways of getting water, 
and an increased sensitivity to the 
environment. Boronkay also 
changed the face of the district s 
management, promoting more 
women and minorities than in the 

Boronkays leadership extended 
beyond the district s confines. 

"He s not universally liked, but 
he s respected for his abilities," 
said Steve Hall of the Association 
of California Water Agendas. He 
added: "Frankly. I think he s done 
a lot to move California water 
more in the direction it needs to be 
in the future." 

One of his biggest successes, by 
most accounts, was the reform of 
the Central Valley Project, a feder 
al water project built in the De 
pression years mainly to supply 

Boronkay was one of the key 
players in promoting water mar 
keting provisions in the reform bill 
that will permit cities to buy feder 
al water from Central Valley fann 
ers willing to sell 

His and Metropolitan s support 
for water marketing further alien 
ated the agency s traditional ally, 
agriculture. Fanners there were 
opposed to reforms that would take 
water from them and give it over to 
the environment and urban users. 

"He definitely has got some 
adversaries, if not enemies, in the 
(San Joaquin) valley," said Graff, 
the Environmental Defense Fund 

"There have been, particularly 
in the last two years, a lot of hard 
feelings," said Tom dark, general 
manager of the Kern County Water 

Clark said, however, that al 
though he has differences with 
Boronkay, they have been able to 
work cooperatively on other 
projects, such as a plan to store 
excess Northern California water 
in Kern County s groundwater ta 

Farmers haven t been the only 
contentious players in the world or 
water. Metropolitan s own board 
has changed, as veteran directors 
leave and younger, more activist 
directors take their places. 

This was underscored by the 
election last year of Mike Gage as 
chairman. Gage, an aggressive, 
sawy former assemblyman, for 
mer deputy mayor of Los Angeles 
and a newcomer to the board, 
outmaneuvered Riverside ^ Lois 
Krieger for the chau7r=oship. 

Former ooara member Burton 
Jones said he believes the change 
over has strained relabons be 
tween Boronkay and the board in 
recent years. 

Boronkay said having a more 
activist board, and particularly a 
more activist chairman, was "no 
bother whatsoever, but it to some 
thing you adapt to. It s new." 

He said Gage Is much more 
involved in overseeing the district 
tfran previous chairmen have 
been, much more likely to suggest 
ideas and directions. Boronkay 
said Gage s election as chairman 
was not a factor hi his own decision 
to retire. 

Gage, while praising Boronkay, 
acknowledged that relations be 
tween the manager and the board 
were strained at times in recent 

"I think it is fair to say the board 
of directors wanted and wants 
a stronger role in setting direc 
tions," Gage said. 

Christine Reed. Santa Monica s 
outspoken representative on Met 
ropolitan s board, said she wished 
the agency s staff had been less 
cautious and less resistant to 
change. But despite her differ 
ences with Boronkay, she praised 
his tenure: 

"He dealt with the big problems 
in 2. way that, when you look back, 
you can say, "We did a good job " 





"We Want to Get Better Together" ## 

Chall: Let me ask you a question. Why is the San Luis and Delta- 
Mendota Water Authority now taking the lead against 
implementation? I don t see too many others involved. First, 
it was Westlands Water District and their suit, and that was 
dismissed. Then, there was Congressman Doolittle s reform bill 
that lost. 1 Now, we ve got this suit. Are agriculture /water 
users trying various ways to negate the CVPIA? 

Quinn: I think the only fair answer to that is no, not at this time. 
Let me give you some background information on this lawsuit. 
This is an uneasy partnership going on between the ags and 
urbans on this particular score. Would agriculture like to get 
rid of Miller-Bradley? Of course, they would. But do they 
think they can? No, they re past that; they know that they re 
never going to be rid of the Miller-Bradley bill. 

I think at some level they know that. Here I m stretching 
considerably, but I think a lot of them know that at its core, 
it s not bad policy, that we had to do more by the environment 
than we were doing before. In essence, Miller-Bradley was a 
re-balancing of the objectives of the project. When the 
Republicans took the Congress and came into office in "95, they 
went after the bill, and they found out they couldn t get rid 
of the bill. Even with a strong Republican majority in 
Congress, they couldn t get rid of the bill. 

1. R. 2738, introduced by Representative John Doolittle, 1995. 


In no small measure, because the urbans were absolutely not 
going to cooperate in the strategies they were trying to 
implement. Over time, these were people that delivered water 
to farms. They run businesses. They have got bottom lines to 
meet. They can t afford to rest on their laurels and do a lot 
of mindless position negotiating. Agricultural interests are 
out to solve some problems here because they have to. 

The key to CVPIA implementation is to implement the CVPIA 
within a broader policy framework, such as CALFED, so that as 
we improve habitat and the fisheries, we are able to improve 
the situation for water users as well. The essential strategy 
which the urbans have promoted is to support additional 
environmental protections under CVPIA as well as actionswe 
call them "tool box" measuresto increase the capacity of the 
system in the near term so that all the interest groups can 
improve their situation. Typical tool box measures include 
actions to increase pumping flexibility in the Delta and to 
increase groundwater storage capacity south of the Delta. In 
other words, CVPIA can be implemented with far less 
controversy, if we also invest in system capacity and 

In recent years, the fish are getting better, but the 
additional flexibility allows us to make water available for 
the fisheries for enhancement relative to the 94 Bay-Delta 
Accord baseline. In addition, a modest amount of water needs 
to be left over so that the water users can go back and say for 
the first time, "We ve started to recover from where we were in 
92 and 94; we re on the road to recovery just like the fish." 
Our mantra in the water community has become, "We want to get 
better together." You have probably read that quote in some of 
these newspaper articles that you re referring to. 

"Better together" means to support a packaged policy 
approach that implements CVPIA within a broader framework that 
constitutes more of early phased implementation of CALFED so 
that not only is the environment improving its situation, but 
the water users are sharing in some of the gains as well. The 
CVP contractors are, privately anyway, quite supportive of that 
concept. They are not opposed to environmental enhancement. 
Quite the contrary, they see it as the only way they will 
realize any improvement in their situation. They are deeply 
mistrustful that if they don t really protect their strategic 
legal position that we will wind up with an outcome in which 
the environment takes another step forward while they take 
another large hit. They can t sell that at home. 


Now, [Department of] Interior has also been endorsing as a 
policy outcome that we all "Get better together." Here is some 
background future historians may find interestinga small 
anecdote: Last year, Interior proposed a set of eight new Delta 
actions to be implemented under CVPIA. These actions were 
expected to cost a fair amount of water. Nonetheless, the 
water users were coming very close to an agreement with 
Interior on October 30, 1997, to support a package that would 
implement the actions, even though it was going to be really 
hard to sell many in the ag community. 

We were meeting with Mike Spear and Roger Patterson. John 
Garamendi came in, felt that he couldn t defend it with the 
environmentalists, was worried about it politically, and 
scuttled the deal. The next day, on Halloween, there was a big 
public unveiling of a draft proposal for implementing CVPIA, 
which even from a centrist urban perspective was very bad for 
water users. 

Even the urbans could not support what John put on the 
table, and we told him so. Unfortunately, the episode 
reintroduced some mistrust into the system. I mean, we were 
close to a deal; the guy from Washington comes and upsets the 
apple cart. I wish that John hadn t done that, quite frankly. 
You know I have a very good relationship with him and high 
regard for John. 

Then, on November 20, they came out with a new plan, which 
was substantially revised from the old Halloween plan. In no 
small respect, it was revised in response to a lot of comments 
coming from the water community. The environmentalists were 
about to file suit. They didn t like it. It s a hard world 
for everyone to be absolutely happy in. It s quite clear to me 
that strategically the CVP contractors had decided they were 
going to file a suit no matter what happened on November 20. 

I called Dan Nelson and Dave Orth. Dave Orth is the 
general manager of Westlands Water District. 

Chall: Dave? 

Quinn: Orth, 0-r-t-h. I, frankly, wasn t thrilled that they decided 
to file suit. I would have preferred them to wait and give 
this thing a chance to come to more closure and see if they 
needed to take legal action. Strategically, they felt they 
needed to protect their legal position. So, my words to both 
of them, in a nutshell, were, "Go to court, but don t go to 
war." We still need an amicable, equitable, equilateral 
triangle solution to this stage of CVPIA implementation. 


The More Things Change the More They Stay the Same? 

Quinn: The environmentalists, of course, were outraged that CVP 

contractors would file a suit against the implementation of 
CVPIA. They re playing it that these guys are once again 
trying to get rid of the whole act. I can tell you, as 
somebody who works with them on almost a daily basis right now, 
that is a grossly inaccurate characterization of where they are 
coming from. Indeed, right now we have the agricultural 
interests wanting to talk settlement along the lines of a 
policy that would allow the environmental actions to be 
implemented as long as it s part of this package we ve been 
talking about for six or nine months. 

I will spend much of the coming months with the other urban 
representatives and ag interests to try and develop a balanced 
settlement agreement with the Feds. I m not sure exactly where 
the environmentalists will come from. The environmentalists 
right now are the wild card in California water politics from 
an urban perspective. It s very strange. This may launch us 
into sort of a new topic. What the Miller-Bradley bill did was 
it stole the old status quo away from the agricultural 
interests, giving them a reason for change. They no longer 
like the status quo. 

All change happens in the middle; no sustainable change 
happens out in the radical extreme. So, agriculture, out of 
necessity, has been moving to more centrist positions. Oddly 
enough, as the agricultural entities have been moving to more 
centrist positions, the environmentalists are alarmed that the 
ags and urbans are getting together, and they re moving out to 
more extremes . 

I ve never seen the environmental rhetoric sharper. I ve 
never seen the rhetoric more irrational. Right now, that is 
causing me great concern. If you look back at the historical 
trends, agriculture is embracing environmental objectives, 
realizing that it has to. Rather than having the 
environmentalists say, "Wow, that is good. Now, let s get some 
real meaningful stuff done," they re afraid of the urbans and 
ags together in the middle and seem to be trying to 
counterbalance us by being way out on an extreme on a lot of 
these issues. 

Chall: So, nobody really trusts each other. 
Quinn: Not yet. 


Chall: There s a three-way balance of mistrust. 

Quinn: Well, you know, a lot of relationships are that way. Some of 
our interests are in conflict; we are trying to find ways to 
make our interests more compatible. I do think some of the 
things that have happened since Carl left, as general manager, 
are very powerful lessons about the power of successful 
coalition politics. The accord was the first example. We were 
all then, and we still are, enormously proud of what we did 
under the accord. 

Senate Bill 900 Becomes Proposition 20A 1 

Quinn: In the old world you would never have had the politics of S.B. 
900, Senator [Jim] Costa s bill in 1996, which provided funding 
for the environment. Senator Jim Costa is the chairman of 
California s Senate Water Committee. This is worth a little 

Chall: I don t know about that one. 

Quinn: Well, as part of the CALFED process, the water community 

accepts without any equivocation that CALFED must incorporate a 
massive ecosystem restoration project. It has been in the 
newspapers recently that a $100 million appropriation for 
environmental restoration was just announced by Governor 
Wilson. Well, you might ask where that money came from. Well, 
that money came from the power of coalition politics within the 
water and the environmental community. 

Costa conceived the notion of a water bond that he wanted 
to move in 1996. He started really talking about it seriously 
in early 1995. In its early manifestations it looked a lot 
like a 1982 Peripheral Canal bond. In that form, it would have 
been born dead. To Jim s credit, he showed himself through 
this process to be a statesman of considerable skill. He was 
previously thought of as a Central Valley legislator with 
fairly narrow agricultural perspectives. 

In the S.B. 900 experience, he demonstrated he could be a 
statesman with a very broad perspective on what needs to be 

Proposition 204, The Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act. Would 
generate nearly one billion dollars to finance key water quality and 
environmental improvements, especially in the Delta. November 1996. 





$100 Million to 
Begin Bay-Delta 



Officials of the Clinton and Wil 
son administrations on Wednesday 
announced the first major fund 
inga JlOO-milHon down pay 
mentfor the long-promised envi 
ronmental restoration of the San 
Francisco Bay -Delta estuary and 
the rivers that feed it 

Billed as the largest ecological 
restoration yet undertaken in the 
United States, the project, with an 
ultimate price tag of $2 billion, is 
designed to repair 100 years of 
damage caused by man-made 
erosion, pollution, dams and diver 
sionsin the watersheds that pro 
vide 60% of California s fresh wa 

The project came about as part of 
the 1994 Bay Delta Accord, which 
was supposed to end the Bay -Delta 
water wars that had raged for 
years among agricultural, urban 
and environmental interests. But 
those groups are still at odds over 
key issues including how much 
water will be permanently avail 
able for environmental needs in 
ihe delta and, until Wednesday, 
little money had been allocated for 
the restoration work. 

The $100 million will pay for a 
first phase including the rehabili 
tation of marshes and wetlands, the 
replanting of riverside forests, the 
construction of fish ladders to help 
migrating salmon and the installa 
tion of screens to prevent fish from 
being drawn into irrigation canals. 
Through a proposition. Congress 
and California voters have ear 
marked an additional $720 million 
to be spent on the restoration over 
the next 25 years. The remainder of 
the funding still must be found. 

The boundaries of the project 
extend from Fresno 350 miles 
north to Redding, and from the 
headwaters of the San Joaquin 
River in the Sierra Nevada to the 
origins of the Sacramento River in 
California s Cascade Range. 

The ultimate goal is to repair the 
damage, including a dramatic de 
cline of fish and wildlife, caused by 

the diversion of massive amounts 
of water for agriculture and urban 
use. The hope is that a restored 
delta will mean cleaner drinking 
water, a healthier habitat for fish 
and wildlife and better flood con 

The $100 million in federal and 
state funding, which will pay 
for 50 separate projects, was an 
nounced by U.S. Interior Secretary 
Bruce Babbitt. Commerce Secre 
tary William Daley, Environmen 
tal Protection Agency Administra 
tor Carol Browner and Gov. Pete 
Wilson. At the same time, the 
officials granted a one-year exten 
sion of the 1994 agreement, which 
was to expire this week. 

"The extension of the historic 
accord gives us the chance to craft 
a long-term plan that works for 
everyone, including business inter 
ests, farmers, environmentalists 
and communities," Browner said in 
a statement. 

The optimistic pronouncements, 
however, masked official concern 
over the continuing discord be 
tween environmentalists and the 
other interest groups over how to 
.divide the water that flows into the 
delta from the Sacramento and San 
. Joaquin river systems. 

Many government officials, 
along with representatives of agri 
business and cities, believe envi 
ronmental conflicts could be best 
avoided by building a 60- mile long 
diversionary canal that would cap 
ture most of the water for Central 
Valley agriculture and Southern 
California cities before it flows 
; through the delta. 
- Environmental groups, however, 
.see the canal, which could cost $3 
; billion or more, as an opportunity 
fgr rival users to take even more 
water from the rivers without 
having to justify the increased 

diversions, as they must do now. 

"The environmental community 
still supports the principles of the 
accord, but we think there has 
been serious backsliding on the 
deal." said Ann Notthoff of the 
Natural Resources Defense Council 

"Over the past year," Notthoff 
said, "the Wilson administration 
and Central Valley water users 
undermined the agreement by re 
laxing water-quality standards 
agreed to in the accord, by trying 
to authorize massive new agricul 
tural diversions and by continuing 
to attack the federal legislation 
that underpins the accord." 

Los Angeles Times 

December 18, 1>97 

The intent of the accord was to 
lay the groundwork for a long- 
term, equitable apportionment of 
the state s largest fresh water sup 
ply. With the agreement, urban 
and agricultural interests for the 
first time acknowledged that the 
environment was an equal partner 
in negotiations over delta water 

It was also an acknowledgment 
of the delta s value as the largest 
wetland habitat in the Western 

United States, the home of nearly 
120 species of birds, mammals, 
reptiles, amphibians and fish. By 
the time the accord was signed, 
more than 20 other species of 
native plants and animals once 
found there had become extinct. 
Nine more were endangered. 

According to environmentalists, 
up to two- thirds of the delta s 
natural flow was being diverted for 
farming and other uses in some 
years. The reduced flows, in turn, 
were allowing salt water to move 
upstream from the ocean, ruining 
freshwater habitat. The reduced 
amount of water also cost the delta 
some of its ability, to dilute chemi 
cal pollutants, they said. 

Meanwhile, higher up in the 
river systems, erosion from defor 
estation and development filled 
streams with sediment that de 
stroyed salmon spawning grounds. 

Leading up to the 1994 accord, 
environmental groups forced a 
showdown by invoking the Endan 
gered Species Act in a series of 
lawsuits that disrupted diversions i 
of water out of the delta. The 
interruptions led business leaders 
to warn that California s economy 
would suffer if the state could no 
longer count on reliable deliveries 
of delta water. 

That is still the case, according 
to Timothy H. Quinn, deputy gen 
eral manager of the Metropolitan 
Water District, the primary sup 
plier of water to Southern Califor 
nia communities. "The ominous 
warnings are as relevant today as 
they were three years ago." he 

The water district gets one-third 
of its water from the delta the 
rest comes from the Colorado 
River and can ill afford disrup 
tions in the delivery systems. The 
city of Los Angeles receives most 
of its water from the eastern Sierra 
Nevada, but in dry years has 
turned to the water district for 
50% of its supply. 



The future course of the envi 
ronmental restoration hinges on an 
amicable division of the delta s 
freshwater supply. 

Quinn is among those who say 
the best way to do that is to build 
the diversionary canal, which 
would bypass most of the delta and 
link up with the aqueducts that 
move water south. 

The canal, which would be 
funded separately from the envi 
ronmental project, would increase 
the reliability of water deliveries, 
he said, and improve the quality of 
water shipped south, because wa 
ter taken from above the delta is 
less polluted. 

But Quinn said that any pro 
posed fix will fail if any one of 
the interest groups does not en 
dorse it 

"In this case, environmentalists 
have to have the assurance that 
the facility would be operated in an 
equitable fashion. The challenge is 
to incorporate environmental val 
ues as part of the day-to-day 
governance of water in California." 

Environmentalists see the issue 
in mathematical terms. The accord 
guaranteed an additional 1.1 mil 
lion acre -feet of water to improve 
water quality in the delta. But it 
left open the question of how much 
more water would be needed to 
revive declining fish species, such 
as Chinook salmon, steelhead and 
delta smelt. 

For the extra water, environ 
mental groups now look to the 1992 
Central Valley Project Improve 
ment Act, which redirected 800.000 
acre feet of delta water from agri 
culture to fish. 

But one of the largest Central 
Valley water authorities last 
month fifed a lawsuit to stop the 
federal government from allocat 
ing any more water to the environ 

fUbLIU AI-rAIM5 CLirSHttl 



Los Angeles Times 

December 18, 1997 


Restoring the Delta 

An initial $100 million from state and 
federal sources will start restoration of 
the San Francisco Bay -San Joaquin 
Delta, the heart of which is shown here. 
The project eventually will be the largest 
of its kind in the United States. . 




Key points of the plan: 

Estimated total cost: $2 billion for the purchase and 
rehabilitation of thousands of acres of wetlands, marshes, islands 
and other wildlife habitat. 

Construction of fish ladders to help migrating salmon make 
their way past dams. 

Installation of screens to prevent fish from being sucked into 
the giant pumps that divert water out of the delta for agricultural 
and urban uses. 

Replanting of trees along streams to help prevent erosion. 

The goal: To restore conditions that fish and wildlife need to 
again thrive in the delta and the rivers that flow into it. 

, John Garamendi, the deputy 
secretary of the Interior Depart 
ment who tried unsuccessfully to 
broker a compromise over the 
contested water, said that dispute 

Los Angeles Tir 

could imperil the delta accord. 

"If the federal government 
should lose the suit over that 
800,000 acre -feet, I think the ac 
cord is in serious jeopardy." he said. 


happening. The concept emerged that S.B. 900 should become a 
major financing bill for ecosystem restoration through CALFED. 
The bill had been languishing in the legislature, no meaningful 
money for the ecosystem in the Bay-Delta watershed, no 
reclamation money. 

It was a pork bill, primarily, for urban water districts. 
Small reclamation projects would then get funded, and water 
treatment problems would then get taken care of. But nothing 
meaningful for CALFED or the bigger picture Bay-Delta 

The urbans strongly felt that it needed to be transformed 
into a vehicle to provide major funding for ecosystem 
restoration. We weren t getting very far. I think it was May, 
or so, of 1996, I went to visit Tom Clark and Tom Hurlbutt. We 
became referred to, in this process, as the Tim and the Toms. 
The Tim and the Toms spent two and a half hours in Kern County 
Water Agency s offices in Bakersfield. Tom Clark is the 
general manager of the Kern County Agency, and Tom Hurlbutt is 
with Boswell Corporation, major water player in California 

At that meeting, I was working to convince the agricultural 
interests that their most important legislative objective that 
year should be money for the environment --not money for them, 
not money for water, not money for a facilitymoney for the 
environment. It took maybe six minutes for Clark to realize 
this was a good strategy. Clark is a very savvy guy, and also 
a very strong leader in California water. It was the oddest 
thing. It tells you something, though, about water politics in 
California today, that that became the top legislative priority 
at the Kern County Water Agency- -getting money for the 
environment . 

Tom Clark became the champion of that bill. I mean, that 
needed to happen because Tom and the aggies were much more 
influential with the water leadership in the legislature than 
the urbans were. It was crazy beyond imagination when we 
approached the environmentalists and said, "Work with us. We 
want to get a billion dollars for the environment." At first 
they said no. We had long, frustrating conversations with Tom 
Graff and Dave Yardas, and others. They simply refused to 
participate initially. I think, in part, because they were 
afraid of some of the changes that this could be a part of. 

Chall: Undo the restoration? 


Quinn: Absolutely, they may have been concerned about undoing the 
progress of the past. But, S.B. 900 never could have done 
that . They may have also been concerned that we were taking 
CVPIA and making it look small. But, S.B. 900 was legitimate 
money for the environment; there were no games being played. 
From our perspective, we wanted to do this because we thought 
it needed to be done as part of an overall comprehensive 
package that solves our problems too. The pain mentality in 
some places in the environmental community is so powerful that 
I think their reaction was, "Wait a minute, if we partner with 
you and get a billion dollars that might be part of a package 
in which you guys don t have as much pain anymore, we don t 
know if we want to do that." 

Chall: So, Peltier is probably right when he said that they wanted to 
cause pain? I mean the objective of the CVPIA was to cause 

Quinn: I think that is an element in the environmental community, but 
it s too easy to dismiss the whole thing that way. No, I don t 
agree with that. 

Chall: I see, but you think there still is that aspect? 

Quinn: There is that aspect that you measure environmental gain by 
water user pain. Quite frankly, we need to defeat that mind 
set if we re ever going to move forward. It is the enemy of 
your equilateral triangle. 

Building the Coalition for Proposition 204 

Chall: Oh my. Well, Proposition 204 seemed to provide an avenue for 
everybody to come together. 

Quinn: Eventually, we did. One of the morals of the story here is we 
did come together on Prop. 204. Although, it took several 
months for us to convince the environmentalists that they 
wanted to join us. Eventually, they did join us in Prop. 204. 
This was a major initiative in the Delta. 

Chall: Yes, it is. 

Quinn: Every other legislative effort related to the Delta has been 
World War III in the California legislature. But, S.B. 900 
sailed through. I think it had a total of a half of a dozen 
no-votes in both houses combined. It overwhelmingly passed. 




Quinn : 

The voters passed it 65 percent to 35 percent; it was nearly a 
two to one margin of voter approval. One of the main reasons 
for that success was that the list of supporters was 
incredible. The coalition that had been built to support S.B. 
900, which was before the voters in November of 1996 as 
Proposition 204, was simply unprecedented. 

We went to Washington, D.C. with that coalition. We 
created a thing we now call the California Bay-Delta Water 
Coalition. Twenty-five organizations which jointly fund 
lobbying activities in Washington, D.C. related to getting 
funding for the Bay-Delta. It includes environmental 
organizations, urban, and agricultural organizations. 
Everybody pays money into a fund to finance joint lobbying 

We went to the Congress in 96. It was an election year, 
so election politics was a big player here, but this was 
something where the Republicans in the Congress could look 
green and not get a negative counterlash because the 
agricultural interests were supporting this green initiative. 
So, much to our surprise, the Speaker of the House, Mr. [Newt] 
Gingrich, picked this up and within less than a month, we had a 
$430 million authorization bill for the Bay-Delta. 

We got forty-nine out of fifty-two California congressional 
representatives to sign a letter supporting this money for the 
Bay-Delta. Our congressional delegation doesn t get along 
about anything, let alone the most contentious issues that 
there are in California water. All of this was the power of 
coalition politics. That was an authorization bill, hard to 
get, but a heck of a lot easier to get than an appropriations 
bill, that s when you really get the money in your pocket. 

Did you get it? 

We got $85 million appropriated through activities of the 
California Bay-Delta Water Coalition for the Bay-Delta. We got 
it by telling a story of better government where all three 
sides were willing to try and manage their differences and come 
up with consensual solutions. 

You think we re not ever going to go back before CVPIA to true 
water wars? 

Oh, I think there s real risk of that. 
You do think that? 


Quinn: If I thought it was easy, I wouldn t spend so many hours 

worrying about it. There is so much more to be gained through 
consensus. The rewards of consensus are extraordinary. The 
cost of conflict are no less extraordinary, but it s hard to 
bury some of these hatchets. I gave a speech not long ago to 
the environmental community, and I ought to give the corollary 
speech to the agricultural community. The theme of the speech 
was to the environmentalists, "You ve won the revolution." 

Truly, I believe the environmental revolution is a lasting 
legacy. Any day now, I m going to be a grandfather for the 
second time. I mean, the environmental revolution is one of 
the lasting wonderful legacies that the last half of the 
twentieth century is going to pass on to future generations. 
The revolution has been fought and won. Now, the question is 
can we turn to governance? It s a hard thing, though, because 
right now the environmental movement is peopled largely with 
revolutionaries . 

The true test of CVPIA is not did you win the revolutionary 
war. They won it, and the product that was produced, we were 
all discovering, was far from perfect. It certainly was an 
astonishing victory of the revolutionaries, but the question 
now is: You won it, now can you govern it? Can you actually 
make it turn out and produce ecosystem restoration? Unless we 
do that together, it is not going to happen. 

Chall: So, it s still up in the air? 

Quinn: It is still up in the air. Success is not assured, but I am 

optimistic that the powerful lessons of what consensus politics 
can deliver that we ve learned in the last few years will, in 
the end, overwhelm some of our instincts to keep fighting the 
revolution after it has already been won. 

The Metropolitan Water District, the CVPIA. and Water Marketing 

Chall: I want to ask you now about the report you sent to me about 

Central Valley Water Marketing Strategies, April 27, 1993. You 
were apparently concerned about some of interim guidelines for 
water transfers, which did not appeal to you, or to the 

Report from John R. Wodraska, to the MWD Board of Directors and 
relevant committees, April 27, 1993, re implementation of the CVPIA and 
water marketing. On deposit in the Water Resources Center Library. 


Metropolitan Water District. So, this is a problem you have 
with implementing the CVPIA. Do you want to talk to me about 

The Failed Areias Dairy Farm Transaction 

Quinn: Well, I think, probably the most useful tack is to talk about 
the Areias Dairy Farm transaction, because that was the first 
time when we really tried to go out and do it. You have a 
board letter, I think, on that as well. 1 

Chall: I do, that s the Areias, right? 

Quinn: Yes. I will try and be brief here. Not long after the act was 
passed, I was approached by Rusty Areias, who was, amazingly 
enough, the chairman of the California Agricultural Committee 
in the California Assembly. I had memories of Areias drilling 
me on water marketing when I was known as a promoter of water 
marketing, and he was an arch foe of water marketing back in 
some of the legislative hearings that occurred in the early 
nineties. Here was Rusty Areias offering to sell water under 
the user-initiated transfer provisions of the Central Valley 
Project Improvement Act. 

We negotiated the deal. It was a pretty attractive deal 
for both sides. Then, we went about learning the hard lesson 
that passing a bill is one thing and then actually using it is 
another. It s part of those bitter feelings that you ve picked 
up when talking to agricultural interests, to some degree. I 
don t know how much forethought there was, but it certainly 
looks a great deal as though the agricultural entities were 
saying, "Well, okay, we ll give Boronkay his water marketing 
provisions, but by God we re going to shoot everything dead 
that he tries to do actually using those water marketing 
provisions. " 

Chall: Oh, is that so? You think so? 

Quinn: Again, I m going to be careful here. I don t have the evidence 
to make a conspiracy case. I m not sure if there was 
forethought, but there was plenty of afterthought. There was 
bitterness about these things, user-initiated transfers in 
particular were bitterly fought by agricultural interests in 

Report to the Board, John R. Wodraska, October 20, 1993. On deposit 
in the Water Resources Center Library. 


the state legislature. We were able to get it on the federal 
act only because they were in such a desperate situation given 
that the planets were lining up for Miller, and they felt 

When we went out with the Areias transaction, which, quite 
frankly, could have been handled a lot better with the benefit 
of hindsight. I wish we would have done a better job of 
rolling the transaction out. There were meetings in Los Banos 
where the agricultural interests were able to turn out about 
2,000 concerned citizens. In Los Banos, I mean, that s half 
the town. 

Chall: Right. 

Quinn: That really gave us pause. I mean, we sat there, knowing we 
wanted to make water marketing work and looking at this 
overwhelming grassroots political opposition. As I sat down 
with Rusty at the time, we said, "Look, we can get there, or we 
can be dead." So, we agreed that we would try and reformat the 
proposed program. One of the desirable things about the act 
was it had forced the contractors, which had the waterthe 
guys that supplied Rusty his waterto develop a water 
marketing policy. 

It wasn t designed to be terribly friendly to water 
marketing, but it was something that would pass the straight- 
face test. They never would have done that without CVPIA. 
They were sending out very strong signals that they would go 
down to the last man. The last man would fall on his sword on 
the barricades to stop this individual from transferring water 
around the control of the district. So, we went about the task 
of trying to renegotiate the deal so it would conform to the 
district s policies. 

Quite frankly, I think, to this day, Graff and others think 
that we re selling out the water marketing provisions of the 
CVPIA. I certainly don t feel that way. The fundamental thing 
the bill did was allow the water to be moved, because legally, 
you couldn t move it before. One of the lessons I have learned 
is I don t care what the bill says, you can t roll over the 
agricultural districts like a steam roller and expect to get 
away with it, even if you re the great and powerful 
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. 

With the Areias transactions, we started to work very hard 
to maintain benefits but try and make it comply with the 
policies of the agricultural districts. By law, we did not 
have to have their permission. But, the local politics were 


clear that we had to develop better relationships with the 
agricultural districts, which, as I noted earlier, was one of 
Carl s parting recommendations to me as he left Metropolitan. 

Unfortunately before we could get that job done, the dairy 
economy had turned very sour. The Areiases ran a dairy farm, 
and they ran into serious financial problems. In the end, the 
Bank of America decided they were more valuable to the bank 
dead than alive. My assessment at the time was the attorneys 
working on this were Central Valley attorneys that worked for 
the Bank of America. 

I think they could reach out and touch the politics, and 
they felt that the deal could never be approved even if 
revised. I still don t believe that to this day. You can make 
it happen if you engage the other side, understand their 
interests, and try to structure your objectives in ways that 
promote theirs. Bank of America wound up, basically, killing 
the deal even though, to this day, Rusty blames us. I think 
even the environmental movement blames us. 

Chall: So, they took the land. In other words, there s no water? 

Quinn: Yes, so Areias lost control of his operation, and the bank 

wasn t going to wait around for the approval of this transfer. 
They wanted to liquidate assets now, and poor Rusty is still 
going through that several years later. 

A happier story is that at long last this afternoon my 
boss, [John R.] Wodraska, will execute an agreement with the 
Arvin-Edison Water Storage District. 

The Successful Arvin-Edison Partnership Plan 

Quinn: This is CVP water. We re investing money in a partnership with 
a CVP contractor to invest in additional water-management 
capabilities. They can get more water into underground 
storage, start to pull it up during dry times, and both Arvin 
and Metropolitan will share the benefits of that investment. 
That gives us a very economically attractive 75,000 acre- foot 
dry-year supply that is independent of the Delta politics. 

The Areias transaction had the possibility of fallowing 
some land to make the water available. The Arvin program was 
not built around the notion of fallowing. It was built around 
the notion of Metropolitan becoming a partner investing in 


infrastructure in a local area, expanding the pie and then we 
get a share of what we have invested in. 1 

Continuing Analysis of the CVPIA: Problems with Implementation ## 

Chall: Do you think that Douglas Noll s analysis of the Central Valley 
Project Improvement Act and what s going to be involved with 
implementation is pretty much on the mark? 2 

Quinn: It s been a while since I ve read the article, but on the 

whole, I remember thinking it was a pretty objective overall 
assessment of what s in the bill and the enormity of the task 
of actually implementing it. 

Chall: Now, you re trying to implement it. There seems to be so much 
involved with this. The secretary of the Interior; there was a 
commissioner of reclamation, Dan Beard, and there s now another 
commissioner of reclamation who is? I don t know. 

Quinn: The new commissioner of reclamation has virtually nothing to do 
with implementation of CVPIA. Beard was very hands-on, and now 
CVPIA implementation is handled through the chain of command in 
Interior that doesn t tend to involve the commissioner of 
reclamation. One of the key players involved is Roger 
Patterson, who s the regional director of the Bureau of 
Reclamation mid-Pacific region; heavily involved. Right now, 
Roger generally reports directly to John Garamendi, who s the 
deputy secretary of the Interior. 

The bill was hugely controversial, but the Clinton 
administration embraced it right away. They could have treated 
it like the Bush administration s dead cat, but they didn t. 

The Clinton administration immediately embraced the 
objectives of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act even 
though they had had little to do with its passage. The 
demonstration of that is that the responsibility for 

More on Arvin-Edison, p. 132. 

2 Douglas E. Noll, "Analysis of Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act," San Joaauin Agricultural Law Review. Number 1, Volume 3, 1993, pp. 
3-34. Other articles in the "Symposium" devoted to critical analyses of 
the CVPIA are by Barry Nelson, Daniel M. Dooley, Carl Boronkay, and Timothy 
Quinn. On deposit in the Water Resources Center Library. 


implementing the act is at the very highest levels of Interior 
with the deputy secretary John Garamendi. 

Other major players include Mike Spear, the regional 
director of the Fish and Wildlife Service on the West Coast. 
CVPIA implementation is one of the most important things for 
the Department of the Interior in California today. 
Increasingly, Interior has what I regard to be the very healthy 
attitude that the CALFED program is the overall solution, but 
CVPIA is a necessary prerequisite to implement the act in a 
reasonable way as you re moving towards the broad 
implementation of CALFED. 

Garamendi is high-level Interior, and Lester Snow, the 
executive director of CALFED, has two bosses: the state and the 

Chall: I see. So, where are you all now? We have discussed earlier 
that the process is having great difficulties. 

Quinn: With CVPIA implementation, it s probably a sign of the 

difficulty of implementing the act that we fought World War II 
in less time than it has taken to implement this act that 
Congress passed in 1992. With that said, I do not mean to be 
that critical of the Clinton administration who I think is 
doing what they can. 

There s a popular myth in the environmental community that 
the CVP agricultural community works against the implementation 
of the act. From my experience working very closely with CVP 
agriculture, that is an unfair charge. There was a great deal 
of contention around the act s implementation. 

Dealing with the 800.000 Acre-Foot Promise /Premise 

Quinn: There s no surprise here. The provision of the act that is the 
hardest to implement is section 3406(b)(2). The notorious B-2 
water issue, where the act dedicated 800,000 acre-feet of CVP 
yield. The concept was that we re not going to deliver that 
yield for agricultural and urban purposes anymore; it s going 
to be dedicated to environmental purposes. 

Nineteen ninety- seven has been marked primarily, in 
California water, by this great and difficult task of trying to 
find a way to implement that provision of the law. The way 
it s unfolding: history will tell, but from where I sit here 


today, Interior has made a very smart strategic decision to try 
and implement that portion of the act by implementing what are 
called AFRP, Anadromous Fish Restoration Program, actions. The 
AFRP is a program mandated by the CVPIA to double anadromous 
fish populations. 

The environmental community, many of them still are focused 
on pain in the water community as a measure of success for the 
environment- -water for the environment must be taken away from 
the water users. 

The approach that Interior is developing for implementation 
focuses not on the level of pain that the water users feel but 
on biological actions that need to be taken to help the 
fisheries. Interior was focusing not on how do we take 800,000 
acre-feet away from water users, but rather on how do we use 
additional amounts of water for the environment based on the 
science we ve got, imperfect though it may be? The focus of 
the implementation of the 800,000 acre-foot provision of the 
bill is now on implementing these AFRP actions. They re all 
flow related. The argument is that the water is B-2 water that 
will be used to implement these actions. 

Chall: B-2 water being? 

Quinn: B-2 water being the water that was dedicated to the environment 
under the CVPIA, in Section 3406(b)(2). 

Chall: And that water is to come from? 

Quinn: That water comes from the CVP. For example, some of the 

actions that are being recommended require greater flows from 
the Sacramento River at certain times of the year. You ll use 
the CVP reservoir storage and release that water. You don t 
keep it to deliver to contractors; you let the water go for 
fishery purposes. A lot of the actions deal with curtailing 
pumping at the big pumping plants in the south Delta primarily 
during the spring months when the fisheries are particularly 

The argument that the environmentalists use is that you can 
reduce that pumping and not deliver that water because you have 
this B-2 water available to you. There are huge fights right 
now over just how much B-2 water there is in the system. It 
turns out that coming up with an accounting mechanism for the 
800,000 acre-feet is exceptionally difficult. What Interior is 
trying to do in their decision that they announced just last 
month on November 20, 1997, is to accomplish CVPIA objectives 
by promoting the implementation of these fish protective 


actions. They re specified: eight of them in the Delta, 
another four actions upstream of the Delta. I think that s a 
fundamentally sound change in policy, focusing on what do the 
fish need instead of on what should the water users lose. It 
turns out that a lot of years, you don t need the whole 800,000 
acre- feet according to what the biologists are recommending 
with these actions. 

The law says you don t have to use 800,000 acre-feet if you 
don t think that you need it. The environmentalists don t 
particularly like that part of the Interior decision. At the 
same time, there are many in the water community, including 
myself, that think during extended dry periods, the application 
of those eight actions in the Delta requires more water than 
the law gives you to manage. 

Instead of saying, "Well then we re not going to do the 
environmental protections," the water community, primarily 
pushed by the urbans, but with pretty strong cooperation from 
even the CVP agricultural community, is looking in the 
direction that while you re implementing the eight actions, 
let s implement what we ve come to call the "tool box." 

Chall: Yes, I ve seen that phrase. 

Quinn: The tool box contains innovative water management programs: 

basically, we ve got to try and make the pie bigger, so that we 
can allocate some more water to the fisheries but still wind up 
with an acceptable water supply situation for water users. 

Chall: Is that by fallowing land? 

Quinn: No. There are several types of tools that are in the proposed 
tool box that Interior came out with on November 20: purchases 
of water upstream, primarily on non-CVP controlled streams 
where you can t get it through the force of regulation. 

Another tool we call joint point of diversion. Very 
simply, there are two big pumping plants in the Delta that move 
the water through the federal and the state project. If you 
operate those as a coordinated unit, you can still accomplish 
environmental objectives, but get more water out of the system. 
It adds to flexibility. 

We currently constrain the two pumping plants each 
individually, but when you allow some flexible operations 
between the two pumping plants, you can get more out of the 


One of the tools that the urban community believes is most 
powerful is to have environmental resources invest in 
environmental storage in groundwater basins south of the Delta, 
potentially a very powerful environmental management tool. 

So, if you want to change the flow pattern in the Delta, 
turn the pumps down, and to avoid a fight with the farmers or 
with the cities that rely on that water supply, give them an 
alternative source of water from the groundwater basin where 
you had previously stored some wet period water, and operate 
that as a real time management tool to control flows without 
conflict, for the benefit of the fisheries. There are a 
variety of other tools. 

Again, this is something that the urban community has been 
promoting strongly for six or nine months. From time-to-time, 
we have the agricultural interests being very critical of us, 
and right now the environmentalists are up in arms. 

Chall: I ve seen some letters of Tom Graff and others going to 

Quinn: As people in the future read those letters and look back on 
what was going on in California, it s important, in my mind, 
that they realize we re not arguing about the level of 
environmental protection; that s key. The urban strategy has 
been to pull agriculture into supporting the implementation of 
those eight actions, which requires additional environmental 
water above and beyond what we dedicated under the 1994 accord. 
It clearly involves betterment for the environment. 

Some of the agriculturalists have argued there is no 
science, and you don t know that the environment is going to 
get better. I don t put much weight in that argument. Again, 
the key point here is we re not arguing over what actions 
should be taken. The biologists have looked at the situation, 
and they ve come up with these recommended actions. So, the 
urban strategy has been to facilitate the implementation of 
those actions ; that s where the environmental protection is 
happening. The complaints from the environmental community are 
not environmentally based. They are based around this notion 
of how much pain the CVP contractors should be experiencing. 

Letter from Thomas Graff, David Yardas, Spreck Rosenkrans to Roger 
Patterson and Mike Spear re Department of Interior s Draft Proposal, 
November 14, 1997. Letter and appendices will be deposited in the Water 
Resources Center Archives with this volume. 


Chall: They want an absolute assurance that they re going to have 
800,000 acre-feet--is that about it? 

Quinn: They want to know that each and every year there s going to be 
800,000 acre-feet of water taken away. The simple fact is, the 
biologists don t know what to do with that amount of water 
during many years. If the biologists can t figure out a 
scientifically sound way to promote ecosystem restoration, it s 
not very good policy to take that water away from economic uses 
in California. 

Recently, the solicitor general of Interior--! m not sure 
if I got the title right- -his name is John Leshy. Leshy has 
come out with an opinion that is very compelling reading. Both 
of the extreme sides in the debate need to focus on Mr. Leshy s 
opinion and on the logic that s in Mr. Leshy s opinion. What 
he s doing, basically, is rejecting both of the extremists 
interpretations of the law. 

The opinion is very unfriendly to the environmentalists 
interpretation that you must take 800,000 acre-feet every year. 
That interpretation is found to be woefully out of touch with 
what the Congress actually passed. By the same token, Leshy 
rejects the notion of the CVP contractors who argue that there 
is no more B-2 water left, that once you were done with the 
1994 accord, you had used it all up. Interior is looking for a 
centrist outcome, which right now doesn t have a lot of support 
outside of the urban community. 

Chall: When you talk about the 1994 accord, is that the major Bay- 
Delta accord? 




Yes, okay, I just wanted to be sure. 

The one in which all stakeholder interests in the state and 
federal government for the first time agreed on how we re going 
to operate the Delta. 

The CALFED process has to deal with the Bay-Delta accord, 
can t separate them? 


I don t think that you can. I don t think you can separate the 
CVPIA from the accord. Many in the environmental community 
believe that the CVPIA is distinct and separate from the 
accord, which is strongly disputed in the water community, ag 
and urban alike. On some of these issues, we find ourselves in 
strong agreement with the environmental community. On some of 


these issues, the urbans find themselves in strong agreement 
with the agricultural community. On this one, we think the 
spirit of the accord must prevail, because as difficult as Carl 
was pointing out it is to keep all three parties together 
that s the only way you re going to get sustainable change. 

Chall: I thought that somewhere in the final bill there, H.R. 429, 
that there is mention of the Delta, that you d have to deal 
with the Delta. 

Quinn: The bill is actually explicit requiring Interior to cooperate 

with the state in resolving problems in the Delta, and there is 
very explicit language. Sometimes it s hard to figure out what 
the environmentalists are reading when they read the bill that 
they worked so hard to pass. The bill requires the federal 
government to cooperate in protections for the Delta and 
instructs the secretary of Interior that any water that s 
required is to be credited against the 800,000 acre-feet 
obligation. It s very clearly in the bill. The 
environmentalists have argued that crediting is illegal. Their 
attitude is to reach for as much as they could possibly get, 
which I guess makes them a lot like everyone else. 

More on Finalizing the Arvin-Edison Partnership: The Concerns 
of the Friant Water Users and the Environmental Community ## 

Chall: Let s go on to Arvin-Edison. 

Quinn: In any event, when the Arvin program was announced, the Friant 
contractors went up in arms, somewhat to my surprise. Again, 
no matter how old you get, you ve got lessons to learn. This 
is not fallowing, this is investment in local infrastructure, 
this is clearly a win-win in our minds. In fact, we were 
leaving water behind. We were going to generate more water 
through the investments, et cetera. So, we were going to be 
increasing water supplies for them and for us. Again, some of 
the old mistrust factors, largely driven by mistrust and what 
had happened with the passage of CVPIA. Friant didn t lose 
nearly as much as any of the other CVP units . 

Chall: No, they didn t. 

Quinn: Even so, they had an arguably harsher attitude about the CVPIA, 
which I think was driven by their feeling that this pest was 
upon them because of those big corporate guys on the west side 
of the valley. Here they were small family farmers just trying 


to earn an honest living, and if it wasn t for Westlands and 
those big guys on the westside, they wouldn t have this 
political problem in the first place. They didn t lose a drop 
of water to the CVPIA, and their west side neighbors got 
hammered pretty hard on the water side of the equation. 

Certainly, in the last six months, we learned some lessons 
about the strength of feelings in the Friant. They created a 
new entity because the Friant Water Authority, by its charter, 
really couldn t get in and work against the interest of one of 
its member agencies. Arvin-Edison was the largest member unit 
of the Friant Water Authority. So, they created the Central 
Valley Water Coalition, which wasn t constrained by this rule 
that you couldn t fight one of your own. They created the 
Central Valley Water Coalition with the sole purpose of 
destroying the Met-Arvin transaction. 

Things were coming to a head. The Friant water users went 
to Washington to talk to their Washington representatives. 
Their strategy was to try and force public meetings like we had 
in Los Banos with the Areias transaction. Subsequently, they 
told us they thought they could get 3,500 people to these 
meetings to stop the "L.A. water grab." That s the situation 
we were living with in April, May of this year. The people 
they went to in Congress--. 

Chall: Who was that? 

Quinn: Well, they went to Congressman [George] Radanovich and 

Congressman Dooley, primarily. Personally, going back to my 
involvement with the Miller-Bradley legislation, that s when I 
first met and started to develop enormous respect for 
Congressman Dooley. We had pretty good working relationships, 
even though we were on opposite sides of the issue. 

Dooley is Arvin s congressman, and Congressman Radanovich 
had been a major player working for us in this broad coalition 
based effort to get CALFED funding. They both thought that it 
would not be the best idea to trigger a war between 
Metropolitan and the Friant Water Authority. The general 
manager of the Friant Water Authority is an extraordinarily 
gifted man named Dick Moss, just like it sounds. 

Chall: Dick Moss? 

Quinn: M-o-s-s, yes. Dick knew that it wasn t in our interests to be 
going to war with each other. Instead of laying the ground 
work for a large public meeting, which would have created a lot 
of trouble for all of us, Dick was able to report that these 


congressional representatives had forced Metropolitan to come 
to the negotiating table to deal with Friant s problems, which 
I had been offering to do for about three months at that point 
in time. 

Instead of supporting their efforts to kill this 
partnership to better manage water in the San Joaquin River, 
their congressional representatives, in fact, forced everybody 
to sit down to a negotiating table. We went through a 
fascinating negotiation that I think is, again, one of the 
promising elements that we would have a better future in 
California water than we ve had in the last twenty years or so. 

Their concerns were twofold. They were deeply concerned 
about the watermonger in southern California, that the trickle 
would turn into a torrent, the camel s nose under the tent, et 
cetera. The second concern was about the environmentalists, 
that if we went through an approval process and went to the 
State Water Resources Control Board that the environmentalists 
would come out and attack their core water rights. So, this 
innovative water transfer program would, in fact, give the 
environmentalists an opening to come in and devastate the water 
rights of the Friant, and they were very afraid of that. 

Chall: Could the environmentalists do anything like that? 

Quinn: Well, let me take that one first then we ll get back to these 

southern California fears. I had dinner with Tom Graff and Hal 
Candee. Hal is with the NRDC [Natural Resources Defense 
Council] . I told them I really wanted this transfer to work. 
It s not the ideal transfer from their prospective. Their 
ideal transfer is we put a farmer out of business on the west 
side and take his water supply. On a large scale, that is not 
going to be happening politically in California for sometime to 

I m more of an incrementalist--let s get the job done. 
This program would, in fact, allow Metropolitan to benefit from 
transfers only if in a wet period there would be water from the 
San Joaquin River. I thought they ought to be giving it a 
serious look and think about supporting it. Hal--who s also a 
good friend; I ve known him for all the years I ve known Graff 
--said, "You know, Tim, I ve been going after these people for 
twenty years. If you give me an opportunity to go after their 
water rights, why shouldn t I." 

My response was, "If you do, you are creating a totally 
dysfunctional water transfer system." How can I ever go to a 
seller, if dealing with me in a water marketing mode is going 


to place the seller s water rights at risk? I said, "Don t 
expect urban California to continue supporting a marketing 
approach if the environmental community is going to take 
positions that basically make it impossible for us to 
consummate trades." 

Clearly, this was making sense to Graff. He took me aside 
after the dinner meeting and said that he would talk to Hal; I 
presume that they did. I still have a dialogue going on with 
the environmental community on the program. Hal made it very 
clear that his thinking was, "By God, the Friant guys were 
right. Open up that door a crack, and I m going through it 
like a torrent . " 

Again, I think he was convinced that he ought to think 
about that before he does it, because it would have very 
deleterious effects on transfers in general. What he would 
have done in the end, I don t know for sure. I was convinced 
before that but that certainly nailed it down- -that the Friant 
contractors, in my judgment, had a very legitimate concern on 
that score and that we had to do something that would allow 
this transfer to move forward and not put their water rights at 
risk through one means or another. It s simply not in my 
interests as a buyer to have my deal undermine their core water 
rights. I m counting on those water rights to deliver water to 

Chall: How would this be done? 

Quinn: If we went through the state board. The real avenue here was 

in what the Friant unit did not want. They didn t want to have 
to go to the state board to open up their water rights to 
change their water rights to allow the water to be delivered to 

Chall: And that is a possibility? 

Quinn: Yes, it would be required under a CVP transfer. 

So, we structured something that looks like a duck, quacks 
like a duck, but it s not a duck by changing the approach in 
the program to an exchange mechanism. It s a bona fide 
exchange where there are additional benefits being created--! 
won t go into the details. We can now implement it without 
having to go to the state board. 

That was fundamentally important to the CVP contractors. I 
think, quite frankly, I took them by surprise when I walked in 
that first day in Visalia to deal with their concerns. I don t 


normally do the water transfer negotiations around here 
anymore. I used to, it was a fun job. As the deputy general 
manager, I have other things that I m responsible for. This 
one was so important. We had just gone through 92, and we 
watched the relationships get, to use Carl s phrase, shattered. 

I had no desire for shattered ag-urban relations again, so 
I personally took over the negotiation. I think I surprised 
them. When I walked in, I agreed with every concern they had. 
I said, "I couldn t agree with you more. I m not doing this to 
be nice to you. It s bad for me if these things happen to you, 
so let s find a way to make this thing work where you don t 
have those risks." Ultimately, we did. 

On the fear of southern California, that s not quite so 
easily taken care of. I think what you ll see a lot more of, 
if I have my way, are exchange visits. We invited a lot of the 
Friant community leaders to come down to southern California to 
see what we re doing. We took them to the West Basin 
Reclamation Plant. Southern California is spending money like 
crazy on reclamation and conservation. We are, by far and 
away, doing more than the north ever dreamt of. 

We have changed our ways in terms of managing water, 
spending hundreds of millions of dollars on reclamation, 
conservation down here to reduce our demands on the system. We 
took them down and showed them, and let them kick the tires- 
see that we weren t just talking. We were spending money to 
try and change their image of southern California as a water 
waster, to come out to the East Side Reservoir that we have 
under construction, to drive home the point that we re not just 
trying to solve our problem by taking water away from you. We 
believe in investing in infrastructure and storage. 

Then, they invited some of my directors to go up and we did 
a tour of some family farms in the Friant service area. So, we 
tackled the southern California fear factor by just trying to 
start an education process. In the end, even the Friant unit 
now is recognizing the incredible value of positive relations 
with former enemies. I am hopeful they ll be permanent. We 
wound up having a very successful negotiation. 

Just a week ago today, the Friant Water Authority voted 
overwhelmingly, only one dissenting vote, to approve the Arvin- 
Metropolitan program. So, here you have the Friant Water 
Authority approving water moving from the San Joaquin River 
basin into southern California. A remarkable event that 
reflects, again, the power of consensus building and respect 
for the objectives and interests of the people that you re 


dealing with. It s not the pure form of marketing that I think 
one day we will continue to move forward, but it s a step in 
the right direction. 

Now, I m waiting to see if the environmentalists will 
oppose the revised program. My bet is that they will. 

Chall: They ll oppose it? 

Quinn: They ll oppose it, then we ll have to work something out. 

Chall: You mean the Arvin-Edison isn t a done deal yet? 

Quinn: Parts of it are done. Actually, the program has two components 
and when we execute this agreement at four o clock this 
afternoon, we have everything we need to start construction 
activities in Arvin to start the program moving. We do not 
have everything in place for the CVP Friant Water Authority 
piece of the puzzle. There we will probably be dealing with 
environmentalists as we go for final approvals on that element 
of the program, which the bureau has to approve. 

Chall: Then that goes up to the Bureau of Reclamation? 

Quinn: It has to go to the bureau, and it does require their approval. 
We don t have to go to the state board, but we do have to go to 
the bureau. 

Chall: And that, from what I gathered from your material in here, is 
you re not so sure about the bureau--. 

Quinn: Well, the document that you re referring to is an October 93 
piece. Many, if not all of the issues, that we were 
identifying as serious concerns have been worked out between 
ourselves, other stakeholders and the bureau, between then and 

Trying To Set Policy in Partisan Legislative Settings 

Chall: All right, good, then we ve got that. There s one last thing I 
want you to talk about and that was what you brought up at 
lunch about politics. I don t mean just politics, I mean the 
politics that you and Mr. Boronkay were talking about in terms 
of dealing with the Democrats and the Republicans. I guess you 
were really talking about that kind of partisan politics in the 


Congress and maybe with the state legislature, and the problems 
of developing policies in that atmosphere. 

Quinn: Well actually, we have to deal on a policy basis, and that s 
our dilemma because both Washington and Sacramento are such 
partisan places. As I said at lunch, when Carl was there 
taking the positions he was taking, I m sure people thought he 
had to be crazy. You just didn t do the game that way, but 
Carl was representing a large public agency. He was looking at 
the public interests, what does his public need in the way of 

One of the serious challenges we have is how do you force 
the policy considerations in a highly partisan world. At times 
we are miserably unsuccessful in Washington and Sacramento 
because we don t do a good job of playing the partisan 
politics. For my money, I don t ever want to get good at 
playing the partisan politics because I think our niche in this 
world is to focus people on appropriate policy, but you can t 
get anywhere if you don t eventually get the partisan 
politicians to support you. 

Tom Jensen was mad as a hatter at Carl Boronkay. It had 
little to do with substance; it had everything to do with, "I 
want you to support my guy, and I want you to join me in 
opposition to the other guy." As a public agency, we can t 
afford that. We have to try and work with both sides of the 
aisle focusing them not on the politics but on sound policy. 
One of the ways we deal with that is by forming some of these 
large coalitions. 

The Western Urban Water Coalition, for example, is 
bipartisan. Guy Martin, the national representative, certainly 
has strong connections with Democrats in the Congress and in 
the administration. But, in the end, the Western Urban Water 
Coalition is hard to ignore because it includes twenty public 
agencies that provide water to 35 million people. 

If you can put together a stakeholder coalition that 
includes the urbans, the ags, the environmentalists, you don t 
have to be partisan to be successful. When you look at the 
success of Prop. 204, when you look at the success of the 
accord--! do not believe the accord would have been possible if 
you had left it up to the Wilson and the Clinton 
administrations. The partisan politics was too antagonistic 
between the two of them. Plus, Clinton was a CVPIA supporter, 
and we ve talked about the depth of Governor Wilson s dislike 
for the legislation. 




What made it happen in 94 was stakeholder politics; it was 
the ags, the urbans, and the environmentalists agreeing on what 
they could support. The same thing happened with S.B. 900. 
Any opposition based on partisan politics wilted away against 
the strength of that enormous coalition. Right now, within the 
water world, we re building unprecedented coalitions to support 
CALFED solutions. 

If you go back to 1982, the last time we made a major 
decision about infrastructure in California, it was 
overwhelmingly voted downthe Peripheral Canal. The water 
world was fractured into 20,000 different pieces. Even the 
state water contractors. Carl took a terrible beating [in 
1992] for turning his back on San Joaquin Valley agriculture, 
while in 1982, it was San Joaquin Valley agriculture that 
turned their back on southern California when Boswell and 
Salyer decided they would oppose the Peripheral Canal, and then 
work with Tom Graff and others. The Sacramento River interests 
were bitterly opposed to what southern California needed. The 
San Joaquin River interests the same, the Bay Area, everybody 
was in a different place. 

The CVPIA was not a coalition building experience, it was 
the last great battle of the war. Since then, we have been 
working on consensus building. I now go to meetings where if 
you have stake in the Delta as a water user anywhere from the 
Oregon border down to the Mexican border, you are involved in 
this consensus building process. Within the water community, I 
have no doubt that we will deliver a consensus of every major 
element of the water community around a single CALFED solution. 

Well, that s a wonderful place to end on. 

We re not there until we can reach out to the environmental 
community and say the same about that water community and the 
environmental community. Right now the environmental community 
is terribly concerned. They don t know what to think. They re 
very afraid of this, the breadth of solidarity in the water 
community. They think they re going to get rolled. They won t 
because the only way that breadth is held together is by going 
to the centrist positions that can solve problems for a lot of 
different people, including the environmental community. If we 
are successful in 98, in my view, it will be because of the 
success of centrist coalition building politics. If we fail, 
it will be because we haven t quite got it right yet. 

And if you fail, you don t think you re going to be back to 
square one prior to 1992? Do you think you ll ever go back 
that far? 


Quinn : No . 

Chall: No, so we ll start with 1992. 

Quinn: Actually, not wanting to extend the interview, we ll start with 
1994, which never could have been possible without 1992. 

Chall: Do you think solutions will have to come through the courts 
and/or consensus building, and not with changes in Congress? 


Quinn: The courts may have to answer issues related to specific pieces 
of the puzzle, but adversarial processes in the courts, 
legislature, or Congress will never resolve the bigger 
problems. For that, we will have to develop skills at 
consensus building and craft solutions that can secure broad 
support. Remember, the revolution is won. Now the issue is: 
can we govern that which we have won? 

Chall: Well, thank you very much for all your time. 
Quinn: You re welcome. 

Transcribed by Caroline Sears and Quandra McGrue 
Final Typed by Quandra McGrue 

TAPE GUIDE- -Carl Boronkay and Timothy Quinn 

Interview 1: December 9, 1997 

Tape 1, Side A L 

Tape 1, Side B 12 

Tape 2, Side A 21 

Tape 2, Side B 33 

Tape 3, Side A 39 

Tape 3, Side B 51 

Interview 2: December 19, 1997 

Tape 4, Side A 60 

Tape 4, Side B 71 

Tape 5, Side A 34 

Tape 5, Side B 96 

Tape 6, Side A 10 8 

Tape 6, Side B H4 

Tape 7, Side A 12 6 

Tape 7, Side B 132 


A Carl Boronkay Curriculum Vitae 142 

B "MWD s general manager retires after nine years of 

innovation," Focus. No. 2, 1993 144 

C Proposition 204, "Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply 

Act," from ballot pamphlet, November 1996 146 



4220 Gayle Drive 

Tarzana, CA 91356 

(818) 342-5249 


Effective April 1, 1993, retired as General Manager of The Metropolitan Water 
District of Southern California 


University of Southern California, Law Center 
LL.M. 1964 

University of California at Los Angeles, School of Law 

LL.B. 1954 

Member of Law Review Board 

University of California at Los Angeles 
Bachelor of Arts in Sociology 1951 


U.S. Army, 1954-1956 

Enlisted man: Infantry, Intelligence Specialist. 


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 1976 - 4/1/93 

General Manager (1984 - April 1, 1993) 

Responsible for the management of the largest wholesale water agency in 
the United States delivering half the water used by 15 million residents of 
urban Southern California, with a budget approaching one billion dollars 
and a work force of some 2,000 employees; responsibilities included 
various activities of water acquisition, facilities construction, financing 
district operations, human resources and affirmative action, public affairs, 
relations with public officials and agencies in Sacramento and 
Washington, D.C and at the local political level; relations with other 
water districts, relations with Colorado River basin states, proposing 
programs and policies to the Board of Directors. 


The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Continued) 
General Counsel (1980 - 1984) 

Responsible for services of legal staff of 12 attorneys and periodic 
retention of outside counsel for the Board of Directors. Oversaw all 
advice and formal opinions presented to the Board and to management 
Participated in legal proceedings affecting Metropolitan. Reviewed and 
gave advice on proposed legislation. Drafted legislation advocated by 
Metropolitan. Represented the Board in numerous meetings and 
conferences, often participating as a speaker. Participated in policy 
development and implementation. 

Assistant General Counsel (1976 - 1980) 

Managed the legal staff of 10 attorneys under direction of the General 
Counsel; work was generally as described for General Counsel, above. 

California Department of Justice 1957 - 1976 

Senior Assistant Attorney General (1971 - 1976) 

Managed Public (Natural) Resources section. Supervised some 35 
deputies located in 4 offices in the major cities of the state; included 
advice to and representation of numerous boards, commissions, 
departments and agencies concerned with water supply and quality, waste 
disposal, forestry, parks and recreation, fish and game, dam safety, energy 
standards and conservation, coastal zone development, agriculture 
marketing orders and regulations, California s interest in the Colorado 
River, and California s interest in Lake Tahoe. 

Senior Assistant Attorney General (1969 - 1971) 

Supervisor, charitable trust enforcement and nonprofit corporation 
regulations, state property claims and constitutional rights protection. 

Deputy Attorney General (1957 - 1969) 

Criminal appeals, business regulations and proceedings; professional 
license administrative proceedings; various state agencies advice and court 
appearance; charitable trust and non-profit corporation enforcement. 



Focus. No. 2, 1993 

MWD s general manager retires 
after nine xears of innovation 

\ the leader ot Metropolitan \Vater 
irict. Carl Boronkay guided the 
nn s largest water agency through 
>ie of the most difficult nines in its 
rear history, including a six-year 
ught. And his tenure as general 
i;ager also resulted in the formation 
r i innovative north/south alliance. 
hh attempts to solve urban water 
Oration shortages. 

bronkay has faced a variety of prob- 
r; since being named general manager 
larch 184: dealing with Southern 
afornia s urban coastal growth of 
xe than 5 million people, record 
. iands for imported water, increasing- 
:ringent water quality and emiron- 
(tal regulations to name a few. 
ie 1980s brought change. 
ehnology improvements disclosed 
) ntial water qualin problems, and 
iverstretched incomplete State 
:er Project underscored the state * 
.ply dilemma. Metropolitan had to 
la new approach. It would require 
Iring growing pains, but would 
sit in a new identity for .\f\\~D. 
*Ve still are faced with making ccr- 
i Southem California has a reliable. 
{-quality water supply." says 
)>nkay. "But while the challenge in 
oast was engineering, it s now more 
deal and environmental." 
hown for his keen intellect and 
ic wit, Boronkay reveled in the chal- 

hong Metropolitan s key accom- 
aments during Boronkay s nine-year 

ker six years of negotiations. 
Metropolitan and Imperial Irrigation 
[strict launched an innovative water 
aiservation program through which 
funds improvements in IID s 

irrigation system that will save 
enough water to provide more than 
100,000 acre-feet a year for Southern 
California cities. 

A land fallowing program was estab 
lished that allows farmers in the Palo 
Verde Valley of southeastern 
California to economically fallow a 
portion of their land making the 
water available to Southland cities. 

1 The district launched a S6 billion 
expansion project, the cornerstone- 
being the 800,000-acre-foot 
Domenigoni Valley reservoir in 
southwestern Riverside County. 
When completed near the turn of the 
century, the reservoir will nearly dou 
ble Southern California s surface 
water storage capacity. 

Under a one-of-a-kind pro 
gram. Metropolitan will 
l>egin storing water in central 
Arizona groundwater basins 
to help insulate both states 
from future shortages. M\VD 
also signed storage agree 
ments with two Sanjoaquin 
Valley water agencies. 

He also takes great pride in 
the district s commitment to 
conservation, reclamation, 
groundwater recovery and fur 
ther research on desalination. 

Boronkay s only major disap 
pointment lies in the incom 
plete State \Vater Project. "The 
project is little changed and still 
delivers only about half its con 
tract obligation. Had needed 
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 
improvements taken place, 
both environmental and user 
concerns could have been 

Boronkay joined the district 
in June 1976 as assistant general 
counsel and was promoted in 
1 SO to general counsel. Prior to join 
ing Metropolitan, he served 19 years 
with the state attorney general s office 
where he was responsible for public 
resource matters. .As M\\T) s general 
counsel, he argued and won a case 
betore the U.S. Supreme Court, involv 
ing an attempt by five Indian tribes to 
take more Colorado River water, one of 
Southern California !; main supplies. 


Water marketing: a prerequisite for 
California s economic future 

By C.irl B l 

The challenges in leading Metropolitan 
Water District as its general manager 
have been exciting. 1 hey have been that 
of change, of the sensitivities of limited 
water supply coupled with a burgeoning 
environmental awareness, and ot the 
necessity for innovation. 

It is difficult to select a single accom 
plishment of which I am most proud. 
But if I were to narrow that to the most 
recent. I would have to say the pan I 
played in the lengthy process of making 
water marketing a reality for Calitomia. 

\\"hen the president signed the west 
ern water omnibus legislation laft tall. 
California entered a new era of water 
polio. . The legislation, which included 
Tensions in Central Valley Project 
(C\"P) operations, fundamentally 
changed the rules controlling 
California s largest water project. The 
C\T delivers about one-fifth 01 the 
state s developed supply overwhelming 
ly for agricultural uses. Now, for the 
first time, water-short cities and others 
outside the project s service area may 
purchase water from willing farmers. 
Economic reforms have been imple 
mented to defray project costs and 
encourage on-farm water conservation. 
And fish and wildlife benefits have been 
established as a statutory purpose ot the 
project, requiring changes in its opera 
tions to help restore declining species 
and habitat. 

The development of this legislation 
pitted long-time political allies against 
each other. Concerned about its uncer 
tain impacts on agricultural areas, many 
agricultural interests staunchly opposed 
the reform effort. In contrast, the legis 
lation was supported by environmental 
ists fighting hard to establish the princi 
ple that the largest water project in the 
state should provide fish and wildlife 
restoration and protection, and by 
prominent business and industry leaders 
in many urban areas statewide, which 
during six years of drought had experi 
enced shortages that threatened 

\\"hile strong emotions were 

expressed which is not surprising 
when a fundamental change is proposed 
in a major policy common sense ulti 
mately prevailed. California can no 
longer afford an outdated set of water 
rules that ignore the economic realities 
of a modem, highly urbanized econo 
my. The same amount of water that 
supports nine jobs and production val 
ued at less that S450 in the Central 
Valley agricultural economy, supports 
2.500 jobs and S400,000 worth of pro 
duction in the urban economy. It makes 
little sense to continue to lock up vast 
amounts ot water in low value agricul 
tural uses. 

Negotiations regarding the bill were 
complex and arduous. However, the 
resulting legislation was approved over 
whelmingly by a bipartisan coalition in 

For urban users, it provides, in effect, 
a new "reservoir" of water made possi 

ble through voluntary sales by farmer- 
of a portion ot their supplies. 

For the environment, it dedicates 
water tor fish and wildlife purposes, 
establishes a restoration fund and 
requires implementation ot an ambi 
tious program that will help restore 
depleted fisheries and wildlife refuges. 

For C\T farmers, it provides for the 
assurance of continued water supplies. 
creates a lucrative new business oppor 
tunity through its water marketing pro 
visions and requires that federal 
resources be devoted to solving seriou- 
C\T-related environmental problem v 

Change of this magnitude rarely 
comes easily and this historic legislation 
was no exception. But, reform of 
California s outdated water policies is a 
prerequisite tor the state s economic 

I am proud to have represented 
Metropolitan in achieving this reform. 

Wet winter refills reservoirs 

An exceptionally wet winter has washed 
away California s six-year struggle to 
stretch water supplies during the most 
severe drought in its history. However, 
Gov. Pete \\llson cautioned that the need 
to conserve still exists as the same water 
supply must be shared by a growing pop 
ulation, farms and the environment 

Numbers that signaled the drought s end: 
Sierra snowpack is 150 percent of 

average for this time of year, assuring 

above-normal runoff 

Statewide precipitation is 1 50 percent 
of normal. 

Storage in the state s major reservoirs 
reached 92 percent of average. 
Rainfall at me Los Angeles Civic 
Center is 190 percent of normal. 
Snowpack water content on Eastern 
Sierra slopes mat feed die city of Los 
Angeles is 168 percent of the April 1 

Colorado River storage at Lake Mead 
is 80 percent of capacity: 



Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act. 

Official Title and Summary Prepared by the Attorney General 


This act provides for a bond issue of nine hundred ninety-five million dollars ($995,000,000) to 
provide funds to ensure safe drinking water, increase water .supplies, clean up pollution in rivers, 
streams, lakes, bays, and coastal areas, protect life and property from flooding, and protect fish 
and wildlife and makes changes in the Water Conservation and Water Quality Bond Law of 1986 
and the Clean Water and Water Reclamation Bond Law of 1988 to further these goals. 

Appropriates money from state General Fund to pay off bonds. 

Summary of Legislative Analyst s Estimate 
of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact: 

General Fund cost of up to $1.8 billion to pay off both the principal ($995 million) and interest 
($776 million). 

The average payment for principal and interest over 25 years would be up to $71 million per year. 

Final Votes Cast by the Legislature on SB 900 (Proposition 204) 

Assembly: Ayes 74 
Noes 4 

Senate: Ayes 33 
Noes 4 

Analysis by the Legislative Analyst 


Water Quality and Supply. In past years, the state 
s provided funds for projects that improve water 
ality and supply. For example, the state has provided 
ans and grants to local agencies for the construction 
d implementation of wastewater treatment, water 
pply, and water conservation projects and facilities, 
state has sold general obligation bonds to raise the 
oney for these purposes. As of June 1996, all but about 
9 million of the $2 billion authorized by previous bond 
ts had been spent or committed to specific projects, 
reject applications have been received for most of the 
maining uncommitted funds. 

Bay-Delta. The state also has funded the restoration 

id improvement of fish and wildlife habitat in the San 

rancisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Estuary 

lie Bay-Delta) and other areas, using various fund 

urces including general obligation bonds and the state 

xeneral Fund. The Bay-Delta supplies a substantial 

ortion of the water used in the state for domestic,^ 

-dustrial, agricultural, and environmental purposes:* 

or example, water flowing through the Bay-Delta 

rovides drinking water for about 22 million people in 

alifornia and irrigates 45 percent of the fruits and 

egetables produced in the United States. In addition to 

upplying water, the Bay-Delta provides habitat for fish 

and wildlife, including several endangered species, and 

in estimated 80 percent of the state s commercial fishery 

pecies live in or migrate through the Bay-Delta. 

Increased demand for water from the Bay-Delta, 
combined with other factors such as pollution, 
degradation of fish and wildlife habitat, and 
deterioration of delta levees and flood control facilities, 
has reduced the Bay-Delta s capacity to provide reliable 
supplies of water and sustain fish and wildlife species. 

The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is a joint state and 
federal effort to develop a long-term approach to 
restoring ecological health and improving water 
management in the Bay-Delta. Total capital costs for the 
various alternatives under consideration range from $4 
billion to $8 billion over the next 20 to 40 years. It is 
anticipated that funding would come from a variety of 
federal, state, local, and private sources. 

Flood Control. The state also provides funds to local 
agencies for flood control projects. The state has not 
previously sold general obligation bonds to fund the 
construction of local flood control projects or facilities. 
Rather, these projects have primarily been funded from 
the state General Fund. However, due to the state s fiscal 
condition in recent years, the state has been unable to 
pay its share of the costs of these projects. As of June 
1996, the unpaid amount of the state s share of costs for 
local flood control was about $158 million, v . <..>< 

* . , -x> .." . . - . - * 


This measure authorizes the state to sell $995 million 
of general obligation bonds for the purposes of 
restoration and improvement of the Bay-Delta; 

:vV : .. -- ..^>v5- 



wastewater treatment and water supply and 
conservation; and local flood control and prevention. 
General obligation bonds are backed by the state, 
meaning that the state is required to pay the principal 
and interest costs on these bonds. General Fund 
revenues would be used to pay these costs. General Fund 
revenues come primarily from the state personal and 
corporate income taxes and sales tax. . - 

Figure 1 lists the purposes for which the bond money 
would be used. The bpnd money will be available for 
expenditure by various state agencies and for loans and 
grants to local agencies. The measure specifies the 
conditions under which the funds are available for loans, 
including the terms for interest and repayment of the 
loans. , 

In some instances, the measure makes the expenditure, 
of bond funds contingent on actions by the state or 
federal government. For example, under the measure, 
funHs for projects to restore the Bay-Delta ecosystem 
may not be spent until the state and federal governments 
have completed their environmental review of the 
projects and have entered into a cost-sharing agreement 
for funding those projects. 

In addition to authorizing the sale of bonds, the 
measure requires that the repayment of loans funded 
under the 1988 Clean Water and Water Reclamation 
Bond (Proposition 83) be used to provide additional loans 
and grants for local water recycling projects. 


Costs of Paying Off the Bonds. For these types of 
bonds, the state typically makes principal and interest 
payments from the state s General Fund over a period of 
about 25 years. If all of the bonds authorized by this 
measure are sold at an interest rate of 6 percent, the cost 
would be about $1.8 billion to pay off both the principal 
($995 million) and interest ($776 million). The average 
payment for the principal and interest would be about 
$71 million per year. 

However, total debt repayment costs to the state will 
be somewhat less than the $1.8 billion. First, bonds used 
to fund revolving loan programs ($175 million) may have 
to be financed over a shorter period than is typically used 
for most state bonds in order to comply with federal law. 
Consequently, total interest costs on these bonds would 
be less than if the payments were made over 25 years. 
Second, the measure requires that loans, made for 
construction of drainage water management and local 
water projects be repaid to the state General Fund. The 
repayments of these loans could reduce the state General 
Fund cost by about $70 million over the life of the bonds. 

Use of Repayments of Past Loans. The 1988 Clean 
Water and Water Reclamation Bond (Proposition 83) 
authorized up to $40 million in loans to local agencies. 
Currently, repayments of these loans are used to pay off 
the bonds. This measure requires, instead, that the 
repayments be used to provide additional loans and 
grants for local water recycling projects. As a result, this 
will result in a General Fund cost of at least $60 million 
to pay off the principal and interest of these bonds. v 7 

Figure 1 

Proposition 204 ; 

Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act 

Uses of Bond Funds 

Bay-Delta Improvement ; . ,; 

Central Valley Project Improvement fish 
and wildlife restoration 

Bay-Delta non-flow-related projects 

Delta levee rehabilitation and maintenance 
and flood protection 

South Delta environmental enhancement 
and mitigation 

CALFED state s share of administration 

Delta recreation 





Existing habitat protection and 


Tidal, riparian, wetlands, and other habitat 


Instream flow improvements 

Fish protection and management 

Clean Water and Water Recycling 

Wastewater treatment 

Water recycling and reclamation 

Treatment and management of agricultural 
drainage water 

Delta tributary watershed rehabilitation 

Seawater intrusion control 

Lake Tahoe water quality 


gWatef Supply Reliability 

Water conservation and groundwater 
recharge 30 

River parkway acquisition and riparian 

habitat restoration 27- 

Local water supply development and 

environmental mitigation 25 

Sacramento Valley water management and 

habitat protection .25 

Feasibility investigations for off-stream 
storage, water recycling, water transfer 
facilities, and desalination 

aims submitted by 
in specified counties 

Amounts not specified.. > ,.j ; ,y- "- J: 

.- :. .;. 1 . 1 ;V ;- ? -j-:"-:*-;.: 


For text of Proposition 204 see page 79 




Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act 

Argument in Favor of Proposition 204 

Safe drinking water is something most of us take for granted. 
But the truth is, unless we act now, California s residents, 
businesses and farms face a future of chronic water shortages 
and potentially unsafe supplies. According to the California 
Department of Water Resources, our water problems will only 
get worse, due to increasing population and a water supply 
system that has not kept up with our needs. 

Proposition 204, the SAFE, CLEAN, RELIABLE WATER 
SUPPLY ACT, provides the foundation for a comprehensive and 
lasting solution to the state s water supply needs: Proposition 


helps meet safe drinking water standards to protect public 

INCREASING WATER SUPPLIES. Proposition 204 makes 
more water available to meet the state s growing needs through 
conservation, recycling and potential off-stream reservoirs and 
delivery systems to capture water in wet years for use during 

lakes, bays and coastal waters are threatened by pollution. 
Proposition 204 provides for cleanup of our precious waterways. 

lives and has caused billions of dollars in property damage. 
Proposition 204 allows long-overdue flood protection projects to 
be completed. 

lifeblood of California s economy. Reliable water supplies will 
protect existing jobs, encourage new businesses and create new 

RECYCLING. Proposition 204 ensures we get the most out of 
our existing water supplies by encouraging conservation and 

helps protect critical fisheries, wildlife, wetlands and other 
natural habitats, including the San Francisco 
Bay/Sacramento-Sari Joaquin Delta. The Bay-Delta is one of 

the state s most important environmental resources and the 
source of drinking water for over 22 million Californians. 
Seismic experts believe our water delivery system is in danger 
from major earthquakes, which could leave residents, 
businesses and farms without water. Proposition 204 provides 
necessary repairs and improvements to the delivery system to 
help prevent catastrophic failures. 

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT. We must invest in our 
water supply system to ensure safe drinking water and avoid 
chronic water shortages. If we do not act NOW, the cost will be 
far higher in the future. The last major investment in our water 
supply system occurred 36 years ago, in 1960. 

Join a diverse group of Californians in support of Proposition 
204, including: 















Chairman, Senate Agriculture and Water 
Resource* Committee 


Executive Director, Association of California 
Water Agencies 


Scientist, Planning and Conservation League 

Rebuttal to Argument in Favor of Proposition 204 

We weren t aware of any water crisis until we read the 
proponents argument. We suspect that these scare tactics are 
meant to convince you to support yet another big government 
public works boondoggle. Remember, using bond financing 
almost doubles the cost of any government project. Taxpayers 
can t afford Proposition 204. Let s look at the issues: 

INCREASE WATER SUPPLIES Residential customers use 
only 15% of California s water, but have to subsidize the 
agricultural and commercial customers who use 85%. If big 
water users had to pay the real cost of their water, prices would 
fluctuate according to supply and lead to conservation, as 
cost-effectiveness would become a major concern. 

our rivers and lakes should be held fully responsible for the 
damage they do. Taxpayers should not be put on the hook for 
damages caused by private businesses and individuals. In cases 
where government officials are responsible for the pollution, we 

don t need to give them a blank check to clean it up. 

supplies alone won t create jobs. We need to cut the size and 
scope of government, slash taxes and repeal regulations so that 
businesses can create new jobs. 

Many of Proposition 204 s provisions could cause serious 
damage to private property rights. Annies of bureaucrats will 
march through the Sacramento Delta to impose rules and 
regulations. Then taxpayers will have to pay $1.7 BILLION in 
principal and interest over 25 years. Please vote NO. 


Treasurer, Libertarian Party of California 


Director, Tahoe City Public Utility District 


Insurance Adjuster/Investigator, Pasadena 

12 Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency. G96 


Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act 


Argument Against Proposition 204 

California s bond debt now approaches $25 BILLION. 
Taxpayers must pay $3 billion EVERY YEAR. Now Sacramento 
politicians want to add another billion. Proposition 204 is too 
expensive! $995 million in bonds means a total of $1.7 
BILLION in principal and interest over 25 years. As usual, 
taxpayers have to pay . . . and pay . . . with no end in sight. 

And just what are we paying for? Proponents claim this 
measure will "ensure safe drinking water . . . clean up pollution 
in rivers . . . protect fish and wildlife," etc. When has the 
government ever succeeded in doing any of these things? You 
are more likely to hear about government policies CAUSING 
unsafe water, CAUSING pollution and INJURING fish and 

When the government diverted water from Northern to 
Southern California, it created problems with saltwater 
intrusion into fresh waters. As a result, the Sacramento Delta 
became degraded. This new measure seeks to "protect" the very 
same delta. As usual, the remedy for government mistakes is to 
spend more of our money to correct them. These flawed 
government water development policies caused the selenium 
intrusions into the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge and Reservoir 
near Merced and the resulting environmental nightmare. 

Proposition 204 contains a laundry list of water projects, 
mostly in the Sacramento Delta area. How do we know if any of 
these projects are worthwhile, or if they are "make-work" 
projects to fill the wallets of politicians and their big-money 
contributors? These projects should be voted on and funded at 
the LOCAL level, where voters have first-hand knowledge 
about their necessity. The rest of us lack enough information to 
decide intelligently. 

There s also the issue of whether taxpayers all over California 
should have to pay for projects in one small area. Proponents 

claim there is a "water crisis* and that this measure has state 
and national importance. They sure haven t demonstrated why. 
It smells like a big boondoggle to us. / 

. The most curious part of Proposition 204* is $390 million 
designated for a "Calfed Bay-Delta Ecosystem Restoration 
Program." A consortium of five state agencies and five federal 
agencies wants to create habitats, protect wetlands, introduce 
species management, and protect fish. We are suspicious of this 
program, as we are of any program that would bring together 
armies of bureaucrats from ten different agencies. By its very 
nature, the program would likely violate private property 
rights. Why impose strict, mostly unnecessary environmental 
regulations on private citizens? -"Wetlands" can mean anything 
that bureaucrats decide it means. Homeowners have run afoul 
of such regulations for minor acts like filling in puddles in their 
backyards. Some have even gone to jail. Proposition 204 s 
loosely defined provisions are steps toward even more 
bureaucratic tyranny. , 

We favor protecting the environment that s why we want 
government bureaucrats far away from our rivers, streams and 
wildlife. Look at the fine print. Proposition 204 means more 
bureaucracy, less protection of our natural environment, and 
$1.7 BILLION of our hard-earned dollars for 25 years. Please 
vote NO. 


Chair, Libertarian Party of California 


Director, Tahoe City Public Utility Dint rift 


Insurance Adjuster/Investigator, Pasadena 

Rebuttal to Argument Against Proposition 204 

Our economy, jobs and quality of life are dependent upon a 
safe, reliable and sufficient water supply. Proposition 204 
balances the needs of the state s economy and environment to 
provide the foundation for a comprehensive solution to our 
state s water problems. 

SOUND INVESTMENT. According to California State 
Treasurer Matt Fong, "Proposition 204 s $995 million 
investment in the state s water supply and delivery system is a 
very prudent investment to sustain and expand California s 
$750 BILLION economy. This is a vital investment in our 
state s future." 

NO TAX INCREASE. Proposition 204 does not increase 
taxes, it simply uses existing revenues to improve our water 
supply system. 

STATEWIDE BENEFITS. California s water problems affect 
the entire state. Proposition 204 focuses on resolving critical 
water quality and environmental problems that impact our 
ability to provide safe drinking water for all Californians. 

BROAD AND DIVERSE SUPPORT. Contrary to what some 
would have you believe, Proposition 204 is not about more 
government intervention. Proposition 204 was developed by a 
broad and diverse coalition of businesses, farmers, 
environmentalists and local water officials from all regions of 
the state concerned about SOLVING problems, not creating 

COST EFFECTIVE. Proposition 204 is also cost effective 
because it generates federal matching dollars to help solve 
high-priority state and local water problems. 

An investment in a SAFE WATER SUPPLY is an investment 
in our FUTURE. 



Chairman, California Chamber of Commerce Water 


Director, California Department of Water Resources 

President, Bay Area Economic Formm 

-. .*-: *t : , -, * ; . " - -\ > -.;-" ; . 

_ . _ . _ \.M^;: :;5 -r i..i;:... ;;.j. 4 

G96 Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency. 13 

X iv: .-..y. 

*-. ..: . 


INDEX- -Carl Boronkay and Timothy Quinn 

agriculture /water community, 23- 
24, 27-32, 34-38, 46-53, 55, 
58-59, 61-66, 70-76, 82, 84, 
91-95, 108, 111-125, 127-137 

Areias, Rusty, 123-125, 133 

Arvin-Edison Water Storage 

District, 49, 53-54, 61, 125- 
126, 132-137 

Association of California Water 
Agencies (ACWA) , 24, 31, 34 

Ayala, Ruben, 24 

Bank of America, 100-101, 125 
Bay Area Economic Forum, 100 
Bay/Delta Estuary. See Delta 
Bay-Delta Accord (1994), 107, 

131-132, 138. See also Delta 
Beard, Daniel, 83, 99, 104, 126 
Borba, Mike, 95, 103 
Boronkay, Carl, 1-38; 43-50, 54, 

56-58, 60-113 passim; 118, 137- 

Bradley, Bill/Bradley bills, 33- 

38, 47, 60-62, 66-67, 68, 70- 

71, 75, 80-82, 87, 91, 97-98, 

110. See also Miller-Bradley 


Brandt, Alfred (Alf ) , 84-86 
Bureau of Reclamation. See United 

Bush, George, administration of, 

business interests and the Central 

Valley Improvement Act, 99-101 
Butchert, Jerry, 23, 35, 58, 66, 

80-81, 94-95 

CALFED (California Federal Bay 
Delta Process), 58-59, 109, 
114-140 passim 

California Business Roundtable, 

California State Department of 

Water Resources, 51, 93 
California State legislature, and 

water policy, 11, 118-120 
California State Water Project 

(SWP), 11, 15-16, 23, 27 
California Urban Water Agencies 

(CUWA), 22-23, 46, 73 
Candee, Hal, 134-135 
Central Valley Project Improvement 

Act, 45, 47-50, 56-114; 

implementation, 114-140. See 

also water marketing/transfers 
Clark, Tom, 23, 27, 51, 63, 119 
Clinton, William Jefferson, 

administration of, 126-127, 

Colorado River, 18, 54. See also 

Imperial Irrigation District; 

Palo Verde Irrigation District 
Corley, Ray, 73, 105 
Costa, Jim, 11, 24, 118-119 

Delta (San Francisco Bay/ 

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta 
Estuary), 11, 19, 23-27, 28, 
43, 46, 53, 62, 101, 107, 109, 
113, 132, 139; California Bay- 
Delta Water Coalition, 121. 
See also CALFED 

Dooley, Calvin, 36, 98, 103, 133 
Doolittle, John, 114 
drought, 17, 29, 30, 51, 101 
Drought Water Bank, 51-52 

East Bay Municipal Utility 
District, 22, 24, 113 

Endangered Species Act (ESA) , 
fisheries restoration and 
protection, 47-48, 108, 113, 
115, 128-130 


environmental movement /community, 
24-28, 46, 56, 58-66, 90-93, 
97-98, 100-107, 109, 112-115, 
117-122, 127-132, 134-135, 137, 

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) , 
19-22, 26, 46, 107 

farmers and the CVPIA. See 

Fisher, Dana, 50 
Friant Water Authority, 132-137 

Gage, Michael, 86, 89, 104-105, 

Garamendi, John, 108, 116, 126- 

Georgeson, Duane, 14, 76, 77, 85- 


Gilbert, Jerome (Jerry), 22 
Golb, Richard, 70-71, 79, 82 
Graff, Thomas, 19-22, 27, 46, 90, 

95-96, 101-107, 119-120, 124, 

130n, 134-135, 139 
Griffith, Evan, 10-11, 12-13 

Hall, Steve, 24, 62 

Holburt, Myron, 14-15, 53, 64 

Hurlbutt, Tom, 119 

Ibbitson, E. Thornton, 89 
Imperial Irrigation District 

(IID), 17-22, 35, 49, 51, 53, 


Jensen, Tom, 33, 66-67, 110, 138 
Johnston, J. Bennett/ Johnston 

mark, 37, 75-76, 81-88, 106, 

Jones, Virgil, 50 

Kahrl, William, 106 

Kennedy, David, 18-19, 22, 51, 

55, 93 
Krieger, Lois, 34, 85, 90 

Lehman, Richard, 98 

lobbyists /lobbying, 72, 76-78, 

Los Angeles Times, 30-31, 71, 79, 


Madigan, Michael (Mike), 85-87 

Martin, Guy, 74, 138 

McGill, Michael (Mike), 100-101 

media, 26, 30-31, 33, 34. See 
also Los Angeles Times 

Metropolitan Water District 

(MET/MWD), 7-38 passim, 43-113 
passim. 122-126, 133-137; board 
of directors, 9-13, 30-33, 37- 
38, 61-62, 75-76, 83-86, 88- 
91, 94, 104-105 

Miller, George/Miller-Bradley 

bills, 21, 36-38, 62, 66, 68, 
70-71, 82, 87, 92, 93, 95, 96- 
99, 104, 109-110, 114, 117 

Mosk, Stanley, 6 

Moss, Richard (Dick), 133-134 

Mulroy, Pat, 98 

National Water Resources 
Association (NWRA) , 73 

Natural Resources Defense Council 
(NRDC), 26, 134 

Omnibus Water Bill (H.R. 429), 
66, 81-82, 95, 106 

Palo Verde Irrigation District, 


Patterson, Roger, 116, 126, 130n 
Peltier, Jason, 24, 35, 36, 38, 

62-66, 78, 80-81, 102-103, 120 
Peripheral Canal, 10-11, 22, 25, 

43, 118, 139 


Proposition 204 (1996), (Safe, 

Clean, Reliable Water Supply 

Act), 118-122, 138 
Proposition 9 (1982). See 

Peripheral Canal 
Propostion 13 (1978), (Tax 

Limitation Initiative), 8-9 

Quinn, Timothy, 15, 27, 36; 39- 
140 passim 

Radanovich, George, 133 
Rosenberg, Richard, 100-101 

San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water 

Authority, 108, 114 
Schuster, David, 36, 37, 60, 63, 

106, 110 
Seymour, John/ Seymour bill (S. 

2016), 35-38, 62-72, 75-76, 

79-82, 87, 90, 94-99, 106, 110 
Sierra Club, 26, 102 
Somach/Graff negotiations, 78, 

95, 102-107, 110 
Somach, Stuart, 37, 60, 62-65, 

102-107, 110 

Spear, Mike, 116, 127, 130n 
State Water Project. See 

California State Water Project 

water marketing/transfers, 19-22 , 

27-35, 42-44, 48-56, 60-114, 


water rights, 134-135 
Western Urban Water Coalition 

(WUWC), 73-74, 90, 98, 138 
Westlands Water District, 24, 55, 

58, 72, 77-78, 92, 114, 116 
Wheeler, Douglas, 73, 93 
Will, Robert, 7-8, 9-10,68-69, 

72, 74-78, 81, 84, 97, 110-111 
Wilson, Pete, as governor, 24, 

26, 62, 69-71, 80, 85-88, 90, 

91, 93, 95, 103, 110, 118, 138 
Wodraska, John, 56-57, 122n, 

123n, 125 

Yardas, David (Dave), 103, 119, 

Younger, Evelle, 6 

Three-Way Water Agreement Process, 
24-27, 58, 63 

United States Bureau of 

Reclamation, 18, 20, 126, 137 
United States Department of 

Interior, 108, 116, 126-132 
urban water community, 22-23, 46, 

48, 58, 61, 72-74, 90, 91, 98, 

113, 116, 119 

Wallop, Malcolm, 67-69 

Malca Chall 

Graduated from Reed College in 1942 with a B.A. 
degree, and from the State University of Iowa in 
1943 with an M.A. degree in Political Science. 

Wage Rate Analyst with the Twelfth Regional War 
Labor Board, 1943-1945, specializing in agricul 
ture and services. Research and writing in the 
New York public relations firm of Edward L. 
Bernays, 1946-1947, and research and statistics 
for the Oakland Area Community Chest and Council 
of Social Agencies 1948-1951. 

Active in community affairs as a director and 
past president of the League of Women* Voters of 
the Hayward Area specializing in state and local 
government; on county-wide committees in the 
field of mental health; on election campaign 
committees for school tax and bond measures, and 
candidates for school board and state legislature. 

Employed in 1967 by the Regional Oral History 
Office interviewing in fields of agriculture and 
water resources. Project director, Suffragists 
Project, California Women Political Leaders 
Project, and Land-Use Planning Project, and the 
Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program Project. 

8 5 1 8 R