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Council Eyes Water Fight
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Escalon City Council members may join the fight to keep Delta water from heading south.

A resolution being considered by the council would see the city join in a 'Delta Initiative' made up of the cities and a variety of agencies in San Joaquin County seeking to keep water from being funneled away from the Delta to service water needs in southern California.

The council will review the resolution and initiative at their Monday night meeting, Dec. 19 starting at 7 p.m. in the Ekholm meeting room of the Escalon Library on Second Street.

"We want people to know about it, we are asking anyone interested to attend," said Escalon City Manager Henry Hesling, noting that water issues are often the source of heated debate.

The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors is asking cities to join in the initiative and a representative from the county board along with the Stockton mayor, also a proponent of the initiative, are expected to attend the council meeting to offer an overview and answer questions.

Goals of the initiative are widespread and, according to the resolution, would bring together the members of the initiative to "work together to defend Delta-related interests at a regional perspective" as well as serving as a unified voice for the Sac-Joaquin region.

"It seems that water has always gone south," Hesling added of the Bay and Delta area called on to provide the precious resource. The initiative would put some protections in place, he said.

By joining the effort, Escalon city officials would agree that there is a "need for joint action," the resolution added, as well as advocacy regarding Delta-related issues.

Among the goals of the effort are to make sure local governments have authority over water resource development, flood management, public health and safety, agricultural stability, recreation and more. It would also serve as a way to "protect the economic viability" of industry and agriculture in the region.

Hesling said the council will have the chance to review the resolution and ask any questions they have as well, before taking any action to join the initiative.