The Bay Delta Conservation Plan has pivoted away from a Habitat Conservation Plan with 22 Conservation Measures to an update of the water conveyance facilities in the Delta with the required mitigation for the impacts of that project. This is often shortened to “the tunnels” but is actually California WaterFix. The proposed project creates dual conveyance with intakes on the Sacramento River near Hood and a new pumping plant at Clifton Court connected by tunnels. The design is meant to provide resilience with continuing sea-level rise and seismic risk but mainly to stop the negative effects of reverse flow in the Delta on native Salmon and Smelt. No one outside of the state and federal agencies believes it but it is not necessarily going to result in more exports to people and farms outside of the Delta; it does however have the potential to stop the continuous cutbacks on exports due to endangered species regulations.
There remains a plan to restore habitat but on a much smaller scale than the BDCP. It may grow in time but the initial 30,000 acres is primarily to meet the existing Biological Opinions for the State Water Project and Central Valley Project. This program is called EcoRestore.
You have the opportunity to comment on both of these programs in the new public document released on July 10. See the except from the Department of Water Resources’ announcement:
60-Day Public Review and Comment Period Extension Announced
Lead state and federal agencies have extended the public comment period by 60 days for the BDCP/California WaterFix Partially Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/SDEIS). The comment period began on July 10, 2015 and now concludes on October 30, 2015. This extension gives the public more time to consider refinements and changes that have been made since the 2013 Draft EIR/EIS and provide comments.
- Mail to BDCP/WaterFix Comments, P.O. Box 1919, Sacramento, CA 95812
- Email to BDCPComments@icfi.com