What is in this article?:
- California water system gets rigorous environmental review
- Water decisions
- California Gov. Brown Jr., Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, and NOAA Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab outlined revisions to the proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) that, along with a full range of alternative proposals, will undergo a rigorous public environmental review in the coming months.
The elements of a preferred proposal include the construction of water intake facilities with a total capacity of 9,000 cubic feet per second -- down from an earlier proposal of 15,000 cfs – operations of which would be phased in over several years and a conveyance designed to use gravity flow to maximize energy efficiency and to minimize environmental impact. Many other alternatives, including no conveyance facility, and facilities with capacities ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 cfs, will also be fully considered as part of the upcoming environmental review process.
Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar affirmed their commitment to continue working with water users, non-governmental organizations and local governments to achieve the co-equal goals in a manner that incentivizes reduced, efficient water use throughout California and that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta.
Having identified the key elements of a proposal, the parties expect to issue a draft Bay Delta Conservation Plan and corresponding Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for public review this fall. In recognition that water supply reliability and affordability elements are vitally important to the public water agencies who are expected to pay for any proposed facilities, the state and federal agencies will work intensively with the public water agencies and other interested parties over the next 90 days to address these important questions. State and federal agencies will continue to refine the proposals announced today and will issue a major progress report after the completion of this initial work.