Final Staff Draft of Delta Plan Released
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Eric Alvarez
May 14, 2012 (916) 445-5383 (o) / (916) 275-7923 (c)
SACRAMENTO – The Delta Stewardship Council staff today transmitted the final staff draft Delta Plan to the seven-member Council for review, comment and, ultimately, adoption. “With the help of the comments and advice we received from many interested parties, our final staff draft Delta Plan presents a common sense approach to achieving the coequal goals of restoring the Delta ecosystem and providing a reliable water supply for California,” Council Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff said. “We expect the Council to make revisions, and make a final decision after an appropriate environmental review.” The final staff draft Delta Plan is the last in a series of six drafts presented to the Council over the past 14 months. It reflects public comments made on all five staff drafts and is informed by analysis contained in the draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. The final staff draft Delta Plan reflects changes to policies and recommendations regarding Delta levee priorities, flow objectives, land development and water quality. It also recognizes the role of various agencies involved in the Delta; and makes recommendations to ensure that responsibilities are coordinated to wisely use limited resources. The Delta Plan interagency committee, which will be established by the Council, will include agencies and others that have a role in the Delta.
The Delta Plan is designed to:
• Increase water supply reliability through better water management across California, more conservation and diversification of water supplies, including reduced reliance on water from the Delta watershed, and improved Delta conveyance and expansion of groundwater and surface storage. The Delta Plan recognizes the importance of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and urges its completion and successful permitting.
•Improve the Delta ecosystem by protecting five high-priority restoration areas from development. The Delta Plan also recommends actions to reduce pollution, invasive species and more. The Delta Plan sets a deadline for the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to update flow objectives for the major rivers and tributaries of the Delta. The Delta Plan emphasizes SWRCB actions to deal with high-priority Delta-specific water quality problems, too.
• Protect “Delta-as-a-Place” by seeking its designation as a National Heritage Area; protecting agriculture by locating urban development in cities rather than on rural farmlands; conserving legacy communities like Locke and Clarksburg; and encouraging recreation and tourism.
• Reduce risk by improving levees and bypasses and requiring new development in the Delta floodplain to have adequate flood protection.
• Ensure fairness by encouraging the financing principles of beneficiaries pay for benefits received and stressors pay for problems caused. “While there is no simple low-cost plan that gives everyone what they want, it is possible for California to have the water it needs and at the same time protect the ecosystem,” Grindstaff said. “The plan identifies a path forward that develops a more reliable water supply, significantly improves the delta ecosystem while protecting the special character of Delta as it changes into the future.”
The Council will first review the final staff draft Delta Plan at its regularly-scheduled meeting on May 24 in West Sacramento, and will discuss it in detail with the Council at the June 14-15 meeting.
The full staff draft of the Delta Plan and the Executive Summary can be found at this web address: