California Governor Jerry Brown, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Assistant Administrator for Fisheries Eric Schwaab July 25 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.
In announcing the path forward for an enhanced BDCP process, the officials emphasized that California’s water system is unsustainable from an environmental and economic perspective, and that the BDCP is a key part of a comprehensive solution to achieve the dual goals of a reliable water supply for California and a healthy California Bay Delta ecosystem that supports the state’s economy.
A central element of the multi-billion dollar plan – $14 billion in construction costs according to the Los Angeles Times – is to construct twin tunnels to carry fresh water from the Sacramento River and route it for irrigation and drinking purposes. The tunnels would be on the order of 30 ft in diameter and would span roughly 35 miles under the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay 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. State and federal agencies will continue to refine the proposals and will issue a major progress report after the completion of this initial work.
For more information visit: http://baydeltaconservationplan.com