The proposed Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) has now been recast as two separate efforts – water conveyance under California WaterFix, and habitat restoration under California EcoRestore – and the effort to secure federal Habitat Conservation Plan and State Natural Community Conservation Plan designations has been put aside.
The BDCP was originally developed to support the issuance of long-term (50 year) incidental take permits for the Central Valley Project (CVP) and State Water Project (SWP) that met the requirements of the Federal Endangered Species Act (FESA) and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). This was to be accomplished through development of a federal Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and state Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP).
Habitat conservation and related conservation measures originally proposed through the BDCP are no longer included, except to the extent required for mitigation. Habitat restoration measures will be implemented in a separate program, California EcoRestore, which will be implemented by the Natural Resources Agency.
The preferred project identified in the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (RDEIR/SDEIS) is Alternative 4A (California WaterFix). California WaterFix is similar to the BDCP’s preferred Alternative 4 with three 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) intakes on the Sacramento River in the north Delta and 2,100 acres of ecosystem restoration required for mitigation. Key changes in California WaterFix include the reduction in power requirements by the elimination of the three pumping facilities and the increased use of state-owned property as opposed to private property. The north Delta intakes are proposed to be operated with the existing south Delta pumping facilities as a dual conveyance system.
The past two years have seen the State Water Resources Control Board engaged in assessing the needed changes of diversion points, for both the state and federal projects as part of the California WaterFix project implementation. In addition, the Delta Stewardship Council will be concluding its review of the measures needed to implement the project. It is anticipated that these key milestones will be concluded by the end of 2018, leaving it to the incoming Administration to defend and implement the outcome(s).
Staff: Mary-Ann Warmerdam