California Releases Yet Another Preliminary Draft BDCP


On March 14, 2013, the State of California announced (pdf) that it has released the first 4 of 12 chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).  California plans to release the next three chapters on March 27, and the remaining five chapters on April 22.  The BDCP website notes that the materials being released are preliminary and subject to change, and do not take the place of the public review draft, which will be released at a later date.  Preliminary draft versions of the BDCP have been released on several occasions; for example, a complete draft was released in February 2012, as reported here.

The BDCP is a proposal for new water intakes, tunnels, and habitat restoration to reverse the decline of native fish populations in the Delta and provide reliable water deliveries for two-thirds of California’s population.  A key component of the BDCP is the construction and operation of new water facilities, including north Delta intakes screened to prevent or reduce fish entrainment and twin 35-mile long tunnels.  The chapters released (pdf) indicate that federal and state agencies will analyze tunnels that range in capacity from 3,000 to 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).

In January 2013, a coalition including a number of environmental groups and certain public water agencies that service the San Diego and San Francisco metropolitan areas released an alternative (pdf) to the BDCP that includes a single tunnel with a capacity of 3,000 cfs.  The released materials indicate that components of this alternative will be considered during the permitting process.

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