As the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) nears final public review, a group of environmental organizations and water agencies Wednesday proposed downsizing the 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) tunnels envisioned in the BDCP, calling instead for a single smaller tunnel that would only deliver 3,000 cfs to state and federal export pumps in the south Delta. The group’s plan, which they call a “portfolio-based alternative,” also suggests new water storage south of the Delta. This appears to be limited to expansion or improvement of existing groundwater storage and possibly small local reservoirs, not an endorsement of constructing new surface storage facilities. The proposal includes other measures as well, such as Delta levee improvements and greater integration by local water agencies to maximize efficiency.
In a letter to federal and state officials, the water agencies suggested that a smaller conveyance facility would not face a host of “unquantified risks” confronting the larger tunnels and habitat restoration envisioned by BDCP. Among the unquantified risks cited are “political controversy, and potentially lengthy litigation.”
WG has supported the efforts of Governor Jerry Brown and federal officials in advancing the BDCP in its current form and will continue to advocate for its approval.
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