This month’s smoke and mirrors

If you are having trouble keeping track of what’s going on here, you’re in good company. We have the BDCP going forward with a plan that the 2009 legislation said was supposed to be incorporated into the Delta Plan. But the Delta Stewardship Council plowed on ahead to produce a draft Delta Plan WITHOUT the BDCP and has done a draft EIR (environmental impact report), on which interested parties are hurrying to comment before February 2. They’re commenting on a Delta Plan that is missing its most controversial constituent. In fact, despite the fact that the Delta Plan Draft EIR is thousands of pages long, there is no actual project in it at all.

Meanwhile, the 2009 legislation directed the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) to develop flow criteria to determine appropriate water diversion amounts associated with BDCP. The SWRCB did that in 2010. But a coalition of water contractors has asked the SWRCB to delay setting Delta outflow objectives until AFTER the BDCP is complete. They’re concerned that the Board’s 2010 Delta Flow Criteria would interfere with other beneficial uses of water.

In other words, they want to wait to set outflow objectives until AFTER they’ve completed their plan for diverting Sacramento River water away from the Delta.

You can read the letter here:

Next up is the EIR for the BDCP, which will have to analyze alternative sizes of diversions. But all the analysis so far is predicated on a conveyance capacity of 15,000 cfs.

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