Average, below average, divided average

Also this week, the Delta Vision Foundation presented its 2012 Report Card assessing progress on implementation of the Delta Vision Strategic Plan, assigning letter grades in seven categories which it analyzes. Only in “Governance” was  a B grade assigned, and that decreased to B- from the previous year’s B+. Four of the categories received lower grades than the previous year, three higher, but no category received higher than a B. (Click here to see the report card and the executive summary.)

There were two panel discussions, one of the governmental agencies involved in the implementation, and one of stakeholders. All participants expressed appreciation for the effort to measure progress, or the lack thereof, in implementing the Delta Vision Strategic Plan, but there was general concurrence that not much has been achieved in spite of a flurry of activity as reflected in the D- grades for Near Term Actions and Efforts To Reduce Risks For The Ecosystem and Water Supply Reliability categories.

Central Delta Water Agency attorney Tom Zuckerman noted that most of the progress made has been not through the State and federal governments but through local and regional efforts supported by State or federal cost-sharing (like the noticeable levee improvements in the Delta, the City of Stockton Delta Water Supply Project, and many regional self-sufficiency efforts, especially in Southern California). The fisheries improvement  in the Delta, on the other hand, were the product of wetter years more than regulatory efforts and underscore the need to reduce export pressure on the Delta in the drier years.

On the stakeholder panel, Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff had been critical of the lack of consultation with the local interests during her remarks. David Nawi of the US Bureau of Reclamation came up at the end to tell everyone how the Bureau and State were correcting that problem with more inclusion of the local interests in the process. How is that consistent with the Governor’s apparent intention to push forward with a redefined project in July that ignores science and has not undergone a full economic analysis? And how is Nawi’s statement consistent with the actions of the Governor’s representatives who through select meetings are seeking to divide and conquer the local Delta community?

Carl Wilcox of the Department of Fish and Game responded that the revised “preferred project” in BDCP was intended to respond to the science and economic issues, but hadn’t been finalized yet.

There’s not much time left on the Governor’s schedule!

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