BDCP provides ‘best option’ to water future
California’s best option to solve its ongoing water crisis took a major step forward today with the release of the first four chapters of an Administrative Draft of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, according to the State’s largest farm water organization.
“California’s water delivery system is broken and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan is the best option our state has in securing a reliable water future,” said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition. The coalition represents more than 5 million irrigated acres and is the state’s largest organization to focus only on farm water issues.
The BDCP is a group effort by water agencies, environmental and conservation groups, State and federal agencies, and other interest groups to develop a permitting process to operate the State and federal water projects that pull water that moves through the Delta. The water from these two projects is delivered to 3 million acres of farmland and 25 million Californians. The final proposal must comply with the Endangered Species Act and the California Natural Communities Conservation Planning Act.
The California Natural Resources Agency issued the BDCP chapters today in the first of three actions. The first four chapters are available on the agency’s web site. Three more chapters will be released on March 27 with the final chapters issued on April 22. Public meetings are scheduled March 20, March 27 and April 29 to review the Administrative Draft.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is scheduled to release the Public Review Draft in July 2013.
“It is essential that DWR releases the Public Review Draft in July in order to keep the process on a timely schedule,” Wade added.
” Not only will BDCP lead to a reliable water supply, it will also create 100,000 acres of natural habitat in the Delta,” Wade said. “The material released today is the result of years of study and research by scientists and others involved in the BDCP process. Their work has been invaluable in leading California toward a water future that protects both the environment and those who rely on water that flows through the Delta.
“Much is at stake in relation to California’s water future and the BDCP effort is the closest our state has come to a proposal that presents a plan that benefits all of California.”