Release of BDCP Administrative Draft is ‘milestone’ in solving water crisis
“Today’s posting of the first four chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan’s Second Administrative Draft marks another important milestone in California’s effort to solve the water crisis in a way that will benefit everyone who lives here,” said Dan Nelson, executive director of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority. The revised BDCP addresses concerns raised over the initial Administrative Draft and builds upon the shared vision of a long-term solution announced by Governor Brown and Interior Secretary Salazar last summer.
“California’s water supply system is broken. It doesn’t work for farms. It doesn’t work for fishermen. It doesn’t work for the environment. Science has shown us that a comprehensive plan is essential to meet the future needs of our cities, farms, and wetlands,” said Nelson.
“BDCP represents an unprecedented commitment from our member agencies to support the seven years of research, scientific analysis and negotiations necessary to reach this point; we must keep making progress,” said Nelson. “The release of the formal BDCP Public Draft in July 2013 will make certain that we can continue this forward movement.”
The second set of chapters from the Administrative Draft will be released March 27, followed by the last chapters 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 a Public Draft of the BDCP for formal comments in July 2013.
Nelson said that, while the BDCP will provide a long term and sustainable solution for California’s water supply and Delta environment for the next 50 years, current regulatory restrictions are in need of immediate attention in order to ensure that science-based decisions are adequately protecting endangered fish while not unduly burdening the millions of Californians reliant upon water conveyed through the Delta.
“We must work harder to make certain that the same vigor and creativity expressed in the BDCP is also being applied to the monitoring, science and decision making that are currently causing so much harm to the farms, families and communities of the region we serve.”
Member water agencies of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority deliver water to 1.2 million acres of farmland, including the nation’s top producing ag county, and an urban population of 2 million people in small rural communities and larger metropolitan centers like the Silicon Valley. The Authority also delivers water to the second largest contiguous wetlands in the nation, which is a vital link in the Pacific Flyway migration path. The member water districts are located along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley from Tracy to Kettleman City and in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.