Sixth Staff Draft of Delta Plan Released

The sixth staff draft of the Delta Stewardship Council’s Delta Plan was transmitted to the seven-member council today for review and comment.

The 332-page draft plan<http://outreach.acwa.com/site/R?i=zRYGUkEb9ITaT5vxwnyoLg> will be discussed by the council at its May 24 meeting as well as meetings set for June 14-15 and June 28-29. Council staff expects to make further revisions at the direction of council members and recirculate the draft environmental impact report to cover the final staff draft sometime this summer. A final Delta Plan is expected to be adopted by November or December.

 In a statewide media call today, DSC Executive Director Joe Grindstaff said the sixth draft reflects more than 10,000 comments received to date and analysis included in the draft environmental document circulated in November. The sixth draft also reflects changes to policies and recommendations in the areas of Delta levee priorities, flow objectives, land development and water quality, as well as clarifications to areas such as area of origin protection and covered actions.

 Core strategies identified by Grindstaff for addressing the Delta’s water supply and ecosystem needs include reducing reliance on water from the Delta watershed through investment in local resources development and better water management; completing and permitting the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, including conveyance and habitat improvements essential to the coequal goals; identifying high-priority restoration areas and setting a deadline for the State Water Resources Control Board to update flow standards for the Delta and tributaries; and improving flood preparedness and reducing the Delta’s exposure to flood risks.

 The plan also recommends actions to reduce pollution, address invasive species, protect the Delta as a unique place and encourage the beneficiaries pay principle for financing actions.

According to Grindstaff, an interagency committee will be established to guide implementation activities.