Delta tunnel: DCA transmitted initial project “footprint” to DWR on April 1

According to an April 23, 2020 memo prepared by the Kern County Water Agency for their April Board meeting packet, the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority

…delivered its “footprint” engineering to DWR on April 1, 2020. The “footprint” engineering serves as the starting point for the environmental analysis necessary for the EIR.

According to a timeline in the Kern County Water Agency memo, the Department of Water Resources was going to produce cost estimates for the Delta tunnel project by the end of April.  The cost estimates would likely be needed to inform the negotiations with the State Water Contractors for an Agreement in Principle on a contract for the Delta Conveyance.

KCWA Delta tunnel timeline

The Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority’s transmission of the initial Delta tunnel project “footprint” appears to not be in conformance with requirements of the Delta Plan.  Delta Plan policy P2 requires consultation with local agencies and the Delta Protection Commission on siting of the project facilities.

P2. Respect Local Land Use when Siting Water or Flood Facilities or Restoring Habitats.

(a) Water management facilities, ecosystem restoration, and flood management infrastructure must be sited to avoid or reduce conflicts with existing uses or those uses described or depicted in city and county general plans for their jurisdictions or spheres of influence when feasible, considering comments from local agencies and the Delta Protection Commission. Plans for ecosystem restoration must consider sites on existing public lands, when feasible and consistent with a project’s purpose, before privately owned sites are purchased. Measures to mitigate conflicts with adjacent uses may include, but are not limited to, buffers to prevent adverse effects on adjacent farmland.

(underlining added.)

Although the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority has appointed Dr. Mel Lytle, Assistant Director of Utilities for the City of Stockton to the Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee, no other Delta water districts are participating in the Stakeholder Engagement Committee, nor are Delta counties.

Secretary Wade Crowfoot wrote to Delta stakeholders in September of 2019 and explained that the Delta Stakeholder Engagement Committee was not meant to be the primary venue for stakeholder input on the project.

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