Last week the Delta Stewardship Council (DSC) adopted an interim plan for the Delta as required by last year’s Comprehensive Water Package.
This is the plan that the DSC will use to guide its actions until the Delta Plan is adopted and implemented, by January 1, 2012.
There were problems with the legislation that created the DSC and called for the plan, so of course there will be problems with the plan.
Legislation gave the DSC the policy objective to “Manage the Delta’s water and environmental resources and the water resources of the state over the long term.” This implies that managing the water resources of California over the long term is inextricably linked to managing the Delta’s water and environmental resources.
Maybe the DSC should be looking at ways for the state to get along with less water from the Delta watershed. That’s because providing for a more reliable water supply for the state is antithetical to sustainable management of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem unless the water supply is not only reliable but reduced most years.
Similarly, improving water conveyance within the Delta may involve reducing the amount conveyed.
And we will just note again our objection to the Delta Water Flow Plan. This plan is required to “promote options for new and improved infrastructure relating to water conveyance.” Making conveyance part of the solution means that adequate Delta water flows can never be the primary objective of this plan, since the option of “no conveyance” will never be part of the discussion.
It’s a good thing that the DSC is required to develop a regional economic plan for the Delta, since the most recent estimate of the Delta’s gross regional produce is 16 years old.