So what is in this 70-page document?
For one thing, it includes material that never had a public hearing.
“Although many of the concepts and descriptions within this context document have been discussed in the BDCP Steering Committee, others have not. Therefore, information within this Document should not be attributed to the Steering Committee.” The Steering Committee was just a forum for discussing issues.
In other words, not really a STEERING committee.
Among the water supply goals and objectives is this: “Improve long-term water supplies of the SWP and CVP to amounts consistent with those prior to the implementation of the most recent Biological Opinions through improved water conveyance.” Someone says we can’t have that much water again? Ignore them.
There’s a nice picture of the proposed Pipeline/Tunnel Conveyance. (We always knew that “pipeline” was just a transitional word used to keep from alarming people.) It shows five intakes between Freeport and Courtland, a 750-acre forebay near Courtland, and a 600-acre forebay near the existing Clifton Court Forebay.
There’s a nice map showing Aquatic Habitat Restoration. (These green areas always look so nice on a map.)
“DWR will be the permittee under the BDCP and will construct, own and operate the new facility.” The proposal is for a 15,000 cfs tunnel/pipeline. The total conveyance electric load is 210 megawatts.
There’s a “cost model” estimating total “out-of-pocket” capital and O&M implementation costs over a 50-year period at between $20 billion and $25 billion (rounded up). However, “At this stage, how the BDCP will actually be financed has not been addressed.” In other words, it will cost a lot, and probably more that which is being estimated because nobody wants to commit to how it will be paid for.
Among “Near-Term Operational Criteria (for The Purpose of Analysis)”: “Delete the fall X2 flow requirement as allowed in the RPA based on best available science.” (Quick – Somebody find us some best available science to back this up!) What that means to us every day people is that fresh water standards won’t have to be met in the Delta during the fall. Wonder what that will do to agriculture, fisheries, water quality for Contra Costa Water District users, and operation of Stockton’s Delta Water Intake Project?
Everyone who cares about the well-being of the Delta and the people in it will find something not to like in this document. But as far as the BDCP is concerned, those people are not “stakeholders.”