The “BDCP Plus” conveyance plan is now proposing three rather than five intakes – at a savings of $1 billion per intake – for a total of 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) instead of 15,000 cfs. But before anyone gets the idea that this involves any real intention to limit export flows, you need to know that they are also planning to use gravity flow rather than pumps to operate the system, and they need a 15,000 cfs pipe to make the gravity flow work. So they could add another couple of intakes later, when 60% of the damage had already been done.
Someone has noticed that pumping water uses lots of energy.
For operating this conveyance, in the absence of clear flow guidelines and recovery goals at the outset, BDCP Plus is proposing something called a “decision tree.” The thing is, a decision tree is usually used to identify a strategy most likely to reach a goal. But as we have noted, there are no clear goals. And while the heads of California’s involved agencies continue to talk about reduced exports in their meetings with environmental groups, they publicly talk about how ultimately the system will allow for greater water exports in other public venues.