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Clawing through the underbrush

On June 20, Resources Agency staff and consultants held one of their periodic meetings to brief the public on the progress of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). 

We still don’t know exactly what Governor Brown and Interior Secretary Salazar will be announcing next month in the way of conveyance in the Delta, except that it will have three intakes on the east bank of the Sacramento River instead of the original five and will use gravity flow instead of pumps to get up to 9,000 cubic feet of water per second into the same 15,000 cfs capacity tunnels we’ve been hearing about for the past year.

They’ll move the forebay from Courtland to Hood, where the state already owns land.

Will they need an elevated forebay to make that gravity flow work?  Probably.  Will that lead to seepage problems in adjacent areas?  Probably.

In other words, the proposal is still outrageous.

And they have no idea how they will operate it to meet the coequal goals of water supply reliability and ecosystem restoration.

At the NEXT meeting, the BDCP folks will present a revised science process (more participatory, more transparent).   At the NEXT meeting, or the one after that, they will resolve the “red flag” issues raised by the fish agencies highlighting the deficiencies in BDCP science.

BDCP staff proposes to use a “decision tree,” which is a strategy for achieving a goal.  The decision tree, they said, might lead to different water supply yields. 

So is ecosystem restoration the goal?  How could it be?  The exporters who are supposed to pay for this project want more water and will have no incentive to pay if they can’t get more.

Try to imagine a decision tree with two different, “coequal” goals.  Looks like a mass of twisted branches, doesn’t it?

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