Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 27, 2013

Plan for Delta now available to public

Comments may be made through April 14

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

The state and federal Bay Delta Conservation Plan is now available for public review through April 14. Copies are online and at various locations around the state.

The plan aims at restoring the Delta ecosystem and the water supply for 25 million Californians, including those living in the Zone 7 service area. More than 80% of water delivered by Zone 7 to Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and Dougherty Valley is Sierra snowmelt captured by the State Water Project and conveyed through the Delta.

"This is a rational, balanced plan to help meet the needs of all Californians for generations to come," Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said.

The Delta estuary faces increasing problems caused by invasive species, as well as threats of seawater from flooding, earthquakes and rising sea levels due to climate change, according to a Zone 7 press release. Also, the existing system of conveying water has created unnatural north-south flows in the Delta, confusing native species and disturbing the ecosystem.

The plan calls for extensive habitat improvements, as well as the construction of two new water supply tunnels, from the northern Delta to existing aqueduct facilities in the south Delta.

By meeting the state's goals for ecosystem restoration and water supply reliability, Laird said, "We will stabilize and secure against catastrophe the water deliveries that sustain our homes, jobs and farms, and do so in a way that not only protects but enhances the environment."

The proposed size of the facility has been reduced from 15,000 cubic feet per second to 9,000, according to Zone 7. This would be large enough to maintain the state's groundwater basins and reservoirs while still requiring urban communities to conserve and recycle water.

To view information on the plan, go to baydeltaconservationplan.com.

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan is one component of the California Water Action Plan, which Secretary Laird will outline at a public workshop at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, at Dublin City Hall, hosted by the Dublin San Ramon Services District.

Some of the specific actions in the California Water Action Plan include water conservation, increased local and regional self-sufficiency, increased water storage, flood protection and ecosystem restoration.

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