Maven’s Notebook –
At the December meeting of the Delta Stewardship Council, Carrie Buckman, Environmental Program Manager with the Department of Water Resources, gave an update on the Delta Conveyance project including the preparation of environmental documents; roles and responsibilities of the Delta Conveyance Design and Construction Authority and the Department of Water Resources; the Stakeholder Engagement Committee; and next steps.
Ms. Buckman began with briefly recapping the history of the project. In 2006, the Department of Water Resources started development with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan; that shifted to California Water Fix in 2015 which was approved under CEQA in 2017. But in early 2019, the Governor Newsom in his State of the State speech declared lack of support for California Water Fix as it was defined, and instead introduced a new approach to modernize conveyance with a single tunnel alternative.
In Executive Order 10-19, Governor Newsom directed agencies to recommend a suite of priorities and actions to build a climate resilient system and ensure healthy waterways, including assessment and consideration of a single tunnel conveyance system. At that point, DWR withdrew the project approvals and rescinded the permits and the permit applications for Water Fix and all Water Fix planning ceased. That project is no more. Since that time, Ms. Buckman said they have been working to ‘turn the direction of the ship’ which is a fairly substantial effort.