Water group blasts Delta Plan
May 16, 2013
• Says it violates the California Environmental Quality Act
• “We find the Final Delta Plan utterly deficient”
The “Delta Plan,” adopted Thursday as state law by the Delta Stewardship Commission, is fatally flawed, says a nonprofit water group based in Santa Barbara.
“We find the Final Delta Plan utterly deficient. It is nothing more than a continuation of the policy that has systematically destroyed the largest estuary on the west coast of the continental United States and instigated the state’s water wars,” says the California Water Impact Network. “As such, it is not a solution to our water crisis, but a disastrous adherence to the status quo.”
The group notes that the Delta Plan ignores simple arithmetic: that the amount of water pledged to various users exceeds by five times the amount of water normally available from the combined Sacramento, Trinity and San Joaquin river basins.
“The current Delta Plan does not recognize this stark and troubling fact. This, in turn, ensures that our current -- and unsustainable -- state water policy will remain unabridged, condemning the Delta to continued decline,” says Carolee Krieger, founder and president of the California Water Impact Network.
The Delta Plan includes the yet-to-be-completed Bay Delta Conservation Plan, which in turn includes Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to build 35-mile-long twin tunnels 150 feet beneath the heart of the Delta to siphon off Sacramento River water before it could flow naturally into the Delta. Instead, the water would be shipped to buyers on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, to Los Angeles and to Silicon Valley.
Ms. Krieger’s group also says the Delta Plan’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Report, which will be used as a guiding instrument for achieving water supply reliability and Delta ecosystem restoration, is flawed and needs a “complete revision … before it can conform even minimally” to the California Environmental Quality Act.”