On Thursday, at the request of the Delta Stewardship Council, PCL’s Jonas Minton presented to the Council On this very topic. Minton presented the top four priority actions that should be included in their initial Delta Plan and an outline of how to pay for it. During his presentation he highlighted the following priority actions:
Top Four Actions to Achieve Co-equal Objectives:
- Direct the State Water Resources Control Board to start updating flow standards now for existing conveyance and set standards for new conveyance.
- Prioritize Delta levees for improvement and approve funding consistent with those priorities.
- Call upon BDCP and other stakeholders to conduct due diligence review of a 3,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) conveyance facility.
- Work with Delta interests and others including MWD and Westlands on phased restoration projects.
An Affordable Financing Plan:
> Delta Levee Protection – vital for flood & water quality protection
– Use existing Proposition 1E funds for upgrading prioritized Delta levees
> 3,000 cfs Delta pipeline – infrastructure to benefit water supply reliability, aquatic species and water quality in the event of a natural disaster
– The $6 billion price tag would mostly be funded from urban water districts receiving Delta water, using the beneficiary pays model
> Delta Restoration – Necessary to protect the ecosystem that supports our water supply system.
– Start with existing funds and Delta restoration projects, e.g. Dutch Slough, Prospect Island, MWD and Westlands projects in Yolo Bypass
– Use lessons learned from those projects for additional restoration that could be funded from about $250 million for Delta restoration projects in a future, slimmed down and focused water bond.