Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix: Natural Resources Defense Council Bay-Delta Portfolio Approach

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Presentation by Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council at Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix

Presentation by Barry Nelson, Senior Policy Analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council at Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix

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  • 1. A Portfolio-Based BDCP Conceptual Alternative February 20, 2013Barry Nelson, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • 2. A Portfolio-Based BDCP Conceptual Alternative• Delta challenges• Current BDCP choices and issues• A portfolio-based alternative• Next steps
  • 3. Current challenges in the Delta Crashing ecosystem Institutions struggling toVulnerable levee system solve problemsWater quality concerns
  • 4. Current choices in BDCP Large facilityStatus Quo or Aggressive pumping Habitat restoration
  • 5. Questions about current direction • How would it reduce physical vulnerability? Water Reliability • Would it provide improved reliability in droughts? • Would it improve, or worsen, ecosystem Ecosystem health and water quality?and Science • Is it legally permitable?Economics • Is it financially feasible?
  • 6. Selection criteria for Delta solution Financial Viability Ecosystem Water Supply Restoration Reliability Better performance at lower cost Science- based, Water Quality Permittable
  • 7. Best solution will require thinking outside the current BDCP “Box”
  • 8. Alternative portfolio-based approach In Delta South of Delta Smaller Local water facility supplies Large facility Protective vs pumping rules South of Delta Levee storage Aggressive improvement pumping Water Smaller agency habitat integrationHabitat restoration restoration
  • 9. Alternative portfolio-based approach Summary of costs
  • 10. Potential benefits of portfolio approach • Lower capital cost for export water users Financial • Reduced energy use viability • Faster delivery of benefits • Greater water supply reliability Reliability • Less vulnerable to levee failures, earthquakes and sea level rise • Less affected by extended droughts • More water for export water agencies? Ecosystem • Contributes to Bay-Delta ecosystem and salmon restoration restorationScience-based, • Based on science, more likely to successfully obtain permits PermittableWater quality • Promising, but additional modeling required • Reduced reliance on Bay-Delta water supplies – Per SB 7X7 Other • More local control • Creation of local jobs in export areas that are paying for project • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • 11. Potential benefits of portfolio approach The bottom line• More water• Improved reliability • Dry years • Droughts • Levee failures• More local jobs• More local control• Better environmental results• Lower cost• Broad support for further analysis • Southern California • Bay Area • Delta
  • 12. Water supply reliability• A large facility still relies on south of Delta pumping Normal Year Dry Year North South Delta South North 25% Delta Delta Delta 50% 50% 75%
  • 13. Water supply reliability• Even with a large facility, a Delta levee failure leads to a large water supply loss Normal Year Dry Year North South Delta South North 25% Delta Delta Delta 50% 50% 75%
  • 14. Water supply reliability• Even with a large facility, a Delta levee failure leads to a large water supply loss Normal Year Dry Year North Delta South North South Delta 25% Delta Delta 50% 75% 50%
  • 15. Water supply reliability• Even with a large facility, a Delta levee failure leads to a large water supply loss Normal Year Dry Year North South Delta South North Delta 25% Delta Delta 50% 75% 50%
  • 16. Water supply reliability Portfolio-based approach• Smaller facility• Levee investments• Conservation and water recycling• South of Delta storage
  • 17. Portfolio-based approachBalancing reliability and ecosystem health• Declining flows• 69% of inflows diverted in Spring of 2010• Increased flow and ecosystem conflicts
  • 18. Portfolio-based approach Balancing reliability and ecosystem healthEcosystem Restoration Water Supply Reliability• Science-based Bay- • South of Delta storageDelta standards • Local tools to reduce•Habitat restoration Delta reliance
  • 19. Conceptual alternative – Not a proposed project• Based on currently available information and science• Limited modeling• Better cost estimates needed• Refinements required for final plan• Request that BDCP analyze, not adopt, the portfolio-based alternative
  • 20. Support for further analysis• 7 urban water providers – 1/16/13 Alameda County Water District – 1/16/13 City of San Diego – 1/16/13 Contra Costa Water District – 1/16/13 East Bay Municipal Utility District – 1/16/13 Otay Water District – 1/16/13 San Diego County Water Authority – 1/16/13 San Francisco Public Utilities Commission• 4 environmental groups – 1/16/13 Defenders of Wildlife – 1/16/13 Natural Resources Defense Council – 1/16/13 Planning and Conservation League – 1/16/13 The Bay Institute• 3 business groups – 1/16/13 Contra Costa Council – 1/16/13 Environmental Entrepreneurs – 1/22/13 San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation
  • 21. Support for further analysis• Elected officials – 1/15/13 San Diego Mayor Bob Filner – 1/16/13 Congressman George Miller – 1/17/13 Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Piepho – 1/17/13 Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff – 1/18/13 Congressman John Garamendi – 1/18/13 Congresswoman Doris Matsui – 1/18/13 Congressman Jerry McNerney – 1/18/13 Congressman Mike Thompson – 1/12/13 Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors (Board of Supervisors Vote 2/12/13)• Delta Protection Commission• Newspaper Editorials – 1/20/13 San Diego Union Tribune – 1/23/13 Merced Sun Star – 1/24/13 Sacramento Bee – 2/7/13 Chico News and Review
  • 22. Next steps• Discuss with BDCP agencies• Discuss alternative among stakeholders• Further analysis by BDCP agencies?