Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - August 22, 2013
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Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - August 22, 2013

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Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - Presentation given at Water Authority Board Meeting on August 22, 2013 to the Imported Water Committee

Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - Presentation given at Water Authority Board Meeting on August 22, 2013 to the Imported Water Committee

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    Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - August 22, 2013 Bay-Delta Conservation Plan: Review Update - August 22, 2013 Presentation Transcript

    • Imported Water Committee August 22, 2013
    •  What’s new?  Review approach  What is BDCP?  Issues the Water Authority’s evaluation will focus on to provide comment letter through environmental review process  Preliminary analysis  Next step 2
    •  DWR announced several changes to the proposed BDCP water conveyance system in an effort to address Delta landowner concerns. Among the changes are: ◦ Shortening the main conveyance tunnels from 35 miles to 30 miles ◦ Shrinking the new forebay from 750 acres to 40 acres ◦ Realigning a segment of the twin tunnels several miles to the east to lands owned by a private non-profit group  Public review drafts of the BDCP and the EIR/EIS are still expected to be released in October 3
    •  BDCP is a permitting process supported by detailed planning and environmental documents ◦ ADEIR & BDCP ~ 25,000 pages; public drafts to be issued in October will be voluminous  BDCP Planning Documents ◦ Support NCCP/HCP ◦ Supporting scientific, economic, financial information ◦ Non-CEQA/NEPA required analyses  DEIR/EIS ◦ Required for NCCP/HCP approval and permitting 4
    • 5  Limited resources and time require a high level review ◦ Perspective of a recipient and purchaser Delta exports  Which Delta fix proposal most consistent with: ◦ Board’s Bay-Delta Policy Principles ◦ Reliability goals in the Water Authority’s 2010 UWMP  Deliverables: ◦ Comment letter through BDCP environmental review process ◦ Assessment of project financing and impact on rates ◦ Cost benefit assessment for Board review
    • Alternative North Delta Conveyance Capacity Additional Supply Element BDCP Administrative Draft EIR/EIS Preferred 9,000 cfs No No Action Current Operations No Concepts NRDC Portfolio 3,000cfs+ Local Projects & Storage Delta Vision BDCP Plus 6,000cfs Local Projects & Storage 6
    • 1. Utilize BDCP data for conveyance capacities and other in-Delta features assessment for all options, including those proposed in BDCP Plus and NRDC alternatives  BDCP analyzes 3,000 and 6,000 cfs capacities  BDCP identifies restoration efforts associated with smaller conveyance capacities  BDCP Economics Benefits Analysis has financial and economic data for smaller capacity conveyance capital and operating costs 7
    • 2. Assess the risk, financing, cost, benefit, and need for additional information for out-of-Delta features proposed in NRDC/BDCP Plus  Value of additional storage to increase exports  Value of additional local supply projects  Comparison to BDCP Preferred and No Action  Affect on San Diego regional reliability and rates  Both quantitative and qualitative risks will be presented  Both analyses will support overall evaluation of alternatives and provide basis of comment letters 8
    • 9
    •  Comprehensive conservation strategy for Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta  22 Conservation Measures (CMs) ◦ CM 1: water conveyance facilities and operations ◦ CM 2-22: restore, protect and conserve ecosystem  Allows issuance of Endangered Species Act permits for 50-year term ◦ Natural Communities Conservation Plan (state) ◦ Habitat Conservation Plan (federal)  BDCP is the “project” for environmental review 10
    •  Required for any discretionary governmental action that may affect the environment ◦ Approve or carry out a project ◦ Authorize funding for a project ◦ Grant a permit for project  Disclose environmental effects to decision makers and the public ◦ Identify ways to avoid or reduce effects ◦ Identify feasible alternatives and mitigation measures ◦ Specify reasons for the action ◦ Enhance public participation 11
    •  EIR/EIS is a joint CEQA (state) and NEPA (federal) document ◦ Common practice to issue a combined EIR/EIS ◦ Regulations require very similar analyses ◦ For high level review no material differences  Review the environmental effects of proposed project and a reasonable range of alternatives 12  Lead agency for EIR is DWR  Co-lead agencies for EIS are USBR, NMFS, and USFWS
    •  EIR/EIS describes the BCDP project in the context of a “purpose and need”, as well as a “statement of objectives” "DWR’s fundamental purpose in proposing the BDCP is to make physical and operational improvements to the SWP system in the Delta necessary to restore and protect ecosystem health, water supplies of the SWP and CVP south of Delta, and water quality within a stable regulatory framework, consistent with statutory and contractual obligations." 13
    • BDCP components address:  Delta ecosystem health and productivity ◦ Species/habitat decline  Water supply reliability ◦ Reduced volume and timing ◦ Seismic and climate change  Delta hydrology and water quality ◦ Salinity, nutrients, PCBs, metals, and pesticides 14 Banks Delta Pumping Plant
    • NEW NORTH DELTA CONVEYANCE DIVERSION STRUCTURE SOUTH DELTA PUMPS
    • NEW NORTH DELTA CONVEYANCE DIVERSION STRUCTURE SOUTH DELTA PUMPS Seawater
    • 17  Water Exports  Species protection and recovery  Water Quality  In-delta uses ◦ Agriculture ◦ Commercial Fishing ◦ Recreation  Requires complex integrated operations
    •  Started with 4 conservation strategy options ◦ Existing thru-delta conveyance and opportunistic operations with possible new storage ◦ Thru-delta conveyance with San Joaquin River isolation ◦ Dual conveyance (new north delta diversion and existing south delta pumps) ◦ Isolated conveyance around the delta  Scoping resulted in 15 conveyance alternatives  Applied 6 different operating scenarios ◦ Varied amount of flow annually and seasonally ◦ Varied salinity ◦ In-delta consumptive use ◦ Effects of climate change  Resulted in 21 potential alternatives ranging from 3,000 to 15,000 cfs of north delta intake capacity 18
    •  First Level Criteria ◦ Conservation and management of covered species ◦ Protect, restore, and enhance natural communities/ecosystems ◦ Restore and protect SWP and CVP water reliability  Second and Third Level Criteria ◦ Avoid or substantially lessen significant environmental effects ◦ Technical and economic feasibility or practicability ◦ Violate federal or state statutes or regulations ◦ Balance relevant economic, environmental, social, and technological factors 19 15 EIR/EIS Alternatives
    •  Assessed environmental impacts of alternatives  What should Water Authority focus on? ◦ Alternatives (operating scenarios and yield) ◦ Water quality ◦ Species recovery goals ◦ Habitat mitigation 20 Water Supply Agriculture Noise Surface Water Recreation Hazards/Hazardous Materials Groundwater Socioeconomics Public Health Water Quality Aesthetics/Visual Minerals Geology/Seismicity Cultural Paleontology Soils Transportation Environmental Justice Fish/Aquatic Biology Public Services/Utilities Climate Change Terrestrial Biology Energy Growth Inducement Land Use Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas
    •  HCP/NCCP Conservation Stds ◦ More than just fully mitigating impacts to avoid further decline ◦ Must contribute to recovery “…when the decline of a species is stopped or reversed, or threats to its survival neutralized so that its long-term survival in the wild can be ensured, and it can be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species.”  BDCP covers 57 species and their habitats 21
    • Year 1-5 Year 6-10 Year 11-40 PROTECTION Acquisition 10,010 11,385 41,560 RESTORATION Tidal Wetland 8,150 8,150 48,700 Floodplain 0 0 10,000 Channel Margin (miles) 0 5 15 Riparian Wetland 400 400 4,200 Grassland 570 570 860 Vernal Pool/Alkali Wetland 49 49 41 Non-tidal marsh 360 360 800 TOTAL 19,539 20,914 106,161 Grand Total: 146,614 acres
    •  Unknown if habitat restoration will be successful  Concerns about impacts to upstream storage and other beneficial uses  Disagreement regarding minimum outflows for longfin and delta smelt  BDCP incorporates a “decision tree” that uses future additional scientific information to determine flow requirements in 2025  Once flows initially fixed, any further changes only via adaptive management 23
    •  Integrated process to evaluate project design, effectiveness and modification  Data from monitoring, combined with new science, is applied to conservation strategy  Information from project success/failure used to modify or develop new approaches  Includes Changed Circumstances Could require future structural or operating criteria changes that increase or decrease project cost and water availability
    •  CEQA & NEPA require a “baseline” condition as a starting point to determine environmental impacts ◦ Baseline usually reflects existing conditions at the time of the EIR/EIS with minor modifications for expected changes  Recent case law has allowed the use of a projected future baseline ◦ Based on substantial evidence ◦ QSA Program EIR trial court decision ◦ Recent California Supreme Court decision 25
    •  Different assumptions and baselines were used in the EIR/EIS and BDCP ◦ Baseline is important in determining mitigation, cost/benefit and a “yes/no” decision on project  EIR/EIS alternatives evaluated from a perspective of avoiding or substantially lessening impacts to the whole “environment”, including humans. ◦ Broad evaluation, all issue areas ◦ Used a “snapshot” baseline of existing conditions with near term changes  HCP/NCCP alternatives evaluated from a perspective of avoiding or lessening “take” of covered fish and wildlife ◦ Narrow evaluation, biology only ◦ Used baseline with forecasted future restrictions 26
    • 27
    •  On May 29, the BDCP economic benefit analysis was released for public review  Economic benefit analysis assesses the value of the BDCP preferred alternative on: ◦ Water shortage avoidance ◦ Water quality improvement ◦ Seismic risk reduction  Water Authority staff will review the overall financing plans, funding sources, and the cost- benefit analysis of the BDCP alternatives 28
    •  Demand assumptions influence BDCP economic benefit analysis  Unclear what demand assumptions were used for economic benefit analysis  Staff to clarify demand assumptions ◦ Recently, DWR now representing demand to reflect updated SCAG projection and Carlsbad Desalination  BDCP EIR/EIS Growth Inducement Chapter reviewed water contractor profiles, including MWD ◦ Relied on MWD’s 2010 RUWMP for demand profile ◦ In 2010, GHA (retained by Water Authority) conducted an analysis and showed MWD’s RUWMP under-reported 312 taf of planned local projects that are shown in MWD MA UWMPs combined 29
    •  Dual facilities used for all three conveyance alternatives: continued reliance on existing thru-Delta system  Initial items staff plans to evaluate: ◦ Operating Scenarios associated with Alternatives ◦ “Decision Tree” process ◦ Frequency of north intake used ◦ Benefit of additional storage 30 Capacity (cfs) Isolated Facility Exports South Delta Exports 9,000 49% 51% 6,000 41% 59% 3,000 28% 72%
    •  State and federal regulations for HCP/NCCP require assurance of “adequate funding” by the conservation plan applicant ◦ Chapter 8 of the BDCP is intended to provide details of the funding strategy to satisfy the “adequate funding” requirement  Chapter 8 currently notes: ◦ “It is important to note that this chapter is not a financing plan for the state or federal water contractors or any other party…This chapter provides an overview of potential funding sources that are likely to be available to support the implementation of the BDCP” ◦ “Details of the financing and repayment described in this section from the Authorized Entities and other sources are still being determined…” 31
    •  Based on BDCP’s Financing Chapter 8, who will bear the capital costs and debt obligations?  Unknown. Current Draft BDCP (page 8-80) says: ◦ “Details of the financing… are still being determined through on-going discussion between the state and federal governments and between the government, the state and federal water contractors and other interests.” 32 Source: BDCP Web site fact sheet Estimated Funding to Implement the BDCP
    •  The Water Authority has identified three specific substantive issue areas that are lacking necessary discussion within Chapter 8 ◦ Lack of enforceable financial commitments by contractors’ member agencies or units ◦ Lack of analysis regarding the effects of “step up” provisions ◦ Lack of legal analysis examining the feasibility and appropriateness of using property taxes as additional back-up security for project debt  These issues were raised repeatedly in Finance Workgroup meetings and conveyed in August 28, 2012 and July 30, 2013 correspondence to Dr. Jerry Meral 33
    • 34
    •  Water Authority staff is continuing its multidisciplinary evaluation and analysis of the four Delta fix options  On September 12, a special Board meeting will feature presentations by Dr. Meral and a panel on economic benefit analysis of BDCP , including Dr. Sunding  Water Authority staff will continue to develop technical analysis, including responses to policy questions, for the September 26 Board meeting  May modify the review schedule if EIR/EIS release date is changed 35
    • Meeting Imported Water Committee/Board Activity 7/25/2013 Provide input on scope of proposed Water Authority analysis of BDCP alternatives; Provide input on policy questions to be addressed √ 8/8/2013 Special Meeting Overview of Bay-Delta and proposals for Delta fix, including description of alternatives √ 8/22/2013 Review of technical analysis – demand assumptions; alternative project yield assumptions; projected costs 9/12/2013 Special Meeting BDCP economic study on cost-benefit of BDCP preferred alternative 9/26/2013 Review of technical analysis (cont.), including responses to policy questions 10/10/2013 Special Meeting Summary of technical analysis: Comparison of alternatives with Delta Policy Principles 10/24/2013 Information: Identify areas of concern; potential CEQA-NEPA comment letter 11/21/2013 Action: EIR/EIS comment letter; consider adopting position on BDCP alternative(s) 36
    • Meeting Imported Water Committee/Board Activity 7/25/2013 Provide input on scope of proposed Water Authority analysis of BDCP alternatives; provide input on policy questions to be addressed √ 8/8/2013 Special Meeting Overview of Bay-Delta and proposals for Delta fix, including description of alternatives √ 8/22/2013 Review of technical analysis – demand assumptions; alternative project yield assumptions; projected costs 9/12/2013 Special Meeting BDCP economic study on cost-benefit of BDCP preferred alternative 9/26/2013 Review of technical analysis (cont.), including responses to policy questions 10/24/2013 Summary of technical analysis: Comparison of alternatives with Delta Policy Principles 11/14/2013 Special Meeting Information: Identify areas of concern; potential CEQA-NEPA comment letter 1/9/2014 Special Meeting Action: EIR/EIS comment letter; consider adopting position on BDCP alternative(s) 37