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Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix: Fixing the Bay-Delta
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Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix: Fixing the Bay-Delta

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Presentation by Dennis Cushman, Assistant General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority at Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix

Presentation by Dennis Cushman, Assistant General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority at Water Talks: A Bay-Delta Fix

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  • 1. Dennis Cushman, Assistant General Manager February 20, 2013
  • 2.  Federal Central Valley Project ◦ Built by federal government beginning in 1937 ◦ Flood control, navigation, water supply for agriculture and urban purposes, hydroelectric power ◦ Key facilities: Shasta Dam, Friant Dam, Delta-Mendota Canal, Contra Costa Canal, Delta Cross Channel
  • 3.  Feather River Project enacted in 1951 Ratified by voters in November 1960 ◦ Burns-Porter Act; $1.5 billion bond Key facilities: Oroville Dam, California Aqueduct, power generation facilities, pumping plants Began delivering water in 1967 Serves North and South Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California ◦ Metropolitan Water District of Southern California  San Diego County Water Authority  24 local San Diego County water agencies and cities
  • 4. Bay Delta issource of State Water Project Facilities~25% ofSan DiegoCounty’sWaterSupply MWD Water Facilities Colorado River Aqueduct Water Authority Facilities 4
  • 5.  Listings of salmon, smelt, and other species under ESA have led to restrictions on water exports Delta smelt  Loss of 586,000 acre-feet Central Valley steelhead of SWP and CVP supply in an average water year Longfin smelt Chinook salmonGreen sturgeon Harvey O. Banks Pumping Plant 5
  • 6.  Water Authority and San Diego business community support a Bay-Delta fix ◦ Water Authority and San Diego business leaders worked together to pass 2009 legislation that established coequal goals:  Water Supply Reliability  Ecosystem Restoration  2014 water bond would provide public share of cost of ecosystem restoration Water Authority has not endorsed a specific conveyance project ◦ Information still needed to do cost-benefit analysis ◦ Unanswered question: what do we get for the investment? 6
  • 7.  Bay Delta Conservation Program (BDCP) is a joint effort of state, federal government, water contractors, and environmental stakeholders ◦ $240 million cost to develop plan BDCP is planning process: ◦ Habitat Conservation Plan and Natural Communities Conservation Plan under the federal and state Endangered Species Acts BDCP is permitting process: ◦ Obtain Endangered Species Act and other permits to build a new conveyance project and recover listed species Goals: ◦ Provide State Water Project and Central Valley Project water contractors with improved water supply reliability ◦ Restore Bay-Delta ecosystem 7
  • 8.  Early 2012: California Natural Resources Agency proposes a double-bore tunnel with a capacity of 15,000 cubic feet per second, and with five intakes of 3,000 cfs capacity each ◦ Federal fisheries agencies issued “red flag” memos saying the proposal could not be permitted under ESA ◦ The fisheries agencies proposed a 9,000 cfs tunnel and a “decision tree” to determine ultimate yield of project after it has been built, depending on progress toward biological goals 8
  • 9.  Governor Brown and Interior Secretary Salazar announced preferred water conveyance project ◦ $14+ billion conveyance project; $3.6 billion ecosystem ◦ Twin tunnels, 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)  35 miles long; 35 feet in diameter ◦ Other facilities ◦ Full capacity only available in very wet years SWP and CVP contractors have committed to pay $240 million to complete BDCP planning process Contractors have said they will pay $14+ billion for tunnel project Return on $14+ billion investment: unknown ◦ “Decision Tree” concept will determine if project will produce more or less water than no project 9
  • 10. 50% 50% MWD Central State Water Valley Project MWD Project ContractorsContractors 28 Other State Water Project Contractors 10
  • 11. Water Authority Pays About 25% of MWD‟s Spending 40% City of San DiegoWater AuthorityMember Agencies,by Size of FinancialPayments Carlsbad M.W.D. City of Del Mar City of Escondido Fallbrook P.U.D. Helix W.D. Lakeside W.D. City of National City City of Oceanside Olivenhain M.W.D. Otay W.D. Padre Dam M.W.D. Camp Pendleton City of Poway Rainbow M.W.D. Ramona M. W.D. Rincon Del Diable City of San Diego San Dieguito W.D. Santa Fe I.D. South Bay I.D. Vallecitos W.D. Valley Center M.W.D. Vista I.D. Yuima M.W.D. 11
  • 12.  Metropolitan Water District depends on water sales revenues to pay >80% of its bills ◦ Yet, MWD‟s member agencies have no obligation to buy any water from MWD ◦ MWD sales down 30% since 2007 ◦ MWD doubled water rates 2006-2014 ◦ MWD‟s member agencies plan to buy even less water in the future from MWD 12
  • 13. 13
  • 14. Of up to 1.2 MAF of local supply plans,MWD’s 2010 RUWMP only recognizes 103,000 AFExample: Carlsbad Desalination Project not accounted for by MWD
  • 15.  MWD‟s 2013 Bay-Delta water supply: $640 million How MWD charges its member agencies to pay for its Bay Delta water supplies disproportionately impacts San Diego ratepayers ◦ MWD misallocates 80% of its Bay-Delta supply costs to its transportation rate, rather than its water supply rate  Water Authority is only MWD member agency that buys transportation service from MWD to transport large amounts of independent water supplies each year  2013 overcharges to San Diego ratepayers in 2013: $57 million ◦ MWD plans to pay for billions of dollars in new Bay-Delta supply costs through the same misallocation  Without commitments from its member agencies, how will MWD pay 25% or more of the Bay-Delta project? 15
  • 16.  But they are unwilling to do so: ◦ “…to date, most of our board members have said „we‟re not so sure about that.‟ And, most of our member agencies have said „No. Thanks, but no thanks, because we prefer this the way it is.‟” ◦ “Should people make those firm commitments going into the future? So far, the member agencies have opted not to. They prefer it the way it is.” -- Excerpts of remarks by MWD General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger, speaking at an August 10, 2010 public meeting in San Diego on MWD‟s draft 2010 Integrated Resources Plan (IRP). 16
  • 17.  Natural Resources Defense Council contacted a variety of water agencies to seek support for an alternative solution for the Bay Delta ◦ A conceptual alternative to the current proposed project for the Bay-Delta Conservation Plan called the “Portfolio Approach” ◦ Portfolio Approach is designed to produce comparable or better reliability at a lower cost Water Authority was a signatory, along with a group of water agencies, on Jan. 16, 2013 letter asking that the NRDC alternative be evaluated in the BDCP 17
  • 18. Visit our website: SDCWA.orgsdcwa.org/mobile-news-app @sdcwa 18

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