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The Delta Plan and the BDCP - Archives

The initial Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) was a unique undertaking for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta) that began in 2006 (before the enactment of the Delta Reform Act of 2009). It was being developed as a 50-year habitat conservation plan with the goals of restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and securing California water supplies.

 

As outlined in the Delta Reform Act the BDCP, if approved as both a Natural Community Conservation Planning (NCCP) program by the State and a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) by the federal government, was to be automatically incorporated into the Council’s Delta Plan as a necessary component to further the achievement of the State mandated coequal goals – water supply reliability for California and the rehabilitation of the Delta ecosystem.

 

As drafted, the new proposed water conveyance alternative (California WaterFix) would not complete the BDCP as either an NCCP or HCP program.

 

With the shift in the BDCP, and the Delta Plan’s statutory commitments to it, the Council considered how this shift might result in changes to the Delta Plan relating to options for new and improved conveyance infrastructure, storage, and their operations to achieve the coequal goals. After months of discussion, the Council developed a set of 18 high level principles that will be used when crafting future policies for conveyance, storage, and operations.

 

As for this webpage, it can still help explain historically the relationship between the Delta Plan and the BDCP – and the role the Council and the Delta Independent Science Board (Delta ISB) had in the BDCP’s review.

What is the BDCP

The Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) is a unique undertaking for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta (Delta) that began in 2006 (before the enactment of the Delta Reform Act of 2009). It is being developed as a 50-year habitat conservation plan with the goals of restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta ecosystem and securing California water supplies. The BDCP would secure California’s water supply by building new water delivery infrastructure and operating the system to improve the ecological health of the Delta. The BDCP also would restore or protect approximately 145,000 acres of habitat to address the Delta’s environmental challenges. The BDCP is made up of specific actions, called Conservation Measures, to improve the Delta ecosystem. The BDCP includes 22 conservation measures aimed at improving water operations, protecting water supplies and water quality, and restoring the Delta ecosystem within a stable regulatory framework.

As a conservation plan, the BDCP is being developed pursuant to California’s Natural Community Conservation Planning Act and the federal Endangered Species Act. It is also subject to environmental review under both the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The BDCP is being prepared by a team of federal and state water experts, scientists, and public water agencies that has worked together for years on a way to address the Delta’s problems. To learn more about their efforts please visit the BDCP website by clicking here.

Delta Stewardship Council's Role Regarding BDCP

Delta Stewardship Council's Role in the BDCP’s review 
The Delta Reform Act, in Water Code Section 85320 (c)-(e), gives the DSC four responsibilities with respect to BDCP’s preparation and approval:

  • Under CEQA, the DSC is a responsible agency in the review of the BDCP’s EIR/S.
  • The DSC is to be consulted by the Department of Water Resources (DWR) during BDCP’s development.
  • If the BDCP is approved by Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) as meeting the requirements of law, DFW’s determination may be appealed to the Council.
  • If the BDCP meets the Delta Reform Act’s requirements, the DSC shall incorporate the approved BDCP into the Delta Plan.

Fact Sheet - The Delta Plan and the BDCP

DSC Correspondence Regarding BDCP

DSC Agenda Items Regarding BDCP

BDCP Reports Presented to the DSC

Delta Independent Science Board's Role Regarding BDCP

Delta Independent Science Board's Role in the BDCP’s Review
The Delta Reform Act, as outlined in the Water Code Sections listed below, gives the Delta ISB four responsibilities with respect to BDCP’s preparation:

Delta ISB Correspondence Regarding BDCP

Delta ISB Agenda Items Regarding BDCP

Effects Analysis Materials

Documents Relating to Phase 3

Documents Relating to Phase 2

Documents Relating to Phase 1

Coequal goals

The Delta Stewardship Council was created in legislation to achieve the state mandated coequal goals for the Delta. "'Coequal goals' means the two goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem. The coequal goals shall be achieved in a manner that protects and enhances the unique cultural, recreational, natural resource, and agricultural values of the Delta as an evolving place." (CA Water Code §85054)